Updated: 12:41 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7, 2020
President Trump paid an election-season visit to Ohio Thursday to tout his manufacturing policies, launching attacks on Democratic rival Joe Biden during two appearances in the swing state.
Wearing a cloth mask, the president toured the Whirlpool washing machine factory in Clyde on Thursday afternoon. He spoke to an audience on the factory floor for a little less than an hour.
Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring the federal government to buy essential medical supplies from U.S. sources. He also announced a 10 percent tariff on Canadian aluminum.
“To be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation and not be led by a bunch of fools,” he said. “That means protecting our national industrial base.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the president greeted supporters on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland.
Gov. Mike DeWine had planned to greet Trump there, but canceled his appearance after testing positive for COVID-19.
"We want to wish him the best," the president said on the tarmac in Cleveland. "He'll be fine. I guess he's going for a secondary test. I just said, 'I look forward to seeing the governor.' They said, 'Sir, he just tested positive.'"
DeWine announced later Thursday night that the second test found him to be negative for COVID-19.
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 8 points in Ohio in 2016, but recent polling shows a tighter race with Biden this year. In his remarks on the tarmac, Trump accused Biden, who is Catholic, of being “against God.”
“Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God,” Trump said. “He’s against God, he’s against guns, he’s against energy, our kind of energy.”
At the lectern in Cleveland, the president also boosted the candidacy of former State Rep. Christina Hagan, a Republican making a run for Democrat Tim Ryan’s U.S. House seat.
Trump holds a fundraiser Thursday night at the Shoreby Club in Bratenahl. The Republican National Committee expects to raise about $5 million for the president’s reelection efforts and state parties, according to a White House pool report.
Ohio Democrats held an online event ahead of the president’s visit to criticize his handling of COVID-19 and its economic fallout.
Speaking on Zoom, Rep. Marcy Kaptur said the president should do more to reach a deal in the Senate on a new round of coronavirus relief.
“It’s terrible to put the American people in that position,” Kaptur said. “So he’s really here to raise money and to just get his picture taken.”