President Donald Trump on Saturday called Joe Biden ‘the worst’ candidate who ‘doesn’t know he is alive’ at a rally that violated Nevada’s coronavirus regulations.
‘He is the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics. He doesn’t know he is alive,’ Trump said at his rally at the Minden-Tahoe airport.
The president hopped from topic to topic in his more than 90 minutes remarks, veering from attack line to attack line during his rally, often in the space of seconds: he attacked the Democrats, railed against the coronavirus, complained about the Black Lives Matters protests in cities – among other topics.
He spoke in front of the Sierra Mountains with the smell of smoke in the air from the wildfires one state over.
The crowd was riled up, repeatedly yelling ‘four more years’ and ‘we love Trump.’ They waved signs that said ‘peaceful protesters’ – which is what the president has started calling his rallies.
President Trump also complained his Democratic rival will get a favorable comparison to Winston Churchill, the legendary British prime minister who lead the United Kingdom through World War II. Trump revers Churchill and often compares himself to the political icon.
‘We have a debate coming up in three weeks and here’s the problem. Winston Churchill was a great debater,’ Trump said.
President Donald Trump called Joe Biden ‘the worst’ candidate who ‘doesn’t know he is alive’
President Trump’s rally was moved to Minden after Reno officials canceled his rally there due to COVID concerns
The crowd at Trump’s rally violated social distancing rules; Nevada only allows gatherings of 50 people
He said if Biden makes it to the debate and ‘if he gets off the stage they’re going to say it’s the single greatest debate they’ve ever seen. Winston Churchill was nothing compared to Sleepy Joe.’
He repeated several of his previous insults of Biden. In addition to the ‘Sleepy Joe,’ he complained Biden is still in his basement, and railed against Biden’s son Hunter.
‘Joe is shot, let’s face it,’ Trump said.
‘Using him is just an excuse to get the super libs in there,’ he said.
He also attacked Biden’s ability to keep the United States’ safe. Biden has over 40 years of government service.
‘Biden’s plan is to appease domestic terrorists,’ Trump said. ‘He’ll never be able to protect your family, your loved ones, your community.’
He also argued a Biden presidency would ruin the economy. The president has made a strong economy a key to his re-election and it’s one area where voters give him high marks.
‘I think 1929 would look like good times,’ Trump said.
He also tied Biden to one of his major pet peeves – windmills.
‘Did you ever seen a windmill when it’s shot – like Joe?,’ Trump said.
‘It just starts to rust,’ he said. ‘And no one wants to take them down because it’s a lot of money to take them down.’
Trump railed against environmentalists who want to use wind energy, warning people they won’t be able to watch TV at night because the wind’s not blowing.
He complained windmills will kill bald eagles.
‘You want to see a bird cemetery,’ Trump said. ‘Walk under a windmill sometime.’
The president also attacked his former Democratic rivals in addition to his 2020 opponent – bringing up Hillary Clinton’s emails, which was a popular line for him on the 2016 campaign trail, and complaining about President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump again attacked Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state, which she was cleared of any wrong doing in an FBI investigation.
‘She took her telephone and smashed it with a hammer and then deleted the emails,’ Trump said.
‘She illegally deleted and her lawyers should go to jail with her,’ he added.
The crowd responded with ‘lock her up’ – a crowd favorite from the 2016 election.
‘I don’t care if you say it anymore,’ Trump told them as they yelled the slogan.
He also turned his wrath on Obama.
‘Obama came into office they gave him the Nobel prize almost immediately,’ Trump said. ‘And he had no idea why he got it and he was right about it.’
Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize – shortly after he took the oath of office in his first term – for his ‘extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people’.
‘I’m a hell of a lot better president than he is,’ Trump said of Obama.
The crowd – not using social distancing and few wearing face masks – cheered on Trump
Supporters wave signs as they wait for Trump to arrive at his rally at the Minden-Tahoe Airport
Trump complained about Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize – Obama is seen with his diploma and gold medal during the Nobel ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2009
He then turned his fury on the media, complaining his own nominations for the Nobel Prize didn’t get adequate coverage in the media.
‘So we were nominated a few days ago for a Nobel Peace Prize,’ Trump said. ‘And yesterday we were nominated a second time.’
‘I got zero time on the nightly news – the network news,’ he added.
As the crowd booed – with some yelling ‘CNN sucks’ – Trump continued on.
‘The president is your country is honoured by being nominated by the Nobel Prize,’ he said. ‘Not one mention. These people are corrupt.’
Trump on Saturday dismissed Nevada’s restrictions on crowd size because of the coronavirus pandemic and bragged his rally venue is ‘packed.’
‘We just landed in Nevada and we’re very booked up. The venue is packed. 1,000 people — many times that,’ he told reporters when he landed in Reno.
He ripped into Nevada’s Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak for not allowing him to hold his rally at his original location – the Reno airport – because the state forbids gatherings of more than 50 people because of COVID.
‘He tried to stop us. We went to different venues,’ Trump told his rally. He charged Sisolak with ‘calling venues and telling them’ not to the let the campaign hold events.
The rally was packed with several thousand people with no social distancing and few people in the crowd wearing masks. The rows of people on bleachers behind the stage, and in view of the cameras, were wearing masks.
‘We call it a protest so we can do it,’ Trump said of his rally.
