Oct. 19 (UPI) — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden campaigned on opposite coasts Sunday with just over two weeks to go before November’s presidential election.
Trump split time between Nevada and California, both states he lost in his 2016 race against Hillary Clinton, while Biden traveled to North Carolina, which Trump won in 2016.
The president began the day by attending the International Church of Las Vegas where a band performed on stage during the evangelical service and women twirled flags, including two stylized U.S. flags featuring the Statue of Liberty, when Trump was introduced.
Trump then traveled to California on Sunday afternoon to take part in a roundtable with supporters alongside his former ambassador to Germany and former acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell.
The president also delivered remarks during a fundraiser at the Newport Beach mansion of Palmer Luckey, the 28-year-old founder of Oculus VR and one of California’s top Republican donors.
Sunday’s fundraiser featured a live performance by the Beach Boys with tickets beginning at $2,800 per person and rising to as high as $150,000 per couple for co-chair status.
He then returned to Nevada in the evening to hold a “Make America Great Again” rally in Carson City, where he spent much of his time lambasting Biden, calling him “corrupt” and “not a good man.”
He also said the economy was improving following shutdowns due to the pandemic earlier this year but said its rebounding would be even stronger if Democratic state governors would only open their states, accusing them of keeping the states shut “to hurt us on “Nov. 3.”
“This election is a choice between a Trump super recover and a Biden depression,” he said.
Trump then took off from Reno airport aboard Air Force One to spend the night in Las Vegas, where he owns a resort.
Biden held a drive-in rally in Durham, N.C., to encourage people to cast their ballots during the state’s early voting period, which began on Thursday and runs through Oct. 31.
“Don’t just vote for me and Senator Harris — you’ve got a governor’s race, a Senate race, a record number of Black women on the ballot. Congress and lieutenant governor, labor commissioner and the courts,” he said.
The former vice president also continued to criticize Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence against Black Americans that has prompted massive protests throughout the year.
“How do we break that cycle where in good times, you lag behind, in bad times, you get hit the hardest and first?” Biden said, referring to communities of color. “The answer is about justice.”
Sunday marked Biden’s second visit to North Carolina after traveling to Charlotte on Sept. 23 to speak to Black small-business owners about how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden said he believes his campaign can still garner support in states like North Carolina while holding smaller, socially distanced events compared to Trump’s large rallies.
“We compete responsibly,” he said. “What we don’t do is we don’t bring about larger crowds where people are cheek to jowl. They’re, in fact, breathing on one another, coughing on one another and some people are going to get sick and die.”
Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, was originally set to campaign in North Carolina when early voting opened on Thursday but canceled the trip after some of her campaign staffers tested positive for the coronavirus.