About 400 miles away, Trump also headlined a rally in the regional town of Latrobe, punching two of his approved candidates: famed physician Mehmet Oz, who is vying for a Senate seat against Democrat rival John Fetterman, and far-right state politician Doug Mastriano, who is trying to run for governor of the state of Pennsylvania against former Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Standing by a huge sign that read “Joe Biden owes Pennsylvania gas money,” Trump accused Democrats of “waging a war on energy in Pennsylvania,” jeopardizing jobs, and being responsible for the rise in the cost of living.
He once again hinted that he would soon make a decision about his plans to run for president — an announcement that axios reported last week, could happen as early as November 14.
“I’m not going to tell you now,” Trump teased, as the crowd cheered feverishly. “But I promise you that in the next – very, very, very short time – you will be so happy.”
The fact that three presidents have descended on Pennsylvania is a sign of how pivotal this battlefield is to the Nov. 8 midterm elections, which will decide who controls the U.S. Congress — and, in turn, the country’s direction for the next two years. .
Pennsylvania was seen as the Democrats’ best shot at securing a seat in the Senate, which could have given the party the balance of power in the all-important chamber.
However, a recent debate in which Fetterman, who is still recovering from a stroke, struggled to compose sentences, has raised concerns about his suitability for the job and the lack of transparency in his campaign’s health status.
Fetterman got a much-needed boost this week when Oprah Winfrey, who is largely responsible for launching “Dr Oz’s career,” endorsed Fetterman — a move Democrats hope will increase their chances with women and the black community.
Obama also spoke about the importance of voting in the midterm elections, where turnout has traditionally been lower than in presidential elections, and where the tide tends to turn against the party that controls the White House.
“When I was president, I was slapped in the face in midterm elections,” he told the crowd, before explaining the consequences.
“Had we kept the Senate in 2014, we would have had a very different Supreme Court making decisions about our most fundamental rights. So midterms are no joke.”
The former president has criss-crossed the state in an effort to boost Democrats’ fortunes as they fend off an expected “Republican red wave.” Therefore, Manchin’s comments dealt a blow to the party and fueled the Republican narrative that Biden is out of touch with the plight of struggling Americans.
The controversial senator is known as a “hold out” within his party because of his propensity to vote against Democrats in the interest of West Virginia, a traditionally conservative state that supported Trump as president.
In response to Manchin’s comments, the White House released a statement saying the president spoke of an ongoing “energy transition” that would “help all Americans in all parts of the country, with more jobs and better opportunities.”
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