Fresh off accepting the Republican Party’s nomination, President Donald Trump has sown fear about the implications of a Joe Biden victory to voters in battleground states with just over two months until election day.
Trump held a rally in New Hampshire on Friday night as he continues to flout coronavirus guidelines and launches an aggressive travel schedule heading into the fall campaign as he looks to close Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s lead in public and private polling.
In his convention finale a day earlier, Trump blasted Biden as a hapless career politician who will endanger Americans’ safety.
Trump opened his Friday rally with rant against demonstrators who accosted guests departing his Thursday convention speech at the White House and at times needed to be escorted by police officers to safety.
It marked his latest attempt to frame the general election as a dire choice between two futures for the nation – a theme he was expected to amplify on the campaign trail.
“They walked out to a bunch of thugs,” Trump said. “Unhinged, manic rage. You ought to see last night in Washington, it was a disgrace.”
Trump said he directed White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to study how to call in the National Guard to the nation’s capital. Trump previously ordered federal troops to the district in May amid protests over the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“We’re not supposed to go in unless we call it an insurrection, and that’s a big statement,” Trump said. “But you know what we’re going to do. … We’re going to have to look at it because we’re not going to let that happen to people that go to the White House to celebrate our country.”
Trump said the protesters were “anarchists,” adding: “They’re just looking for trouble. Has nothing to do with George Floyd. Has nothing to do with anything. They don’t even know who George Floyd is..”
“The agitators will go from rioting in the streets to running the halls of government,” he added, saying voters needed to support him to “save democracy from the mob.”
“No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” he added.
Speaking in New Hampshire, a state he lost in 2016 by fewer than 2000 votes and is a top pickup opportunity for him in 2020, Trump repeated unfounded allegations that thousands of voters were bussed into the state from neighboring Massachusetts four years ago.
While the coronavirus kills 1000 Americans each day, Trump defied his own administration’s pandemic guidelines on Thursday to speak for more than an hour to a tightly packed, largely mask-less crowd.
Trump’s pace of travel is expected to pick up to a near-daily pace. Biden, who has largely weathered the pandemic from his Delaware home, announced Thursday that he will soon resume limited campaign travel.
Trump mocked Biden’s announcement, saying: “Today it was announced that Joe Biden is coming out of the basement,” saying it was “because the poll numbers have totally swung.”