WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden adopted a populist tone and harsh words against United States President Donald Trump for his economic management and the pandemic while visiting Minnesota, one of four states where early voting began Friday for the Nov. 3 elections.
“Again, in his own words, taped to Bob Woodward, the president knew in February that this was a very contagious and extremely dangerous disease. Think about it: how many people in the Iron Range (mining areas near Lake Superior), how many empty chairs around those dinner tables because of their neglect and selfishness? How many lies told, and how many lives lost?” said the former vice president.
Biden made the remarks at a union training center in Hermantown, referring to recordings published last week in the media made by journalist Bob Woodward during his December-July interviews with Trump for his book “Rage,” which went on sale Tuesday in the US.
In those recordings, Trump acknowledged that he purposely underestimated the severity of COVID-19, even knowing its seriousness, so as not to panic, which he himself confirmed recently.
Biden also regretted the performance of the president in the face of the deterioration of the economy due to the pandemic.
“Here in Minnesota and across the country, there are a lot of people who are hurting, who are worried about how they are going to make the next mortgage payment or keep their rent payments. They see that people in power are doing very well,” he said.
“As a consequence, ordinary people have been left wondering ‘who is going to take care of me?’ That is the whole story of the Presidency of Donald Trump,” Biden said. “All that Trump sees from Park Avenue (in New York) is Wall Street. That’s why the only measure of US prosperity for him is the value of the Dow Jones.”
Biden said he sees the elections as “a campaign between Park Avenue and Scranton,” in an attempt to mark a contrast between his hometown, a working-class industrial area in Pennsylvania, and the luxurious lifestyle of Trump in Manhattan, although the New York mogul grew up in Queens.
“Like many of you, I have spent much of my life with guys like Donald Trump looking down on me,” Biden said. “Looking down on people who work with their hands, who care about their children, who clean our streets.”
“Those are guys who always thought they were better than me, better than us, because they have a lot of money, guys who inherited everything they have and still manage to squander it,” he said.
Trump’s response was swift and he responded to his rival on Twitter shortly after: “Joe Biden says this is a race between Scranton and Park Avenue. This is a race between Scranton and China. Joe Biden betrayed Scranton, and America for China and foreign countries. I will always put the USA first!”
Trump also traveled on Friday to Minnesota, where he plans to hold a rally in Bemidji.