Trump slams Bi­den on im­mi­gra­tion, in­sists Mex­ico will pay for wall

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY JILL COLVIN, ZEKE MILLER AND DEB RIECH­MANN

YUMA, Ariz. — Grap­pling for votes — and the spot­light — as Democrats hold their na­tional con­ven­tion, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump reached back Tues­day to the sig­na­ture is­sue of his 2016 cam­paign to de­liver a broad­side against Demo­cratic ri­val Joe Bi­den over im­mi­gra­tion.

As Democrats gath­ered vir­tu­ally, Trump tar­geted vot­ers in a pair of key swing states and sought to curry fa­vor with women vot­ers by par­don­ing Su­san B. An­thony, a leader in the women’s suffrage move­ment.

In Ari­zona, one of the top 2020 bat­tle­ground states, the pres­i­dent sought to paint a Bi­den vic­tory in apoc­a­lyp­tic terms, in­sist­ing “the sur­vival of our na­tion is at stake” in Novem­ber, as he slammed what he hy­per­bol­i­cally la­beled the “in­sane and lethal poli­cies” of his op­po­si­tion.

“Bi­den’s plan is the most rad­i­cal, ex­treme, reck­less, dan­ger­ous and deadly im­mi­gra­tion plan ever put for­ward by a ma­jor party can­di­date,” he said. “It must be de­feated. and it will be de­feated on Novem­ber 3.”

The pres­i­dent also worked in a last-minute stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for a brief­ing about dam­age from the dere­cho last week that has left thou­sands with­out power and caused cat­a­strophic dam­age.

“We’ve come through for you, and we will al­ways come through for Iowa,” Trump said, as the city’s mayor urged him to con­sider en­hanced fed­eral dis­as­ter fund­ing for peo­ple there.

Trump high­lighted his im­mi­gra­tion agenda dur­ing his stop in Yuma. The pres­i­dent in­sisted that, in ad­di­tion to ful­fill­ing his pledge to build a bor­der wall, Mex­ico was also pay­ing for it — even though it’s not.

“They are pay­ing for it,” he said as he stood in front of a replica of his wall.

“Mex­ico will be pay­ing,” he said. “We’re fig­ur­ing how much we have to charge.”

Be­fore leav­ing Wash­ing­ton, Trump held a White House event to an­nounce the par­don of An­thony, con­victed of vot­ing in 1872 in vi­o­la­tion of laws per­mit­ting only men to vote. Trump’s par­don an­nounce­ment came on the 100th an­niver­sary of the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the 19th Amend­ment, which en­sured women the right to vote.

An­thony was ar­rested for vot­ing in Rochester, New York, and con­victed in a widely pub­li­cized trial. Al­though she re­fused to pay the fine, the au­thor­i­ties de­clined to take fur­ther ac­tion.

Some of Illi­nois’ most pow­er­ful Demo­cratic women of­fered their pitch Tues­day to send Joe Bi­den to the White House — and not only be­cause his name isn’t Don­ald Trump. But that was cer­tainly part of it. “It is hard to con­sider Don­ald Trump the pres­i­dent of the United States. He re­ally is a woman-hater,” north sub­ur­ban U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky said dur­ing the Illi­nois del­e­ga­tion’s pro­gram ahead of the sec­ond night of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion.

“Women in gen­eral to Don­ald Trump are nasty, don’t de­serve equal pay for equal work, don’t de­serve to con­trol our own bod­ies. … But here in Illi­nois. It’s like breath­ing such in­cred­i­ble fresh air,” Schakowsky said, re­fer­ring to the state Leg­is­la­ture pass­ing the Equal Rights Amend­ment in 2018, and a law that pro­tects abor­tion rights in Illi­nois even if the U.S. Supreme Court ever over­turns the Roe v. Wade de­ci­sion.

Mayor Lori Light­foot again piled on Trump dur­ing the vir­tual con­ven­tion ses­sion, say­ing the “Con­sti­tu­tion is again be­ing put to the ul­ti­mate test as our cur­rent pres­i­dent bends and tears at every page to re­shape the doc­u­ment to his own will.”

“It was up to us in 2018 to send a mes­sage to Don­ald Trump, and ul­ti­mately ex­pose a crack in his crum­bling dic­ta­tor­ship, and women across Illi­nois stepped up in a big way to meet that chal­lenge,” Light­foot said, re­fer­ring to west sub­ur­ban con­gres­sional seats won in tra­di­tion­ally con­ser­va­tive dis­tricts by Demo­cratic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Lau­ren Un­der­wood and Sean Cas­ten.

Hours later, former Sen. Carol Mose­ley Braun, the na­tion’s first Black fe­male se­na­tor, cast Illi­nois’ votes for Bi­den dur­ing the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion’s roll call, say­ing the pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic nom­i­nee has a plan to “help more peo­ple of color achieve the Amer­i­can dream of own­ing a home.”

“Joe Bi­den has a plan to end racist lend­ing prac­tices and help more peo­ple of color achieve the Amer­i­can dream of own­ing a home,’’ Mose­ley Braun said be­fore cast­ing the Illi­nois del­e­ga­tion’s votes. ‘‘This isn’t just about ra­cial jus­tice. It’s about strong com­mu­ni­ties, and more eco­nomic se­cu­rity for work­ing fam­i­lies.”

Mose­ley Braun cast 122 votes for Bi­den, and 59 for Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders dur­ing the sec­ond night of the vir­tual Demo­cratic con­ven­tion.

SCREEN­SHOT

Carol Mose­ley Braun rep­re­sents Illi­nois to nom­i­nate Joe Bi­den dur­ing Tues­day night’s roll call vote.

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