President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of attacks against Democratic rival Joe Biden on Monday during a string of mini-rallies in Midwestern states that were designed to counter the start of the Democrats’ national convention.
Over the course of three speeches, Trump painted Biden as an existential threat to the U.S. and made a series of misleading or exaggerated claims to make his point.
The president said in Mankato, Minnesota, that Biden is a “puppet of left-wing extremists” who would “eliminate our police” and “indoctrinate our children.” Biden, whose career in politics has been marked by his support for moderate policies, would lead to the U.S. becoming a “large-scale Venezuela,” Trump said at an event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“They are fascists,” Trump told a crowd gathered near an aircraft hangar in Mankato. “Some of them. Not all of them, but some of them. But they’re getting closer and closer. We have to win this election.”
Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian form of government. In Oshkosh, Trump labeled Biden a “Trojan Horse for socialism,” which is on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum.
Seeking to portray himself as a champion of law-and-order, Trump made several attacks that had racial undertones. He said in Wisconsin that the former vice president and his allies “want to abolish the suburbs by allowing far-left Washington bureaucrats to force the construction of low-income housing projects in every neighborhood in America.”
The president claimed in Oshkosh that violence in Chicago, which has a spike in shootings this summer, is worse than Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
In Minneapolis, where the killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests against police brutality, Trump called the police department “very good” and said “they have to do what they do” to stop violent protests. The sympathies of Democrats, he said, “lie with lawbreakers and with criminals.”
“I’m here to help you. We will bring back law and order to your community,” Trump said in Minneapolis.
The president also took aim at the Democratic ticket’s economic policies, saying in Mankato that Biden and running mate Kamala Harris would “double and triple” Americans’ tax burdens by proposing nearly $4 trillion in new levies.
The former vice president’s tax plan would increase collections by as much as $3.67 trillion over the next decade mostly by raising taxes on the highest earners and corporations, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. But that sum does not come close to tripling Americans’ taxes; the U.S. is projected to take in roughly $47 trillion in tax revenue under the next decade under current law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
To control the coronavirus, Trump said Biden would lock Americans “in their basements” for “months on end,” even though the Democrat hasn’t made such a proposal.
Trump compared the U.S. response favorably to other nations, saying there was a “big surge” in cases in New Zealand. Yet the U.S. recorded 42,048 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. New Zealand had 13 new cases.
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