WEST SALEM, Wis. (CN) — President Donald Trump rallied fervent supporters at the fairgrounds of a small Wisconsin village on Tuesday, hammering home his marquee talking points and lampooning Democratic challenger Joe Biden as the 2020 campaign trail enters the home stretch.
Trump’s motorcade pulled into La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem at just after 5:00 p.m., greeted by a roaring crowd of hundreds packed closely together on the same day Wisconsin set new daily records with 5,262 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 64 deaths.
La Crosse County, where West Salem is located, is the only county in a reliably conservative area of western Wisconsin which Trump lost in 2016. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the county by just over 6,000 votes, though Trump ultimately prevailed in the state by less than 23,000.
Tuesday marked the president’s third visit to Wisconsin in the last two weeks and his second in four days, following rallies in Janesville on Oct. 17 and Waukesha over the weekend.
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. campaigned in De Pere around the same time his father was on his way to the Badger State on Tuesday. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to make a stop in Mosinee on Wednesday, illustrating the incumbent’s relentless focus on capturing Wisconsin and its modest but critical 10 electoral votes.
Recent polling, including one released by the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin on Monday, shows Biden extending his lead in Wisconsin and other key Great Lakes battlegrounds like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Biden, for his part, is reportedly visiting the Badger State on Friday, but his camp has not yet provided any details on the visit.
Trump pilloried Biden early and often to laughter and cheers Tuesday evening, repeatedly taking digs at “Sleepy Joe Biden” for being both too mentally feeble to handle the demands of the presidency and part of a nefarious radical left mob machinating a socialist coup that would bring an end to traditional American values.
“Biden stands with the rioters and I stand with the heroes of law enforcement,” the president said, adding the former vice president is “soft and weak and too scared to be president.”
Trump contrasted his strong emphasis on law and order with Biden’s status as a toady of antifa, anarchists and socialists. He made reference to the candidates’ differing attitudes toward violent unrest which took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white police officer.
Trump made no mention of Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager currently facing extradition to Kenosha County on charges of crossing state lines with an AR-15 and killing two and wounding a third while he was reportedly attempting to protect life and property during the protests, which featured the arson of multiple businesses and cars.
Both Trump and Biden visited Kenosha amid the demonstrations, but their optics and tones could not have been more different. The president toured scorched businesses and heaped praise on law enforcement for quelling the protests during a roundtable event; Biden held a town hall focused on unity and hope at a local church after meeting with Blake’s family.
“We saved Kenosha, Kenosha wouldn’t be standing,” the president said, before warning the crowd that “I’m the only thing standing between you and the left-wing mob.”
Trump continued in the vein of law and order by taking Biden and running-mate Kamala Harris to task for their plans to end cash bail, free 400,000 dangerous criminals, slash police budgets, hamstring rank and file police with oversight and regulations and appoint anti-police prosecutors.
The president insisted America is “rounding the corner” with regard to the novel coronavirus, for which there is no vaccine and no known cure. Cases continue to spike nationwide, including in Wisconsin.
Trump insisted that “until the plague came from China, we didn’t even have a race,” between him and Biden. He said a safe vaccine to eradicate the virus will arrive soon — although the virus is not a big deal in any case.
“I had it,” Trump said, referring to his own hospitalization with Covid-19. “Here I am.”
The president went on to insist the virus hysteria was at least partially a ploy to hurt his reelection chances, predicting that states will begin reopening en masse and people will stop talking about the virus starting Nov. 4.
Suburban women, a demographic polls and pundits suggest disfavors Trump, were mentioned during the rally. “You’re going to love me…you better love me,” Trump told female suburbanites.
He promised to keep the suburbs safe from low-income housing and radical left insurgents, stating that “antifa and the anarchists view the suburbs as next.”
The longtime New York real estate mogul patted his administration on the back for killing the leader of the Islamic State, controlling the coronavirus outbreak, presiding over the strongest economy in American history, getting tough on China and rescuing Wisconsin dairy farms, which he said were dying under the Obama administration but are now “doing very well.”
Trump also took time to applaud a U.S. Supreme Court decision from Monday night which rejected an extension to absentee voting deadlines due to the coronavirus. He suggested giving clerks an extra six days to count an untold number of absentee and mail-in ballots is somehow fraudulent.
“You know what happens while they count them? They dump more ballots in there,” Trump said.
The president ended his roughly hourlong remarks by congratulating his administration for its hundreds of judicial appointments, promising to ban sanctuary cities and railing against the indoctrination of American schoolchildren with anti-American sentiment.
“Thank you, Wisconsin,” the president said. “Get out and vote.”