Trump reboots his campaign pitch, but struggles to stick to it

LA Times

(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

The Trump campaign on Monday launched an aggressive push to win back voters in the industrial Midwest, asserting — dubiously — that a coronavirus vaccine could be only weeks away, but it struggled to stay on message while the president continued lashing out at the nation’s military leaders.

The race shifted into a new, more frenzied pace on Labor Day. Both the candidates and their running mates were out stumping for votes, with three of four of them parachuting into key swing voting areas despite the complications of candidate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. In front of the White House, President Trump touted the economy and the pace of vaccine development before he veered into renewed attacks on the late Sen. John McCain.

The volley of fresh insults toward an American war hero — triggered by the president’s urge to discredit media reports that he repeatedly disparaged and demeaned service members and America’s war dead — came as Trump, trailing in most every swing state, desperately tries to narrow the polling gap with less than two months to go before election day.

The White House had dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to La Crosse, Wis., where his speech was to provide counterprogramming to an appearance in the battleground state the same day by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, the California senator.

A pivotal pickup for Trump in 2016, Wisconsin has surged back to the forefront after the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake Jr., in Kenosha set off days of civic unrest.

The two running mates offered sharply contrasting visions, with Harris stressing the theme of racial justice and healing as she spent time with the family of Blake; she also spoke to the shooting victim on the phone, as Joe Biden did during his Wisconsin trip late last week.

“They’re an incredible family and what they’ve endured … they do it with such dignity and grace,” the senator said during her first trip on the stump since joining the ticket. “And you know, they’re carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.”

Pence sidestepped the topic of racial division in an economic appeal oriented toward on-the-fence blue-collar workers and suburbanites who could swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to Trump just like in 2016.

“Joe Biden said, ‘No miracle is coming,’ but here in America we are in the miracle business,” Pence said, laying out a questionable timeline for a vaccine that was far more bullish than any provided by public health experts inside and independent of the administration. “And we are going to have a safe and effective vaccine before the end of the year.”


Publish : 2020-09-08 15:32:39

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