CLEVELAND — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a last-minute campaign stop Monday at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport to talk to supporters about taxes, the coronavirus, America’s military, climate change and the economy.
Biden opened his remarks by thanking U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who encouraged him to make a stop in Cleveland before heading to Pennsylvania for the rest of this campaign tour.
“We married up. He married a Pulitzer Prize winner. I married a professor,” Biden said.
Democratic Representatives Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Joyce Beatty, and Tim Ryan were also in attendance.
Biden spoke to the power that voters have this election.
“The power to change the country is in your hands. I don't care how much Donald Trump tries. There's nothing, nothing he's going to do to stop the people of this nation from voting.”
Biden, who walked on stage with a mask on, pointed to President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, asking voters to imagine if Trump would wear a mask instead of mocking those who wear it.
Biden attacked Trump’s response during a campaign rally in Florida where he hinted that he would fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, his administration's top infectious disease expert.
“Elect me and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci. And we are going to fire Donald Trump,” Biden said.
Economy and jobs
Biden mentioned the loss of jobs and the importance of Ohio companies, using Goodyear and Lordstown as examples.
“He told the families at the GM plant in Lordstown — he said, quote, 'Don't move. Don't sell your house,' but then the plant shutdown,” Biden said while talking about an Ohio woman he met during the first presidential debate in Cleveland whose husband had to take another job in a different state.
Biden said he would hold companies that would ship jobs overseas accountable.
“No government contract will be given to a company that doesn't have all the products, including a supply line, all products made in America, every product. And our future remains right here, right here in Ohio. Folks, we're in a position that we can do so much more, so much more, folks. Donald Trump forgot and betrayed Ohio workers.”
Biden said he sees an opportunity to be had with climate change, including the creation of jobs with the electric vehicle market, which he says would bring jobs to the Buckeye State.
“We can own the electric vehicle market, creating millions of jobs here in Cleveland and in Ohio and in Detroit. Folks, I see the federal government harnessing the purchasing power by buying these electric vehicles made in America, made in Ohio, made in Detroit, made in America,” Biden said.
Biden said he would protect the healthcare of Ohioans. He claimed President Trump’s rush on a Supreme Court nomination was for one reason: to destroy the Affordable Care Act.
He claimed 5 million Ohioans would lose protections for pre-existing conditions.
Biden said he would increase subsidies and lower premiums and deductible and reduce drug costs by 60%.
“Folks, it's going to cost more money. But guess I'm going to pay for it. Trump's going to start paying some taxes. We're going to make sure we keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
Biden reaffirmed his support for the country’s military, talking about his son Beau Biden who served in Iraq.
“He was not a loser. He was not a sucker. He was a patriot, just like all your sons and daughters, parents and grandparents who served,” Biden said.
What his visit means
Biden's appearance in Cleveland means his campaign believes the state may be in play. President Trump won Ohio handily in 2016. A loss in Ohio would severely hinder the president's path to reelection. Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris made a stop in Cleveland two weekends ago.
After Cleveland, Biden will go to western Pennsylvania and visit Monaca and Pittsburgh. Many pundits believe that the candidate who wins Pennsylvania will ultimately win the election.
According to one poll recently conducted by Quinnipiac University, Biden is leading President Donald Trump by five points in Ohio, though that poll is well outside the trends of other recent polls, which mostly show Trump slightly ahead, but close enough for the state to be considered a toss-up.
Among likely voters in Ohio, the Quinnipiac poll found that 48% support Biden and 43% support Trump. This is a significant shift from the previous polls conducted by Quinnipiac on Oct. 14 and Sept. 24, which both showed Biden ahead by just one point – 48 to 47. While the latest poll shows Biden with a slim lead over the president, it still falls within the margin of error, as did those previous.