Biden, Obama, and Trump campaign in key battleground state of Pennsylvania

President Biden and his two predecessors stumped for their party’s candidates in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania on Saturday, warning supporters that the other side poses a threat to the county.

With three days until Election Day, Biden and former President Obama joined Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman and gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro for an evening rally in Philadelphia.

“This is a defining moment for the nation, and we all must speak with one voice regardless of our party,” Biden said. “There’s no place in America for political violence. No place. No place for what we saw happen to Paul Pelosi.”

Biden went on to attack Republicans for imposing restrictions on abortion and voting while also suggesting they will cut Social Security and Medicare, referencing a plan unveiled by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (Fla.) that would sunset all federal legislation every five years.

“Your right to choose is on the ballot,” Biden said. “Your right to vote is on the ballot.  Social Security and Medicare is on the ballot.  There’s something else on the ballot: character.  Character is on the ballot.”

Obama echoed Biden’s portrayal of the high stakes in this week’s elections, noting that Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

“Democracy really is on the ballot,” Obama said. “Listen, Democrats may not be perfect, I am the first one to admit it…but right now, at this moment, with a few notable exceptions, most Republican politicians aren’t even pretending the rules apply to them anymore. They’re not pretending the facts apply anymore. They just make stuff up.”

But the former president acknowledged that issues like inflation are top of mind for voters after prices earlier in 2022 rose at a pace not seen in 40 years.

The economy and the cost of living have clocked in as top issues for voters, with surveys showing the public tends to trust Republicans more on the issue, increasing Republican chances of taking control of Congress.

“I understand that democracy might not seem like a top priority right now, Especially when you’re worried about paying the bills,” Obama said. “But when true democracy goes away — we’ve seen throughout history, we’ve seen around the world — when true democracy goes away, people get hurt. It has real consequences. This is not an abstraction.”

Meanwhile, Trump stumped in support of Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and Mastriano in Latrobe, Pa., located in the western part of the state, during an evening rally, returning the attacks on Democrats.

“There is only one choice to end this madness, and it is indeed madness,” Trump said. “If you support the decline and fall of America, then you must vote for the radical left Democrats. If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then this Tuesday you must vote Republican in a giant red wave.” 

The head-to-head rallies marked some of the final campaign events in a state where the Senate race has tightened considerably and is key to determining which party takes control, and the dueling events also denote a prelude to a potential 2024 rematch in the state between Biden and Trump.

Trump again alluded to a potential White House bid in his rally speech, one day after Axios reported that he and his team are eyeing Nov. 14 as a possible launch day for his 2024 campaign.

At one point, Trump showed rally goers a recent poll of potential 2024 Republicans that showed him at the top of the list, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who Trump called “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

“In 2024, most importantly we are going to take back our magnificent, oh, it’s so beautiful, White House,” Trump said. “We’re going to take it back and you’re going to be hearing about it very soon.”

His teasing of another presidential bid came as he railed against Democrats on immigration, inflation and foreign policy, repeatedly calling them “radical” as he also described Republicans in name only as “unpatriotic.”

“Together we are standing up against some of the most menacing forces, entrenched interests and vicious opponents our people have ever seen, we’ve never seen anything like what’s going on today,” Trump said. “Despite great outside danger, our biggest threat remains the sick, sinister and evil people from within our country.”

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