WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ripped Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for his polices on trade, energy and immigration in a searing speech delivered near the former vice president's birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania, hours before Biden was set to formally accept his nomination.
"Tonight, Joe Biden will speak at the Democrat Convention - and I am sure he will remind us that he was born in Scranton," Trump told the crowed in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. "But here's what Joe Biden won't tell you: he left Scranton 70 years ago and he has spent the last half century in Washington selling you out and ripping you off!"
Born in 1942 in Scranton, Biden moved with his family to New Castle, a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware, at the age of 10.
Calling Biden "a puppet of the radical left movement," the president claimed that trade policies adopted by the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice president, killed manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, and that the Green New Deal -- a proposal centering on clean energy that is championed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to counter climate change, but something Biden has actually never explicitly endorsed -- will strip Pennsylvanians of their energy supply.
He also slammed Biden for hiking taxes on Americans, implementing stricter gun control rules that would "eviscerate the Second Amendment," providing "free healthcare for illegal aliens," and expanding "deadly sanctuary cities," among others, while touting his own policies ranging from cutting taxes and building the U.S.-Mexico border wall to propping up workers in the traditional energy sector to emphasizing "law and order."
The president's highly political speech was part of his grander counterprogramming not only scheduled to coincide with the Democratic National Convention running from Monday to Thursday, but also chosen to be rolled out in key swing states that, in addition to Pennsylvania, also include Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Adding to the speeches delivered by the president in the battlefield states is the Trump campaign's multi-million-dollar ad blitz occupying the homepages of YouTube and other major media outlets this week to smear the Biden campaign.
On the Democratic side, party luminaries addressing the DNC in the last three days rendered thinly-veiled critiques of Trump and his presidency in an effort to mobilize Biden's electoral base, with former President Barack Obama saying Wednesday that Trump has "shown no interest in putting in the work" of the president, and that he "hasn't grown into the job because he can't."
Dissatisfied with Trump, a number of high-profile Republicans have sided with Biden, including former Ohio governor and longtime Trump critic John Kasich, former President George W. Bush's Secretary of State Collin Powell, former Department of Homeland Security official in the Trump administration Miles Taylor, former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, among others.