Trump bashes Biden during visit
Down a half dozen points in Wisconsin polls, President Donald Trump came to Mosinee on Thursday and threw everything but the kitchen sink at his challenger Joe Biden, accusing him of being a pro-China leftist radical who will raise taxes, destroy the American economy and confiscate guns.
Trump, who spoke before a crowd of around 2,000 people with Air Force One as a photo backdrop, said Biden, a moderate Democrat, was captured by the radical left and supported the looting and rioting in cities such as Kenosha plagued by the police shooting of black people. Trump said he sided with law enforcement.
“At no time before has there been a clearer choice between two parties,” said Trump. “You got law and order on one side and you have chaos on the other.”
Trump criticized the Black Lives Matter protests around the country, saying the marches against police shootings were themselves violent attacks on law enforcement that needed to be put down by the federal government. He called the Mosinee rally “a peaceful protest,” ridiculing the marches for police reform.
Trump, who left his audience exhausted after a rambling two-hour conversation on current events, bad-mouthing Biden and his vice-presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris, many times falsely or with only the thinnest of evidence.
The red MAGA hatted audience didn’t much care. “We love you!” the rally-goers yelled at Trump towards the end of the campaign event.
Trump attacked Biden personally, saying the Democrat “didn’t know he was alive” and being “shot” would be no match for dealing with world leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping or North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. The president made fun of Biden for gaffes, such as mixing up letters in the H1N1 swine flu name, and for flip-flopping on the issue of fracking.
Trump did not fully spell out what he would do if re-elected, but indicated a sharp turn against China.
“Over the next four years, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world,” he said. “We will end our reliance on China once and for all.”
Trump said Biden, by contrast, who voted as a U.S. senator for NAFTA and promoted other trade deals, would not stand up to China.
“This is like a dream for China,” said Trump. “Joe Biden’s agenda is made in China. My agenda is made in the USA. It’s very simple.”
Trump defended his anti-China protectionism to save Wisconsin jobs against Biden’s free trade policies.
“I took the toughest ever action to stand up to China’s rampant theft of Wisconsin jobs,” he said. “Biden has vowed to remove those tariffs and allow China to resume its pillaging.”
Trump commented on a wide array of national political topics, even repeating four-year-old complaints about former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s deleted e-mails, but emphasized three issues with local resonance, farming, the timber business and guns.
Trump’s farming position was complicated and, perhaps, contradictory. He took credit for a trade deal with China this year that has yielded in recent weeks, he said, historic purchases of soybeans and corn, but acknowledged that farmers have lost money due to trade and COVID-19 disruptions, requiring a $28 billion federal bailout. He announced that USDA would now fund an additional $13 billion to help farmers, including Wisconsin dairy, cranberry and ginseng farmers who have been “hurt badly” due to the “China virus.” The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 will pay farmers $15 an acre for a long list of commodities. There is a $250,000 cap on payments to individual producers.
Trump boasted that he replaced NAFTA with the USMCA, which grants Wisconsin milk processors authorization to export “specialty milk” to Canada, getting rid of a 287 percent Canadian tariff on American milk.
On the wood industry, Trump defended protectionist tariffs to protect Wisconsin jobs and predicted Biden would cease timber sales for environmental reasons.
“When the Wisconsin timber industry was threatened, I imposed tariffs on dumped foreign timber and subsidized products, saving many, many timber jobs in Wisconsin,” he said. “If Biden gets in, the radical left will shut down Wisconsin’s timber production for environmental reasons.”
On guns, Trump alleged Biden would not protect Second Amendment rights but would “confiscate” firearms from Wisconsin citizens.
“He’s against oil, he’s against God and he’s against guns,” said the Republican.
The Mosinee crowd showed its appreciation for the recent renewal of diplomatic ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, chanting that Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Middle East.
Trump loved it.
“I got nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, that’s a big deal,” he said. “I should have gotten nominated seven times because we did a lot of other things.”
At the rally, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and his predecessor, Sean Duffy, addressed the crowd as warm-up speakers. Trump praised both and suggested that Duffy, now a lobbyist, should run for Wisconsin governor.
The rally was held outside at a Central Wisconsin Airport hangar. People crowded together without social distancing. Very few at the rally except for the Secret Service and the press wore a mask.
The Marathon County Democratic Party charged the Trump campaign with “blatant disregard for public safety” by holding the rally in the way it was held.
“Just this week, Marathon County hit a record 905 positive COVID-19 cases,” said the party in a press release. “The president continues to downplay the severity of the pandemic by hosting superspreader events for political photo-ops. The people of Marathon County want a truthful and science-based approach to this pandemic, an approach that will allow our children to be safely back in schools and enable businesses to fully reopen. This event does neither.”