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Biden typically beats Trump in national polls on who could better handle the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 170,000 Americans. Trump routinely bests him on managing the economy, however.
Describing Biden as “no friend of Pennsylvania,” Trump doubled down on policies supported by Biden that he claimed hurt the people of Pennsylvania, highlighting his own successes reversing them.
“Biden supported every single bogus attack on Pennsylvania workers,” Trump said. He cited the North America Free Trade Agreement, which Trump revamped as well as China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, which supercharged its economic rise, and the “ridiculous” Paris climate accord, which the Trump administration abandoned.
He also accused Biden of seeking to “outlaw” American oil, coal and natural gas and to open U.S. borders during a pandemic.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But politics Professor Terry Madonna at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said Trump risked alienating Scranton voters by being too hard on their native son and would be better served by sticking to the issues.
The Pennsylvania speech caps a week of appearances in the Midwest and Southwest by Trump to counter the convention, which has included speeches from some prominent disaffected Republicans, ahead of the Republican National Convention next week.
On Thursday, Trump sought to play up fears that Biden, a moderate, would be swayed by more extreme members of his party.
“Joe Biden is a puppet of the radical left movement that seeks to destroy the American way of life,” he said. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Additional Reporting by Andrea Shalal, David Morgan, Mohammad Zargham and John Whitesides Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Cynthia Osterman)