Trump and Biden campaigns converge on Minnesota

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |
Jenna Peterson ® News Editor |

Biden speaks to working class in Duluth

Only 32 days after his visit to Mankato, President Donald Trump made another Minnesota trip when he held a campaign rally in Bemidji Friday. 

Bemidji mayor Rita Albrecht noted how this campaign rally will be the first presidential visit in the town’s history, causing both praise and controversy. 

According to MinnPost, Albrecht wanted to confirm this visit as soon as possible in order to prepare for this large of an event for a town with only 15,000 people, which isn’t easy during a pandemic. 

Despite Trump not arriving until the evening, both supporters and protesters gathered much earlier to voice their opinion. According to The Bemidji Pioneer, the first signs of support were put on full display by 8:45 a.m. at the Pete’s Place West parking lot, a local convenience store, where the tractors and other vehicles were ready to parade their Trump flags through town.

The support for the president wasn’t the only voice being heard on Friday. 

Protestors gathered outside their homes and put up signs in front of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. 

According to The Bemidji Pioneer, Zoe Christensen, the head of Bemidji State University’s Black Student, discussed how there isn’t one specific reason they’re standing outside and holding their signs.

“We just live here,” said Zoe Christensen, head of Bemidji State University’s Black Student Union. 

Other students talked about the upcoming election and how they’re happy they can finally vote this fall, unlike the last presidential election.

Early in the afternoon, protesters took to the downtown streets of Bemidji. They held up signs, flags and other memorabilia to show their support for Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his policies. One of the groups to organize this was Indivisible Bemidji, which pushes for a progressive agenda of fairness and common wellbeing for all citizens (Indivisible Bemidji website).

Before people could enter the airport, they had to have their temperatures taken and also received a mask, due to the pandemic still taking place. Despite this, many of the attendees ditched the mask once inside the airport hangar, as seen by pictures from The Bemidji Pioneer. 

Once the rally began, Trump covered a variety of topics in his speech. He began with his successes during the pandemic for Minnesota, including opening up jobs again. Quickly afterwards, he went into discussion about the upcoming election and all of the good things that would come out of another Trump term.

“We are going to win Minnesota and we are going to win four more years in the White House,” Trump put it.

Other topics he discussed were those such as immigration, Minneapolis protests, the police force, and, of course, the possibility of a COVID vaccine. These discussions were the highlight of Trump’s speech and were discussed throughout the two hours he was standing at the podium.

While talking about polls that pertain to Minnesota’s acceptance on Trump, the crowd began to chant, “We love Trump! We love Trump!” in order to reassure there is support for him.

In his campaign speech, Trump also made sure to make comments about Biden and what his America would look like if he were to become president. In response, the crowd booed and yelled things such as, “Sleepy Joe”.

On Twitter, Trump wrote about visiting Minnesota and how the state’s early voting has begun. He also wrote, “Wish I could vote there, but I’ll have to rely on you!” In order to vote early, you can request a ballot by mail, otherwise you can call your county election official in order to send in your vote.

President Trump’s second visit to Minnesota in 32 days

Presidential candidate Joe Biden made his first appearance in Minnesota Friday.

Biden visited Jerry Alander Carpenter Training Center in Hermantown, Minnesota, in effort to appeal to the labor union efforts and the working class in the state. Prior to speaking, the candidate was given a tour of the facilities.

In front of roughly 50 people, the former vice president’s speech was preceded by brief speeches from Senator Tina Smith and Senator Amy Klobuchar, both endorsing Biden’s campaign.

Klobuchar, a former opponent of Biden during the Democratic primaries, came out fully supporting Biden after she suspended her campaign in March.

Biden began his speech acknowledging the small crowd present due to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. The crowd was indeed limited compared to President Trump’s rally in Bemidji, which held roughly 3,000 spectators.

Labor Unions and working-class Americans were at the forefront of the speech, with Biden comparing his view on the economy to the president’s.

“I view this campaign as between Scranton and Park Avenue.” Said Biden, referring to his hometown in Pennsylvania and Donald Trump’s stomping ground, “All Trump sees from Park Avenue is Wall Street.”

Biden spoke to the importance of labor unions, saying that “The only way to deal with abuse of power is with power, and the only real power for the workers of America is union power.”

The former vice president went on to speak on his “Build Back Better” plan, which involves using tax dollars to rebuild the infrastructure of the country to be more environmentally friendly.

He aims to achieve this by retrofitting buildings and homes to be more energy efficient to help the environment, as well as give jobs to the working-class Americans.

After speaking for roughly 30 minutes at the event, Biden ended his speech referencing that absentee voting in Minnesota began that day.

“We are trying to take the country back folks, and it’s going to start here, today, with voting in Minnesota,” said Biden.

Header photo: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden elbow bumps Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., after he spoke at a union training center in Hermantown, Minn., Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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