President Donald Trump returned to Pennsylvania for the second time in 14 days on Thursday evening to lead a rally in Westmoreland County. His 90 minute speech touched on a number of campaign themes such as touting his support for law enforcement, boosting his administration’s energy and trade policies, and response to COVID-19, and more. However, he did highlight Pennsylvania specifically several times during his address.
Here are the Pennsylvania individuals and topics he discussed during his rally in Latrobe, Pa.
Trump credited his administration for “ending the war of coal, fracking, natural gas,” which he said has greatly benefited the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A central theme to Trump’s reelection campaign in western Pa is criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden on the issue of fracking. Trump said that 600,000 jobs would be lost in Pennsylvania if fracking was banned, which is based off of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study from 2019. This study was based off of a hypothetical nationwide ban on fracking, which Biden does not support.
Biden has not called for the elimination of fracking, but did say that his administration would ban “new gas permitting on public lands.” During a speech on Monday in Pittsburgh, Biden reiterated his opposition to a nationwide fracking ban.
Trump took a jab at Biden over those recent comments on Thursday evening saying that the former VP only made the public comments about fracking because his “poll numbers were dropping.”
Conor Lamb and Sean Parnell.
Trump spent a few minutes specifically talking about the race in the 17th Congressional District.
He said that Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) represents a “sort of Trumpy area,” but he votes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “100% of the time” and criticized his vote to impeach him. Lamb’s district narrowly supported Trump in 2016 and he did vote to impeach Trump, although Lamb does not vote with Pelosi “100% of the time,” and also didn’t vote for Pelosi to be House Speaker.
Trump described Lamb, a veteran of the U.S. Marines, as “weak” and “like a little lamb,” while boosting GOP challenger Sean Parnell’s candidacy. Trump described Parnell, a U.S. Army combat veteran, as “something special” and a “real tough guy,” who is “more or a hero, smarter, stronger,” than Lamb.
“He’ll never let you down,” Trump said about Parnell.
Boilermakers Local 154
Trump announced during his speech that he received the endorsement from Boilermakers Local 154. He thanked business manager John Hughes, who was present at the address for the endorsement, and lauded the members of the 2,500 plus active and retired members across three states, including Pa. Trump described boilermakers as the “heart of this country.”
Gov. Tom Wolf
Trump didn’t mention Wolf by name during the rally, but criticized him and other Democratic governor’s for their restrictions in place due to COVID-19.
“When you look at Pennsylvania, you’re in a shutdown,” Trump said. “Your governor has you in a shutdown.”
Although Trump claimed the state was still in a “shutdown,” Wolf has lifted restrictions in recent months. “Some [restrictions] remain on things like indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and on larger gatherings,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Earlier on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, credited Pennsylvania for doing a “remarkable job,” in lowering coronavirus cases.
Although Trump didn’t call Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner by name, he referenced him during his speech about rioting nationwide in his effort to paint DA’s from progressive cities as beholden to the “radical left.” Trump specifically slammed the District Attorney in Portland over recent riots and protests, then linked him to Philadelphia’s District Attorney.
“You have someone in Philadelphia who is worse, right,” Trump said to the crowd.
Lou Barletta, John Joyce, Mike Kelly, Fred Keller, Dan Meuser, Guy Reschenthaler, and G.T. Thompson.
Trump shouted out these current and former GOP members of Congress from Pennsylvania who were present at the rally. Trump described these GOP members of Congress as “warriors” for his agenda in D.C.
He called Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) a “real good friend of mine from the beginning,” and described former Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) as another “great friend of mine, a special guy,” with a “big beautiful heart.” Trump also asked Barletta “why don’t you run again?” during his speech.
PA Dems Response
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party sent out a press release with statements from several elected officials in the state saying that Trump’s administration broke “promises” to Pennsylvania workers. Sen. Bob Casey criticized the Trump administration for the current unemployment rate in the state, and said Biden’s plan to rebuild the economy would instead work for Pennsylvanians.
“No matter where you go [in Pennsylvania], you’re going to be in a county which has — if not a record high level of unemployment — very close to a record,” Casey said in a press release. “We haven’t seen unemployment like this since the early 1980s. Even during the last recession of a decade ago, the unemployment rate did not go as high as it is now….”
“So when we have candidates come into Pennsylvania, to ask for our vote, we want to hear what they’re going to do for the economy,” Casey continued. “We want to hear what they’re going to get the economy that and get our families out of the economic ditch that they’re in right now that this virus and inaction push them into — but we’re not going to hear that from the president.”