President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden traded coronavirus barbs over on the campaign trail Saturday, with Election Day looming a little over one week away.
As Trump hopscotched through three different battleground states – North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin – Biden trained his fire on Pennsylvania, which he aims to take back for the Democrats after Trump’s surprise 2016 win there.
But at two drive-in rallies in the critical swing counties of Bucks and Luzerne, he was met with scores of Trump fans who lined the roadways with campaign flags and shouts of “Go home, Joe!”
“We don’t do things like those chumps out there with the microphones, those Trump guys,” an irritated Biden told his supporters at a drive-in rally at Bucks County Community College – all of them ensconced inside about 130 cars to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Trump, at a non-socially-distanced rally in Lumberton, N.C. ridiculed his rival’s “tiny little crowds.”
“There were so few cars, I’ve never seen an audience like this,” Trump said. “You just heard a couple of horns going ‘honk honk.’ It’s the weirdest thing.”
In Bucks County, Biden defended his limited-size rallies.
“I don’t like the idea of all this distance, but it’s necessary,” he said. “We don’t want to become superspreaders.”
But Trump dismissed Biden’s doom and gloom.
“No, we’ve got to have spirit, our country,” the president said.
“We’re tired of all of this stuff,” he argued. “We’re tired of such negativity.”
Trump also lambasted Biden for the dire coronavirus prediction he issued at their Thursday debate.
“Did you hear him the other night?” Trump asked the crowd at the Robeson County Fairgrounds. “‘It’s going to be a cold dark winter,’” he said, imitating the mournful tone Biden used to attack Trump’s pandemic policies.
“Very inspiring guy, very,” Trump said sarcastically.
Trump stopped in Lumberton to shore up his base in Robeson County, a Democrat stronghold for more than a century — until 2016, when Trump won it thanks to support from the Native Americans who make up almost 40 percent of the population.
Trump promised Saturday to grant federal recognition to the local Lumbee tribe if he is re-elected — a vow that drew energetic cheers and pounding drumbeats from a large contingent of Lumbees in the crowd.
It was the first of three Saturday campaign stops for Trump, who is running 8 points behind Biden in national polls.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama stumped for Biden and vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris in Florida, where he ripped into Trump over coronavirus at a North Miami car rally.
“The idea that this White House has done anything but completely screw this up is nonsense,” an animated Obama railed in a 45-minute stemwinder.
“I’m asking you to believe in Joe’s ability and Kamala’s ability to lead us out of these dark times,” he pleaded, as supporters tooted their vehicles’ horns. “Honk if you’re fired up!”