Trump said Biden “championed the NAFTA disaster” and pushed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
Trump, who arrived in Dayton just days after the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, told the crowd he would select a woman to fill the seat — to strong applause — though Ginsburg’s death has sparked a debate over whether a Senate vote should be taken before the next inauguration.
Area Republican Party organizations were provided 1,200 tickets to distribute for the event, which was attended by employees seated behind Trump from Area Wide Electric and Crown Equipment as well as construction workers from Bruns Construction, Charles Jergens Construction and Weigandt Construction.
The president stepped in front of the exuberant crowd filled with supporters of all ages. Many donned Trump regalia, American flag shirts and red Make America Great Again hats — few wore masks.
Democrats criticized Trump’s pandemic response before the rally.
“Even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, Donald Trump demands to put on a show. He’s P.T. Barnum. Unfortunately, this show could have deadly consequences,” said Rhine McLin, former Dayton mayor and vice chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was met by loud booing when he advocated for mask wearing while addressing the crowd before Trump’s arrival.
At one point, the crowd began chanting “open up,” likely a reference to Ohio’s coronavirus-related regulations on businesses.
Husted also got a lackluster reaction when he asked how many people would vote early or absentee. The crowd cheered loudly when he asked how many people would vote in person.
The president in his speech sowed doubt again on the legitimacy of a fair election.
“They know it’s a fraud waiting to happen,” he said. “(Democrats) want to have a mess and fight it out in the courts.”
Trump said he had “totally rebuilt our military.”
He touted work on weapons: “Nobody has the weaponry we have .. and hopefully we don’t have to use them,” he said.
Trump said his tariffs on steel and aluminum rejuvenated Ohio’s mills. But Democrats say tariffs have devastated Ohio’s farmers.
Over the past three decades, Ohio has cultivated a soybean market with China, Japan and other countries that had accounted for more than 40% of the state’s crop, said Joe Logan, Ohio Farmers Union president, during a virtual news conference by the Ohio Democratic Party on Monday.
“What (Trump) has done was to break apart the network of international markets for agricultural commodities and virtually decimate our market for soybeans,” he said. “The billions of tons of soybeans that we use to send to China … are still going to China, but they’re coming from Brazil.”
Trump said his administration’s support payments of $28 billion have taken care of farmers.
Jobs and manufacturing remain heavy on the minds of Ohioans.
In July, the U.S. trade deficit jumped to $63.6 billion its highest point since July 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Trump ran in 2016 pledging to reduce the trade deficit.
Trump said the economy is rebounding and the country regained 10.6 million jobs in recent months. But the country had shed more than twice that number, according to Labor Department data.
Steve Staub of Staub Manufacturing Solutions, a metal fabricator in Dayton, said Trump has been good for the manufacturing business.
“Trump promised to be tough on trade, and he kept that promise,” he said. “China cheats, plain and simple.”
What lines got the biggest cheers, jeers from Trump’s speech?
- Mention of Jim Jordan
- “Nobody’s done more for our military than what I’ve done.”
- “Buy American. Hire American.”
- About criticisms of his personality: “Who the hell cares about my personality?”
- “We will also live by our national motto: ‘In God we trust.’”
- Reference to standing during the national anthem.
- “We love Ohio. We love Dayton.”
- Mention of Hillary Clinton
- Mention of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican
- Mention the press.