Entering the home stretch of his reelection campaign, President Trump told supporters in North Carolina Tuesday that Democrat Kamala Harris “could never be your first woman president.”
At a rally held outdoors at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, Trump took aim at Harris, the first Black and first Indian-American to be nominated for vice president of a major party in the U.S.
“People don’t like her. Nobody likes her. She could never be the first woman president,” Trump said. “She could never be. That would be an insult to our country.”
As he has at past rallies, Trump noted that Harris’ poor performance in the Democratic primary, and painted her as farther to the left than liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“You know who’s further left than crazy Bernie? Ka-ma-la,” Trump said, mocking the pronunciation of her name. “Ka-ma-la. You remember she left the race — sort of interesting that they picked her because in theory they should be able to win California.”
It was an escalation in a growing war of words between Trump and Harris, who has stepped up her presence on the campaign trail in recent days in support of former Vice President Joe Biden. Over the weekend, Harris made headlines by questioning whether Trump was rushing a vaccine to market ahead of the 2020 election, before it could be shown to be effective and safe.
“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump,” Harris told CNN, adding that she worried that the president would silence public health officials. "If past is prologue ... they'll be muzzled. They'll be suppressed," she said.
During a Labor Day news conference, Trump blasted Harris for those remarks.
"Okay. Let's disparage the vaccine," Trump told reporters. "That's so bad for this country. So bad for the world to even say that."
Spokespeople for Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Trump’s speech.
Along with taking aim at Harris, Trump touted economic performance prior to the coronavirus pandemic and vowed booming markets would return. Trump’s rally crowd of several hundred seemed to be a clear violation of current social distancing regulations in North Carolina, also vowed Republicans would reopen states that still have restrictions. He mocked Democrats for promoting mask wearing and Biden for speaking in front of small, socially distant groups.
Overall, the president cast the coming election in dramatic terms. He predicted Democrats would engage in “thieving, and stealing, and robbing” to ensure victory. Trump also suggested Biden would cause economic “collapse” and described the Democratic ticket as being in lockstep with rioters who have engaged in vandalism and looting in recent months at protests against racial injustice in cities around the country.
“On November 3rd, Americans will decide whether we will quickly return to record prosperity or whether we allow the same left wing extremists that have no idea what they’re doing to burn down buildings, or take control of government, set fire to a whole country,” Trump said, adding, “If our foreign adversaries were devising a scheme to cripple America, they could hardly do better than ... Biden, Kamala Harris.”
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