LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is predicting the destruction of the United States if his fellow Republicans don’t deliver a massive electoral surge Tuesday. Democrats, led by President Joe Biden and two other former presidents, are warning that abortion rights, Social Security and even democracy itself are at stake.
Three of the six living presidents delivered grim closing messages Saturday in battleground Pennsylvania heading into the final weekend of the 2022 midterm elections, but their words echoed across the country as millions of North -Americans voted to decide the balance of power in Washington and in the main state capitals. . Polls across America will close on Tuesday, but more than 39 million people have already voted.
On Sunday, Biden was scheduled to campaign in suburban New York, while Trump headed to Florida.
“If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then on Tuesday you’re going to have to vote Republican in a giant red wave,” Trump told thousands of supporters while campaigning in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, describing the U.S. as “a country in decline”.
Earlier in the day, Biden shared the stage with former President Barack Obama in Philadelphia, the former campaign partners campaigning together for the first time since Biden took office. In neighboring New York, even former President Bill Clinton, largely absent from national politics in recent years, was standing up for his party.
“Getting mad and angry is not an option,” Obama charged. “On Tuesday, let’s make sure our country doesn’t go back 50 years.”
Not everyone, it seemed, was on message when the weekend began.
Even before arriving in Pennsylvania, Biden was facing new political trouble after upsetting some in his own party for promoting plans to shut down fossil fuel plants in favor of green energy. Although he made the comments in California the day before, the fossil fuel industry is one of the largest employers in Pennsylvania.
Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the president owed coal workers across the country an apology. He called Biden’s comments “offensive and disgusting.”
Trump seized on the riff in western Pennsylvania, charging that Biden “has resumed the war on coal, your coal.”
The White House said Biden’s words were “twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; we regret that anyone hearing these statements was offended” and that he was “commenting on a fact of economics and technology.”
Democrats are deeply concerned about their slim majorities in the House and Senate as voters chafe at Biden’s leadership amid rising inflation, worries about crime and widespread pessimism about the country’s direction. History suggests that the Democrats, as the party in power, will suffer significant losses in the midterms.
Trump looked to Florida while campaigning in Pennsylvania, slapping the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis. After showing recent presidential poll numbers on big screens, Trump called DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP challenger, “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
Trump’s weekend trips were part of a late blitz that will also take him to Ohio. He expects a strong GOP party Tuesday to build momentum for the 2024 race that is expected to launch in the days or weeks after the polls close.
Again and again on Saturday, Trump falsely claimed that he lost the 2020 election only because Democrats cheated, while raising the possibility of voter fraud this coming week. In part because of this rhetoric, federal intelligence agencies have warned of the possibility of political violence by far-right extremists in the coming days.
“Everybody, I promise you, in a very, very, very short period of time, will be happy,” Trump said of another White House offer. “But first we must win a historic victory for Republicans on November 8.”
Biden’s address in Pennsylvania was largely the same as he has been giving for weeks, highlighting a bag of his major legislative achievements while warning that abortion rights, voting rights, Social Security and Medicare is at risk if Republicans take control of Congress.
The president highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August by the Democratic-led Congress, which includes several health care provisions popular with older adults and the less well-off, including a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket medical expenses and $35. monthly limit per insulin prescription. The new law also requires companies that raise prices faster than general inflation to pay a rebate to Medicare.
But with a bigger and more energetic crowd in his home state, Biden’s energy seemed heightened.
“We must reaffirm the values that have defined us for a long time,” Biden said of threats to democracy. “We are good people. I know that.”
He added: “Get out and vote!”
Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. And follow AP’s election coverage of the 2022 election at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.
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