Economy against pandemic: Donald Trump and Joe Biden campaigned Thursday in Florida, a key state where the American president, behind in the polls, touted the latest growth figures, while his rival has stepped up attacks on his management of COVID-19.
“In five days, we will win Florida, we will win four more years! “Launched, from Tampa, the American president, wearing a red cap” Make America Great Again “.
Rarely, he was accompanied by his wife, Melania, who spoke briefly.
“A voice for President Trump is a voice for a better America,” she said, sunglasses on.
The US president praised the increase, announced a few hours earlier, of 33.1% of gross domestic product in the third quarter (annualized).
“No country has numbers like these,” he said, praising “explosive economic growth” and promising a 2021 year of all records.
“So happy that this fantastic GDP figure came out before November 3,” he tweeted earlier.
But this number, as spectacular as it is, comes after an equally historic plunge of 31.4% in the spring.
It was also mainly supported by the generous aid paid by the federal government in response to the pandemic, and most of which have now ended.
Two styles of candidates, two campaign strategies, two radically different approaches to the coronavirus epidemic: the inhabitants of the “Sunshine State” attended a concentrate of this 2020 campaign.
The American president, who mobilizes large crowds wherever he goes, most often not concerned with wearing a mask and physical distancing, makes the size of these gatherings his main campaign asset.
At the slightest opportunity, he mocks his opponent, unable according to him to arouse such enthusiasm. And Donald Trump, 74, is now openly upset by the too much attention given, to his liking, to this virus which has killed more than 228,000 people in the United States.
“In five days, we’re going to win Florida, and we’re going to win four more years in the White House,” the Republican tweeted with video of his crowded rally.
Much more withdrawn since the start of the campaign, Joe Biden, who has hardly left his small town of Wilmington, Delaware, emphasizes the need to set an example in the face of this deadly pandemic.
“Trump’s meetings are ultra-propagative acts, he is spreading the virus across the country,” denounced the former US vice president, in front of a few hundred people who attended this rally in ” drive-in », Sitting in their cars or standing next to them.
Wearing a mask, respecting barrier gestures “is not taking a political position, it is a patriotic duty, for the love of God! He exclaimed.
” He [Trump] furthermore spreads division and discord. We need a president who will bring us together, ”continued the ex-right arm of Barack Obama, who presents himself as a unifier of a divided America.
Florida holds “the keys”
Wearing his famous glasses ” aviator Joe Biden, 77, also attacked the Republican billionaire’s economic record, one of his strengths in the polls.
“We left Donald Trump with a strong economy,” he said. “And like everything he inherited, he squandered it. “
Struggling in Wisconsin and Michigan, two states he won extremely narrowly in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump cannot afford to lose Florida as well if he wants to hope for a second term.
A victory for Joe Biden in the great Southeast state, where the results are expected to be announced early enough on the evening of November 3, could quickly end the suspense of election night.
However, the two septuagenarians are neck and neck in this state which represents 29 votes in the electoral college, out of the 270 needed to win the White House.
Joe Biden pointed out in front of his supporters: “The heart and soul of the country is at stake. Right here in Florida, it’s up to you, you hold the keys. If Florida turns blue, ”the Democrats’ color,“ it’s over! “
Like Joe Biden in Delaware and Donald Trump in Florida, more than 80 million voters have already voted in advance, a historic record.
Crisscrossing the United States at an intense pace, the American president was forced to postpone another meeting scheduled for Thursday evening in North Carolina until Monday. In question ? Strong gusts.
“I love you North Carolina […] See you Monday !!! Donald Trump tweeted.