Speaking to a small gathering of union members, Biden emphasized the differences between him and Trump — on the economy, their responses to the coronavirus pandemic and their ability to unite the country — and said that workers across the country had been “gutted by President Trump’s broken promises and reckless trade wars.”
“Folks, this is it. The election is here,” Biden said. “The choice couldn’t be more stark, the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Biden accused Trump of being able only to “see the world from Park Avenue,” whereas he said his perspective was “from Scranton,” a comparison the former vice president has tried to drive home in recent weeks. He warned the crowd that Trump was seeking to destroy the Affordable Care Act, even as the coronavirus pandemic was increasing the need for access to health-care coverage, and spoke of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on working-class people.
“America deserves a president who understands what people are going through,” Biden said. “You’re facing real challenges right now, and the last thing you need is a president who exacerbates them.”
Unlike in his previous campaign stop in Arizona, Biden made no direct mention of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis or of his actions since then. Earlier Saturday, Trump had held his first public event since being hospitalized a week ago, a crowded gathering on the South Lawn of the White House where there was little social distancing among guests.
By contrast, Biden gave his speech in Erie in the parking lot outside of the training facility of the United Association Plumbers Local 27, which he had toured earlier. After he was introduced, Biden did a light jog up to the lectern wearing a disposable surgical mask, which he removed before speaking. Behind him was an array of pipes; in front of him, about