The president railed against the expanded mail-in voting options Nevada’s state legislature allowed due to the coroanavirus pandemic, repeating his argument it would lead to a ‘rigged’ elections.
Multiple studies have shown mail-in votes do not lead to election fraud. And at least 80 million Americans are expected to vote by mail this year because of the pandemic.
‘The governor tried to stop us and he couldn’t but he’s in control of millions of votes,’ Trump said. ‘He’s a political hack.’
‘He’s a guy who tried to silence us by not having this but our crowd turned out much bigger,’ the president bragged as the crowd roared their approval.
‘So I’m up millions of votes he can rig the election,’ Trump said of the governor.
‘They only way they’re going to win is to rig it,’ he said of the Democrats.
‘The only way we’re tied is if they screw around with the ballots, which they will do in my opinion,’ the president noted.
‘This is the greatest scam in the history of presidential politics,’ he said of universal mail-in voting, adding that dead people and dogs are getting ballots.
‘People died, they’re getting ballots. They’re sending them to dogs. You see that? Dogs got ballots. Everybody’s getting ballots. Probably everybody but Republicans are going to get the ballots,’ he said.
He urged the crowd to be poll watchers on Election Day.
‘I hope you’re all gonna be poll watchers because with you people watching the polls it’s going to be pretty hard to cheat. I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t want to be a cheater,’ he tells supporters as they cheer.
The rally was moved from the Reno airport to the Minden-Tahoe airport approximately 45 mins away after officials canceled the Reno event out of concerns about the virus.
Nevada does not allow gatherings of more than 50 people.
Trump landed in Reno – because the 747 he was traveling on was too big to land at the Minden-Tahoe Airport – and complained he didn’t have Air Force One in the background, which he usually has at his airport rallies.
‘Why didn’t we have land here then we could have the plane in the background,’ he said to the crowd. Instead Trump took his motorcade on the 45 minute journey from Reno to Minden.
‘The Beast costs almost as much as the plane,’ Trump bragged. ‘It’s a tank.’
A crowd listens as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport
Trump railed repeatedly against Democratic rival Joe Biden at his rally
So the Trump campaign moved the rally down the Sierra Mountain range to Douglas County, a much more conservative area. The total population of about 49,000 people is an overwhelmingly Republican area.
A Trump campaign official told RGJ.com there would be adequate social distancing at the event but ‘no one from Douglas County will be enforcing anything.’
Trump expressed confidence he could win Nevada this November even though the state hasn’t voted for Republican President since 2004.
‘I’ve been here a lot in my life and I know it well. I think we’re gonna win it,’ he said upon landing in Reno.
The Trump campaign is holding several events in Nevada this weekend, hoping the state’s six electoral votes can provide a firewall should they lose a state they lost in 2016 – like Arizona.
Trump will hold another event on Sunday in Las Vegas. His original rally was canceled out of the same COVID concerns.
Instead he will speak at Xtreme Manufacturing in nearby Henderson.
Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the city had issued written and verbal warnings to Xtreme Manufacturing, reminding the company of the restrictions on social gatherings. If the company does violate the rule, it will receive a citation, she said.
Additionally the president will visit California on Monday to be briefed on the wildfires there, capping off a weekend campaign swing on the West Coast with a visiting to the devastating blazes that have killed at least 29.
‘It is about forest management. Please remember the words, very simple, forest management,’ Trump said of the fires during his rally on Saturday night.
The White House announced his California visit shortly before he left for Nevada.
‘President @realDonaldTrump will visit California on Monday where he will be briefed on the state’s wildfires,’ White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere wrote Saturday on Twitter.
President Donald Trump will visit California on Monday to be briefed on the wildfires there
More than 746,000 acres in California have burned, including the Bobcat Fire (above) in the woods in the Angeles National Forest north of Monrovia
Following that, he’ll visit McClellan Park in Sacramento County on Monday, which has served as a base for CALFire operations, Fox 11 in Los Angeles reported.
The White House has touted its support for the first responders and fire fighters in the state.
‘THANK YOU to the 28,000+ Firefighters and other First Responders who are battling wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington. I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way!,’ Trump tweeted on Friday night.
President Trump visited California after the 2018 wildfires, touring the area with then-Governor Jerry Brown and then Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom.
It is unclear if Newsom will join the president for this trip. The two men do not get along but have spoke on the phone Friday about the roaring fires devastating the West Coast.
At least 20 have been killed in California, eight in Oregon and one in Washington state as thousands of firefighters struggle to bring the blazes under control. Four people have been arrested on arson charges.
Images out of the California show orange skies, damaged property, and smoke-filled scenes.
More than 20,000 firefighters are battling the blazes.
Officials are bracing for more casualties.
‘We anticipate that number (of deaths) may potentially go up as we get back into areas that have been ravaged by flame and obviously, smoke begins to clear,’ warned Newsom, as he visited a scorched forest near the raging North Complex Fire on Friday.
The map above shows 103 fires that have already burned more than 3.4 million acres across the western United States
The August Complex Fire this week became by far the biggest recorded blaze in Californian history, ripping through 746,000 acres of dry vegetation in the state’s north, as multiple fires combined.
But it is just one of around 100 large fires on the West Coast, and other rapidly growing blazes closer to populated areas have proven deadlier.