Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE went after President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE in a speech in Minnesota on Friday as he looks to blunt the president’s chances in the swing state.
Speaking at a union training center in Hermantown, Biden tore into the White House’s response to the coronavirus, casting the administration’s efforts as insufficient in lowering the death toll from the pandemic.
“Again, in his own words, recorded by Bob Woodward, the president knew back in February that this was an extremely dangerous communicable disease. Think about it, how many people across the Iron Range, how many empty chairs around those dinner tables because of his negligence and selfishness. How many lies said, and lives lost?” the former vice president said, referencing audio released by veteran journalist Bob Woodward in which Trump admitted to downplaying the pandemic.
Biden also tore into Trump over the economic fallout from the pandemic. Unemployment has skyrocketed since the first outbreaks earlier this year, and while it has ticked down in recent months, millions more remain out of work than before the virus struck.
Trump has maintained that the economy is on the rebound, noting strong signals from the stock market, an indicator Biden declared says nothing about the position of working class Americans.
“Here in Minnesota and all across the country, there are plenty of folks who are hurting, they’re worried about making their next mortgage payment or keeping their rent payments in check. They see the people at the top of the heap doing very well,” he said. “They’re left to wonder as a consequence, ordinary folks, who’s looking out for me? That’s been the entire story of Donald Trump’s presidency."
“All Trump sees from Park Avenue is Wall Street. That’s why the only metric of the American prosperity for him is the value of the Dow Jones,” he added, saying he viewed the election as a battle between Park Avenue and Scranton, Pa., his hometown.
Looking to his own policies, Biden highlighted his plan to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage, invest in infrastructure, lower drug prices and more.
The rebukes against Trump come as Biden and the president battle in the Gopher State in the final sprint to Election Day.
Trump has identified Minnesota as a top flip opportunity this November after the president lost the state to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE in 2016 by just 1.5 points. The president will appear at an outdoor airport rally in Bemidji on Friday evening to further gin up support in the state.
However, Biden appears to be in a much stronger position this year than Clinton was four years ago, with the RealClearPolitics polling average in Minnesota showing him ahead of Trump by more than 10 points.