Nov. 2 (UPI) — President Donald Trump visited five states in a whirlwind campaign tour that started Sunday and ran until early Monday with just two days left until the 2020 presidential election.
Trump began the day with a rally at Michigan’s Total Sports Park and ended it before 1 a.m. Monday at South Florida’s Opa-locka Airport with stops in Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia in between — all key states ahead of Tuesday’s election.
The president touted the economy in his first stop of the day, citing a report by the Commerce Department on Thursday that said U.S. gross domestic product grew by 33% between July and October.
“While foreign nations are in freefall, we are creating the world’s greatest ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE! Get out and VOTE on November 3rd, so we can keep it going,” Trump tweeted alongside a video of the rally.
Following the rally in Michigan, Trump departed for Iowa, where he held an event at Dubuque Regional Airport before traveling to North Carolina.
After arriving at Hickory Regional Airport in North Carolina, a state he narrowly won in 2016, Trump told reporters a report that stated he may declare victory on Tuesday amid the counting of votes was false before chastising the Supreme Court over its decision to allow ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania after Nov. 3, calling it a “terrible decision.”
“If people wanted to get their ballots in, they should have gotten their ballots in long before that — a long time,” he said. “They don’t have to put their ballots in the same day, they could have put their ballots in a month ago.”
He added that as soon as the election is over “we’re going in with our lawyers.”
Then from the lectern, he called on his North Carolina supporters to vote, warning them that his challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, would cause the economy to “collapse” and increase taxes as well as regulations if elected president.
“They want to do lots of things I don’t think you can stand for,” he said, calling Nov. 3 “the most important election, perhaps, in the history of our country.”
Following the rally in North Carolina, Trump landed at the Richard B. Russell Airport in Rome, Ga., for an event during which he vowed to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, to put the first woman on the moon and to land the first astronaut on Mars, among other campaign pledges.
To roaring applause, Trump repeated a statement he had made earlier in the day that while Biden was running as a Democrat he was running as an American.
“If you want the freedom to go live your life, then go cast your ballot for a man named Trump,” he said.
Trump then departed for his final stop, Opa-Locka, Fla., where officials said his event was expected to exceed the county’s midnight curfew put in place to fight the coronavirus.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said gates for the outdoor event at the local airport opened at 7:30 p.m. and that safety personnel will be handing out flyers detailing public health safety rules to attendees concerning the facial-covering and social distancing mandates.
“As we have done with recent late-ending sporting events, the county will be flexible on letting people travel home safely,” Gimenez said in a statement concerning the curfew.
Trump took to the stage shortly before midnight to chants of “We love you!” from the largest audience he spoke to all day, saying that as it’s his last rally “we can stay all night.”
He called on his supporters to vote for him, saying their ballots would ensure he wins Florida, which he called “my home state” as the New York real estate mogul made it his official residence last year.
“If we win Florida, we win it all,” he said.
He spoke of not being a politician while comparing himself to the “globalist” Biden.
“In 2016, Florida voted to fire this corrupt political establishment and you elected an outsider as president who is finally putting America first,” he said. “And if I don’t sound like a typical politician, it’s because I’m not a politician — probably why we won. If I don’t always play by the rules of Washington and the Washington establishment, it’s because I was elected to fight for you.”
He also championed his fight against terrorism, highlighting the rescue over the weekend of Philip Walton, 27, who was held captive by a gang in northern Nigeria as well as the assassinations of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019 and of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani early this year.
The president also suggested he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus taskforce.
The coronavirus pandemic was only touched on during the rallies, usually to criticize state lockdowns, and Trump elicited chants of “Fire Fauci” from the audience for saying news coverage of the virus will lessen after the election.
Trump waited for the chant to stop before saying, “don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate the advice.”
His remark came after Fauci drew a rebuke from the White House by breaking with the president’s assertion that the United States is “rounding the turn” on the COVID-19 pandemic by warning the country could experience “a whole lot of hurt” in the winter.
The president then described Fauci as a “nice man” who has been “wrong on a lot.”
Trump left the stage shortly before 1 a.m., and hours before he was scheduled to depart Doral, where he is to spend the night, for Miami to start another day of rallies in the five states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
His visit to North Carolina also follows the Supreme Court’s rejection of two Republican challenges to the state board of elections’ decision to extend the deadline to count mail-in ballots until Nov. 13.
During a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump criticized a similar ruling by the high court in the state.