For the second time in exactly two weeks, President Donald Trump will make an appearance in Pennsylvania.
On Thursday evening, Trump will head to Westmoreland County to deliver remarks from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. The Trump campaign criticized Biden over fracking in a statement about the president’s upcoming visit to the state.
“One of Joe Biden’s handlers apparently just woke up and realized hiding in a basement while embracing socialist policies – like banning fracking – is wildly unpopular with everyday Americans, and now Biden is lying to cover his tracks,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager. “Since Joe Biden won’t be honest about his record, President Trump will remind Pennsylvania voters that Biden would kill their jobs, tax them into oblivion, and make their communities less safe – all while President Trump is delivering wins for the Keystone State with his successful America First agenda.”
During a campaign visit to Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon, Biden said that he would not ban fracking.
Biden has not called for the elimination of fracking, but did say that his administration would ban “new gas permitting on public lands.” Biden’s campaign has instead attempted to make the case that he can protect workers and the environment at the same time.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party took a shot at Trump for his administration’s response to COVID-19 in response to the upcoming visit.
“Trump will fly in and out of western PA in an attempt to help his re-election instead of lifting a finger to help the families of the 7,600 Pennsylvanians who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19 or the hundreds of thousands more who are out of work thanks to his inability to deal with the crisis,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Executive Director Jason Henry. “Families in southwestern Pennsylvania are tired of Trump’s fly-in, fly-out photo-ops. They want a leader who will get to work to keep them healthy and economically secure.”
According to a recent Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll that showed Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by 4 points in the state, 48-to-44, Trump received “solid ratings” on his handling of the most important issue, the economy, while he garnered poor grades for his response to the second most important issue, COVID-19. 40% say that their financial situation is better since Trump took office in 2017, while 47% say it’s about the same, 10% say it’s worse, and 2% say they aren’t sure. 51% said that Trump has done a poor job handling the coronavirus outbreak, while 21% said that he’s done a good job, 17% said he did an excellent job, 9% said he’s done a fair job on the matter, and 3% aren’t sure.
Trump’s most recent visit to the state was on August 20 in Old Forge where he described Biden as Pennsylvania’s “worst nightmare.” This will be Trump’s first visit to western PA since October 2019 when he touted his administration’s energy policies at the annual Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh.
However, Vice President Mike Pence’s most recent visit to the state was in late July when he headlined a “Cops for Trump” event in Westmoreland County and led a conversation on America’s economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic in Somerset County.
Trump carried Westmoreland County by 31 points in 2016 over Sec. Hillary Clinton. This is a several point improvement in comparison to GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who bested President Barack Obama in the county by 23 points in 2012, despite losing the state.
Biden’s most recent visit to the state was in western Pa on Monday afternoon where the Democratic presidential nominee delivered an address in Pittsburgh pinning the blame on Trump for nationwide violence. Prior to Biden’s Monday afternoon visit to the state, his most recent trip was on July 9 when he delivered an economic recovery address in Lackawanna County.
This story was updated with a comment from the Trump campaign.