Former President Donald Trump campaigns for Republicans in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Saturday in what will be his first rally since federal agents raided his Florida home last month.
Trump will speak at Mohegan Sun Arena in support of Doug Mastriano, who is running for governor against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Schapiro, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, who faces Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman in the Senate race American.
Oz and Mastriano fired up the crowd ahead of Trump’s speech as they slammed Biden and a slew of Democratic policies from COVID to immigration.
“I think the only thing Joe Biden has rebuilt better is the Republican Party,” Oz said.
Supporters of the former president lined the parking lot hours before Trump took the stage.
Trump’s appearance in Pennsylvania comes just days after President Joe Biden’s back-to-back visits to the battleground state, during which he condemned Trump and his fellow “MAGA Republicans” as a dominant force in the GOP d today and a threat to American democracy.
“Too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden said in a prime-time address from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on Thursday. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Biden’s accelerated rhetoric comes as he seeks to recast the November election as a choice between those who want to save the “soul of the nation” or those he believes are a danger to democracy.
Trump supporters lining up to see the former president make remarks criticized Biden’s rhetoric and said it only energized them further ahead of the midterms. Evy Mecjes and Debbie Latsha called Biden’s speech “very divisive.”
“We are now the bad guys. We are the terrorists of the United States of America,” Mecjes said.
Latsha said Biden’s speech showed how “afraid” Democrats are of the power Trump still has over the Republican Party.
“They’re kind of scared of all the people who stand up and have their eyes opened, realizing what’s really going on in our government,” Latsha said. “So let’s see if we can crush them a little more and divide people a little more. I mean, there was nothing unifying about it.”
They defended Trump supporters, citing school closings during the pandemic and inflation as examples of how they believed Democrats had hurt Americans.
“People are rising up because we’re pissed off with the way our government is treating us and you know, President Biden doesn’t speak for the people,” Mecjes remarked.
Biden will return to Pennsylvania on Sunday, spending part of his Labor Day weekend in Pittsburgh.
While Republicans have generally been favored to regain control of both houses of Congress this midterm cycle, recent Democratic legislative victories and some positive economic news have bolstered the Democrats’ chances of retaining their majority.
Amid such high stakes, Trump’s rally also comes as the fallout continues from the FBI’s August 8 search of his Mar-a-Lago estate, where agents recovered classified documents as part of a an investigation into his handling of presidential records after leaving office.
Lawyers for the Justice Department and Trump faced off in court Thursday over whether there should be a judge-ordered independent review of the Mar-a-Lago documents by a special master. Judge Aileen Cannon has yet to rule on the matter.
On Friday, Judge Cannon unveiled a detailed inventory showing what the FBI seized during the search. The list indicates that some documents bearing classification marks ranging from confidential to top secret were found intermingled with newspaper clippings, photographs and other documents.
The inventory also revealed that the government had seized dozens of folders that were empty but bore either “CLASSIFIED” banners or “Return to Secretary of Staff/Military Assistant” labels.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing as he publicly hits back at the search.
Those in line to hear him speak on Saturday expressed their belief that Trump was being unfairly targeted.
“I don’t feel like he did anything wrong. I think it will get out eventually, but they just want to turn people against Trump,” said Mountain Top voter Barbara. , Pennsylvania.