As VP candidates visit Wis., Trump, Biden trade jabs
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump spent Monday diminishing each other’s credentials on the economy and understanding of the American worker as the presidential campaign entered its final, post-Labor Day stretch.
While workers live by an “American code,” Biden said Trump “lives by a code of lies, greed and selfishness” as he met with labor leaders in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a key swing state. Trump, meanwhile, tried to put the halting economic recovery under the best light in a White House press conference where he said Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would “destroy this country and would destroy this economy.”
Labor Day typically marks the unofficial start to the fall campaign season as candidates accelerate their activity for the final sprint to Election Day. Both campaigns reflected that urgency Monday, as Harris and Vice President Mike Pence each campaigned in Wisconsin, a state Trump narrowly won in 2016.
While the health of the American economy and status of workers were dominant Labor Day themes, both campaigns also focused on recent protests that have roiled Wisconsin and the rest of the nation after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha last month.
Harris, the first Black woman on a major party presidential ticket, met privately with Blake’s family at the Milwaukee airport after arriving in the state, where she spoke with Blake by phone from his hospital bed.
Pence touched on the protests in Kenosha during a speech in La Crosse, where he toured an energy facility.
“We will have law and order in every city in this country for every American of every race and creed,” Pence said.
Out on the trail, signs of the pandemic were evident. While Pence didn’t speak with a mask on, workers from the power company he toured did as they stood behind him. Harris was careful not to stray far from blue “X” marks taped on the floor to encourage social distancing as she toured an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility. While supporters gathered outside the candidates’ stops, they had minimal interaction with members of the public beyond the people invited to their events.
Biden spoke to a small group of labor leaders in a backyard in Lancaster, where he criticized Trump for “refusing to deal with the problems that affect ordinary people” and called for strengthening unions.
Earlier in the day, Trump painted Biden as a leader incapable of handling the coronavirus and reviving the economy and pledged his own “undying loyalty to the American worker.”
Vice President Mike Pence speaks Monday at Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse, Wisconsin.