President Donald Trump returned to Pennsylvania for the first time in two months on Thursday afternoon to deliver a speech at a medical equipment distribution center in Upper Macungie Township. Although his 30 minute address largely centered around touting his administration’s response to COVID-19, he did highlight Pennsylvania multiple times during his speech.
Here are the individuals and places he talked about during his first visit to the Lehigh Valley as president.
Gov. Tom Wolf
Trump did not mention Wolf by name during his address, but he did call on Pennsylvania’s governor to “start opening up (the state) a little bit.”
“We have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit,” Trump said. “We have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected and they want to keep them closed…can’t do that.”
Although this was the only specific instance that Trump talked about Wolf during his speech, he fired off a tweet on Monday criticizing Democrats’ response to COVID-19 and pinpointing Pennsylvania.
“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them. Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!,” Trump said in the tweet on Monday.
Gov. Tom Wolf responded to Trump’s tweet in a news conference on Monday saying that he’s reopening the state in a “measured way.”
“I don’t know how you stay safe and move quickly,” Wolf said, according to the Morning Call, adding that “the irresponsible thing to do … is to just willy-nilly go off and pretend that we can wave a magic wand and go back into business and suspend the reality to this virus that’s surrounding us.”
Despite the closely watched race taking place in the Lehigh Valley, Trump shouted out the GOP hopeful in the 17th Congressional District in western PA and thanked some of the “tremendous congressmen” that have stood by Trump’s side in PA.
“You’re really blessed in this state with some tremendous congressmen, who really worked hard, really incredible teammates,” Trump said.
“Sean Parnell is going to be fantastic too,” Trump said. “I hope that all works out, but he’s an outstanding person.”
“They really work very hard and I can say some don’t and some do, but this state, you have a lot of hard workers,” Trump said. “You are very well represented.”
No Mention of PA7 GOP Hopefuls
Although Trump didn’t issue his support yet for either Republican candidate seeking the party nod for the 7th Congressional District, both candidates sent out social media posts welcoming Trump with open arms to the area, while the Democratic incumbent shared a much different message.
Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman who has received the endorsement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), shot out multiple tweets saying that her campaign is excited to have Trump visit the district.
— Lisa Scheller for Congress (@SchellerforPA) May 14, 2020
Dean Browning, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businessman who is the other GOP hopeful for the seat, also rattled off multiple tweets welcoming Trump to the Lehigh Valley, while also taking aim at Scheller, in the quest to appear as the most “pro-Trump” candidate for the seat.
— Dean Browning (R) PA-7 (@DeanBrowningPA) May 14, 2020
Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) quote-tweeted Trump about his visit to the state, which she described as a “photo opp,” and asked how he’s helping those effected by COVID-19.
“Welcome to #PA07, Mr. President. But people are dying here in Allentown. As you plan your photo opp, they’re saying goodbye to their parents in nursing homes over Zoom. Our firefighters are preparing to be furloughed. Folks are hungry, tired, & broke. How are you helping?,” Wild wrote in a tweet.
Welcome to #PA07, Mr. President. But people are dying here in Allentown. As you plan your photo opp, they’re saying goodbye to their parents in nursing homes over Zoom. Our firefighters are preparing to be furloughed. Folks are hungry, tired, & broke. How are you helping? https://t.co/gRZ30un4dh
— Susan Wild (@wildforcongress) May 12, 2020
Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton
Trump talked about being in the “heart of the Lehigh Valley” during his address today and brought up his late brother, Fred, boxing great Larry Holmes, and the American workforce while talking about the area.
He lauded the workers in the region and in Pennsylvania for helping put America “on top of the world,” in the 20th Century and said that they were in a “transition to greatness” after the virus.
“In the 20th Century, Pennsylvania workers helped put America on top of the world,” Trump said. “Now, we’re reclaiming our heritage as a nation of manufacturers.”
“We’re going to be a nation of manufacturers and Pennsylvania workers will once again, you’re going to lead the way,” Trump continued. “With your help, we will vanquish the virus.”
Trump specifically mentioned generations of “American greatness” that was “made, forged, and won in places like Bethlehem, Easton, and Allentown.” While talking about Easton, he mentioned Holmes, the boxing great who grew up in the area and is known as the “Easton Assassin.”
Trump also mentioned how the region made him think of his late brother Fred, who attended Lehigh University and added that he delivered a commencement address at his brother’s alma mater in 1988.