TUCSON, Ariz. — The Trump and Biden campaigns are making their respective appeals to Arizona voters on Wednesday, with President Trump himself taking on a multi-stop tour of the state as his opponent’s running mate, Kamala Harris, does the same.
Trump’s first Arizona stop was at the banks of the Colorado River in Bullhead City. Just across the border from Nevada, the president appealed to voters in both regions, hoping to keep Arizona red and flip Nevada from blue.
“Six days from now we are going to win Arizona, we are going to win Nevada, and we are going to win four more years in the White House,” Trump began to a chorus of cheers.
“Normal life will fully resume,” if he is reelected, Trump continued. “That’s what we want, right? Normal life. And next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country.”
Trump also told the crowd of thousands gathered his oft-repeated claim that the coronavirus pandemic is “rounding the corner,” despite warnings from experts that the trend of rising cases nationwide will only continue.
The president boasted about the amount of people who gather for his rallies, and simultaneously skewered Biden for both limiting the size of his campaign events and for his decision to hold a virtual briefing with health experts instead of hitting the campaign trail on Wednesday.
“He’s such a good guy, he doesn’t want to hold big rallies,” Trump sarcastically said of his opponent.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is spending the day close to his Wilmington, Delaware home, having cast his vote for president after receiving a virtual briefing from a series of health experts on the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden was briefed at a theater in Wilmington, Delaware, by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Center for Science in the Public Interest director Dr. David Kessler, New York University medical school assistant professor Dr. Celine Grounder and Yale University associate professor of medicine Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
The Democratic presidential candidate sat on a stage with briefing materials before him in front of a screen with graphs showing the seven-day rolling average of reported daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past four months.
Kessler warned Biden, “We are in the midst of the third wave.”
At one point, Trump paused his speech to admire what he identified as a fighter jet flying by, saying: “I love that sound.”
Trump, who identified the jet as an F-35, went back to his remarks briefly before the pilot offered a nifty maneuver that caught both Trump’s and the crowd’s eye again.
The president once again offered his appreciation and segued into a dig on Democrats.
“You know how hard it is to get Democrats to pay for that?” Trump said of the display.
Trump again issued a sarcastic rebuke of Biden during his second rally of the day in Goodyear.
“If you vote for Biden it means no kids in school, no graduations, no weddings, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas, and no Fourth of July together,” Trump said, before quipping: “Other than that, you’ll have a wonderful life.”
“A vote for Sleepy Joe is a vote for the biggest tax hike in history, slashing Medicare and Social Security, and abolishing American energy,” Trump continued. “A vote for me is a vote for massive tax cuts, fair trade, strong borders, American energy independence and our police and military.”
Mentions of Biden's tax policy elicited a rousing chorus of “lock him up” from the crowd.
The president also railed against Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, after Taylor revealed he was the author behind a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name “Anonymous.”
“It turned out to be a low-level staffer, a sleaze bag who’s never even worked at the White House,” Trump said of Taylor. “This guy is a low-level lowlife that I don’t know, I have no idea who he is … His phony book was just based on fake articles and left-wing outlets.”
Taylor has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s in recent months and had repeatedly denied he was the author of the column — even to colleagues at CNN, where he has a contributor contract. He left the Trump administration in June and endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president this summer.
But on Wednesday, Taylor tweeted that Trump is “a man without character” and “it’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows.”
At Harris’ first voter mobilization event in Tucson, the candidate for vice president offered a starkly different view on President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Their events themselves highlighted the divide between the campaigns: while Trump spoke to a mostly-maskless crowd of thousands, Harris delivered a socially-distant address to a gathering of about 100 cars at a drive-in rally.
“The President of the United States is also the commander in chief, who has then as his highest responsibility to concern himself with the health and safety of the American people,” Harris said. “On that count, Donald Trump failed. Donald Trump failed us, he failed the American people.”
Harris detailed the differences between her running mate, Joe Biden, and his opponent, focusing in particular on their respective actions surrounding health care.
“On the one hand, you have a Joe Biden. Who is saying we know access to health care should be a right and not just a privilege for those who can afford it,” Harris said.
“On the other hand, you have Donald Trump,” she later continued. “Who, together with his boy Bill Barr, are in the Supreme Court right now suing to get rid of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic.”
Harris added that the president has a “weird obsession” with dismantling programs put in place by the Obama/Biden administration, most notable of which is the Affordable Care Act, known more commonly as Obamacare.
Harris tailed President Trump to Phoenix, where the vice presidential candidate participated in several smaller events within the city.
Harris first met with and took questions from Black community leaders, sitting in a wide room with plenty of space between the chairs.
When asked about her and Biden’s plans for the first 100 days in office, Harris emphasized the need to “get control of this pandemic” while also “taking into account racial disparities.”
Harris also detailed the campaign's stance on police reform, saying: "You all know I'm a former prosecutor. I know what I'm talking about."
Harris will hold a final event in Phoenix alongside Alicia Keys before departing the state in the evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.