Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.
Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.
Updated: September 30, 2020 11:14 PM
Created: September 30, 2020 06:18 AM
President Donald Trump visited Minnesota again on Wednesday, underlining the state's significance as a battleground state in the presidential election.
Trump arrived ahead of his predetermined time of 4:15 p.m. into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport. He later joined a private fundraiser in Shorewood before heading up to Duluth for a campaign rally at 8 p.m. at Duluth International Airport.
Trump proclaimed his debate performance was a smashing success during the rally.
"Last night I did what the corrupt media has refused to do," Trump said. "I held Joe Biden accountable for his 47 years of failure."
While some Republicans feared that Trump's debate performance was too aggressive, he gave himself high marks as he left Washington. He had spent much of the day assailing Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace on social media.
"If you ever became president you have to deal with some of the toughest people in the world," Trump said at his Duluth rally. "And Chris Wallace is very very easy by comparison."
While Trump carried Ohio and Pennsylvania four years ago, he narrowly lost Minnesota, one of the few states he hopes to flip from blue to red this fall. That likely depends on finding more votes in rural, conservative areas and limiting his losses in the state's urban and suburban areas.
To that end, the White House announced shortly before Trump's rally in Duluth Wednesday evening that the president had signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry, a move that could resonate with voters in northeast Minnesota's Iron Range.
"They say it's the greatest iron ore any where in the world and you should have it," the president told a cheering crowd. "After I put tariffs on foreign steel the Iron Range came roaring back. but the biggest thing I did was knock out his executive order."
That was a reference to President Trump rescinding an executive order by President Barack Obama that essentially prohibited copper mining in the Superior National Forest. Environmentalists supported Obama, but mining companies and unions saw it as a jobs killer.
The new executive order notes U.S. manufacturing's "undue reliance" on China for critical minerals and calls for the Interior Department to use the Defense Production Act to fund mineral processing in order to protect U.S. national security.
"If Joe gets in, they'll shut down the Iron Range forever," Trump told his supporters in Duluth. "I will always protect the state of Minnesota."
Trump held a rally less than two weeks ago in Bemidji, making this his second visit to Minnesota this year.
Vice President Mike Pence and the president's children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump have all made trips out to the North Star State. Another one of his children, Eric Trump, is set to stop in Becker on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company