President Trump appeared at two in-person campaign events on Monday in Minnesota and Wisconsin to provide counter-programming for this week’s Democrat National Convention, a four-night event from August 17-20.

Speaking directly in front of Air Force One in Mankato, Minnesota, in front of hundreds of supporters, President Trump addressed the economic recovery, the movement to defund the police, his administration’s continued response to the coronavirus pandemic and other topics.

“Over the past three months, we’ve gained nine million jobs nationwide, which is a new record. Retail spending has fully recovered and is now at an all-time high… auto production surged 28%,” the president stated.

The president has begun to tout the economic recovery after the United States experienced a historic, unprecedented and sharp economic decline in the second quarter of 2020.

In July, U.S. employers added 1.8 million jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%, down from the high of nearly 15% in April.

The president stated that he was being challenged with the “God test” in his push to improve the economy for a second time in his first term.

“We built the greatest economy in the history of the world, and now I have to do it again. You know what that is? That’s God testing me,” the president said to laughs.

Additionally, President Trump expressed his disdain for the recent calls to defund the police.

“We’ve seen the blueprint here in Minneapolis, the city recently voted to abolish the police department,” the president stated, appearing surprised at what he had said. “They actually did, they actually went to that extent,” President Trump remarked to shouts of, “boo.”

Here the president is referring to the Minneapolis City Council which recently approved a proposed amendment to the city’s charter which abolishes the city’s police department, and replaces it with a “department of community safety and violence prevention.” The city council approved the measure unanimously.

Speaking about his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the president said, “We launched the largest mobilization of American goods since World War Two… producing thousands of ventilators and launching Operation Warp Speed.”

The president later appeared at another campaign event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, also speaking with Air Force One as a backdrop. In prepared remarks obtained prior to the speech by Fox News, the president called rival Joe Biden the “most dangerous” presidential candidate in our lifetime and a “Trojan horse for socialism.”

The president’s campaign events today were likely planned strategically to target important swing states. Most election analysts agree that in order to win reelection, President Trump must win at least one of the four midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota.

President Trump’s victory in the first three of those states was the key to his election back in 2016.

Additionally, one of the reasons the president appeared in Wisconsin was to counter the Democrat National Convention taking place on Monday evening from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Following the Democrat National Convention, next week the Republican National Convention will take place August 24-27.

You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary

Photo from The White House


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