Muskegon – President Donald Trump tried on Saturday to tie Democratic rival Joe Biden to his party’s radical left during a rally on Saturday that was attended by thousands outside a Muskegon airport hangar.

The Republican president also insisted that Governor Gretchen Whitmer needs to loosen more COVID-19 restrictions, even though the Michigan Supreme Court has already invalidated her emergency executive orders because the 1945 law she relied on was unconstitutional. . Since then, its state Department of Health and Human Services has issued new epidemic orders to wear masks and limit the capabilities of businesses.

President Donald Trump speaks during an election rally at Muskegon County Airport on Saturday, October 17, 2020, in Norton Shores. (Photo: Carlos Osorio, AP)

“You have to get your governor to open his state,” Trump said cheerfully. “And open your schools. … The schools must be open.”

Michigan schools have had the option of giving in-person classes or teaching online courses. Many larger school districts have chosen to take online courses, while others have given in-person classes or a mixture of online or in-person classes.

In response to Trump’s statement, the crowd started shouting “Shut it up, shut it down, shut it down”.

It reminded audiences from Trump’s 2016 election campaign, who sang the line when Trump said Democrat Hillary Clinton should be locked up for sending emails to an insecure server in her home as secretary of state. Then FBI Director James Comey said Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted.

The chants in Muskegon also came after federal and state authorities charged 14 men an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer, storm the Michigan Capitol and potentially start a civil war.

The Democratic governor replied on Twitter: “This is exactly the rhetoric that has endangered the lives of me, my family and other government officials as we try to save the lives of our fellow American citizens. It has to stop.”

Whitmer also criticized Trump in the wake of the plot revelation for failing to denounce white supremacists and hatred.

The Republican president told the rally that the Democratic governor should have thanked him since federal authorities foiled the plot against her, reiterating what he had said on Twitter more than a week ago. “I don’t tolerate any extreme violence,” Trump tweeted. “Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your president!”

At the rally, the president also insisted that Biden would be linked to the Democratic Socialists and the radical left if he was elected.

“They crave power and God help us if they get it,” he said.

For example, the president pointed to the firing of a Michigan teacher for tweeting about Trump. Whoever the person is, “we love you,” Trump said.

Walled Lake teacher Justin Kucera was fired after tweeting about Trump and “liberals”. Kucera, a 28-year-old social studies teacher at Walled Lake Western High School, was not fired for a tweet in support of the president, but for a response that was later deleted saying, “Liberals suck man. “, according to a copy of the teacher’s personal file obtained by The Detroit News by requesting public documents.

Kucera was offered his job the day after his story went viral, but turned down the offer convinced that “the matter would follow him to class.”

The official reason for the teacher’s dismissal was “a lack of professional judgment,” according to a July 17 dismissal letter that followed two Zoom meetings in which he was asked about his July 6 tweets about the president and liberals.

The Zoom meetings of July 10 and July 15 were not recorded, but reports from two employees who attended the meetings indicate that Kucera said he was trying to be sarcastic when he wrote “Liberals suck man.” He removed the post when he realized that “sarcasm is not seen well on Twitter”.

The crowded event comes 17 days before the November 3 election, and the state has recorded the highest number of cases in a week since the pandemic began, with 10,241 cases. The previous weekly high was 9,768 during April 5-11.

“I think this is an indicator for the country that the state of Michigan is at stake,” House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering said Saturday afternoon. “The fact that Joe Biden and President Trump are both visiting Michigan is something that should worry Democrats across the country.

“All eyes are on Michigan again. We stayed here four years ago and it will be the same result. “

Trump won the state with 10,704 votes in 2016, his smallest national margin of victory.

Trump’s son Eric, Vice President Mike Pence, and his daughter-in-law Lara have visited Michigan for the past six days. Daughter Ivanka Trump is headed to Alto on Monday, the Trump campaign said Saturday.

The campaign also increased TV advertising spending here this week, according to data from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network nonprofit.

But polls showed the president behind Biden in key battlefield states, including Michigan. Biden led Trump from 48% to 39% in a Detroit News-WDIV poll of 600 likely Michigan voters, who were interviewed from September 30 to October 3. The survey had a plus-minus 4 percentage points margin of error.

Trump last visited the state on September 10, when he lured thousands of people to a hangar at Freeland airport near Midland and Saginaw.

Biden has visited three times since early September, stopping in Detroit and Warren on September 9, Grand Rapids on October 2, and Southfield and Detroit on Friday.

In Southfield, the former vice president accused Trump of not doing enough to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and racism in the country.

Unlike Trump, who has held large outdoor demonstrations across the country, Biden has spoken in small events – usually not open to the public – with dozens of people wearing masks and socially six feet apart. other. The former Delaware senator held an automotive rally Friday night at Detroit’s State Fairgrounds.

The country hasn’t “turned the corner” when it comes to the pandemic, Biden said Friday.

“It’s not disappearing. In fact, it’s on the rise again,” he said.

Michigan reported its two biggest ever days for new COVID-19 cases this week with 2,030 new cases on Thursday and 2,015 new cases on Friday amid fears that a second wave of the virus could hit the state.

Glenn Kangas, 82, of Cadillac was one of thousands gathered in Muskegon for the president’s rally. Kangas wore an N95 mask and had a sign saying “Biden Elected. The United States is gone.”

“I’m a little reluctant to get to these things. But I’m trying to be careful,” said Kangas, who added that he has been on site since 10am.

During a press conference on Saturday, state representative Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon, called the Trump demonstration in his county “very worrying.” He said it seemed Trump was focused on “doing whatever it takes to get re-elected” instead of doing what’s best for public safety.

“It is putting the health of the residents here in Muskegon County at risk,” Sabo said. “We have people coming from all over to take part in this gathering and history has shown that the president doesn’t necessarily care about public safety when it comes to wearing a mask, doing the simple things that can prevent this virus by limiting the size. of the crowd. “

Located along Lake Michigan, Muskegon County is the twelfth largest county in Michigan.

In 2012, President Barack Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney in the county with 13,552 votes. Four years later, Clinton beat Trump here with 1,177 votes, a four-year difference that was more than Trump’s overall margin of victory in Michigan.

“He almost won,” Michigan Republican Party President Laura Cox said of Trump’s performance in Muskegon County in 2016. “He clearly has a strategy to win, and that’s why he’s here.”

cmauger@drestenews.com

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