Obama, Trump battle for western Pennsylvania with dueling rallies in final midterm push

LATROBE, Pa. — Two former presidents squared off with dueling rallies Saturday in western Pennsylvania, where they faced off against locked-in Senate candidates in one of the cycle’s most important races and offered visions extremely different from America as a final mid Road the fight is centered on keystone state.

Around noon, Barack Obama rallied with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate nominee, as well as Democratic candidates in local House races on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Hours later, Donald Trump campaigned with the Republican Senate candidate Mehmet OzGOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastrianoand downside Republicans at a regional airport in Latrobe, about an hour east of Pittsburgh.

The focus of both former presidents is on which party candidate wins one of the nation’s most sought-after Senate seats.

Fetterman and Oz are locked in a neck and neck race which could determine the control of the Senate. If Republicans retain control of the seat currently held by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., it is likely that they could regain control of the congressional chamber. If Fetterman wins, the Democrats have a chance to retain a majority in the Senate.

Obama described the fight as one between a Democratic nominee in Fetterman who will fight for working-class Pennsylvanians and to improve the economy, protect health care, abortion rights and democracy. He faces a Republican Party increasingly focused on the ability to ‘own the libs’, as Obama put it, and do whatever it takes to win Trump’s approval, whether that means rejecting principles. and sacred democratic norms that underpin the American electoral system.

Trump, on the other hand, called Oz potentially the last line of defense against what he described as a hellish landscape of crime, inflation and undocumented immigration to the country. But he also made sure to repeatedly inject his false claims that widespread electoral malfeasance cost him his re-election bid, suggesting without evidence that Tuesday’s results could be tainted and teased that he will announce his candidacy. in the 2024 presidential election in a “very, very, very short period of time.”

Former President Barack Obama speaks to supporters of Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Former President Barack Obama speaks to supporters of Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman in Pittsburgh on Saturday.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Speaking in front of Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, Obama began by warning of a rising tide of antisemitism and overall”dangerous climatein the country resulting from social media polarization and over-the-top political rhetoric. He then argued that the election was a matter of “who will fight for you?”

Obama took on inflation and recognized how much rising costs are hurting Americans. But he said inflation isn’t just a problem at home, but abroadand said Republicans’ solution would simply be to “dump” Social Security and Medicare while giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

“If there was an asteroid heading towards Earth,” Obama said, Republicans would “walk into the room and say, ‘You know what we need tax cuts for the rich.'”

He accused Republicans of not being “interested in actually solving problems.”

“Pretty much every GOP politician seems obsessed with two things,” he said. “They want to own the libs. Let’s get the libs. And let’s get Donald Trump’s endorsement.”

Always with Fetterman recover from a stroke Earlier this year, Obama said the health crisis “hasn’t changed who he is, it hasn’t changed what he cares about.”

“It didn’t change his values, his heart, his fight,” Obama said. “When he arrives in the United States Senate, he will represent you, and that is what you deserve.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, November 5, 2022.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters on the University of Pittsburgh campus on Saturday.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Oz, Obama said, would be a vote for Trump in the event of another close election in 2024. He went on to explain why protecting democracy should be a priority for voters.

“Sometimes it feels like the government isn’t making enough progress on the issues that matter to you and your family,” he said. “I understand that because sometimes progress is slow.”

“But let me tell you something, Pennsylvania, we’ve seen throughout history that we’ve seen around the world, what happens when you give up on democracy,” he continued, adding, ” When that happens, people get hurt. It has real-life consequences.”

Oz and Fetterman spoke briefly at their respective rallies, with Fetterman joking that “if you’re going to give a speech after recovering from a stroke, you really don’t want to have to come in front of Barack Obama.” He added that he was “proud to stand with a 100% sedition-free president,” highlighting Oz’s campaign with Trump. Fetterman has pledged to support a number of Democratic-backed policy initiatives, including eliminating the Senate filibuster or the 60-vote threshold to advance most legislation.

Oz, meanwhile, sought to portray himself at Trump’s rally as a middle-of-the-road moderate Republican who was in favor of bolstering public safety, securing the border and allowing “legal immigration because” his father had benefited from a such opportunity.

“What surgeons do is tackle big problems,” he said. “And we’re doing it successfully. In my case, mending broken hearts by working with everyone, making sure to unite people in the operating room, not divide them. The same will work for our nation.”

Former President Donald Trump watches Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on November 5, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump watches Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on November 5, 2022. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

No one on Saturday spoke longer than Trump, who addressed his supporters at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport for about two hours, addressing a number of burning cultural issues, his false allegations of widespread “cheating” during 2020 elections and the promotion of Oz candidacies. and Mastriano.

“We are a nation that in many ways has become a joke,” Trump said near the end of his speech. He later promised that Republicans would “stand up to radical left Democrats and dangerous, unpatriotic RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

Teasing his presidential bid, Trump said he didn’t want to make an official announcement in order to distract from Oz, Mastriano and other Republicans.

“So I want the focus to be on them,” Trump said, adding, “And very, very soon – you’ll be surprised how quickly – but first we have to win a historic victory for the Republicans. November 8.”

He called the upcoming election “the most important midterm election in American history” – a point Democrats at the previous rally agreed on. Oz, Trump said, is “desperately” needed in the Senate where “he could very well be the deciding vote.”

Oz, he added, would be “much better than the senator he replaces” to Toomey, who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and has campaigned alongside Oz ever since. months.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport on November 5, 2022 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz on Saturday in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Win McNamee/Getty Images

He spoke about a number of issues animating Conservative voters throughout the election cycle, including the theme of “parents’ rights” and discussions of race and gender in schools.

“We will get critical race theory from our schools, our military and all parts of our federal, state and local governments,” he said, adding, “No teacher should ever be allowed to teach transgender to our children without parental assistance”. consent.”

He falsely claimed that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that the state’s 2020 election was rigged. (The tribunal had judged that undated or incorrectly dated absentee ballots are expected to be rejected in the next election. The number of these bulletins in 2020 was well below Trump’s margin of defeat against President Joe Biden).

Trump then opened the door to the claim that Oz or Mastriano could be victims of a fraudulent election.

“Remember, at 9:30 p.m. at night…I was up almost a million votes,” Trump said. “And then all of a sudden, like magic, it’s gone. And I’m so worried about Oz and Doug.”

“We can’t let that happen,” he continued, adding, “And we’re not going to let that happen again.”

Much of the rest of Trump’s speech was coasting. At one point, when showing crowd polls for the potential 2024 Republican primary, he referred to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another potential 2024 candidate, as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

“I fly,” Trump said, “about 80 percent of what I say.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *