It was a day of dueling presidential campaigns in northern Minnesota, with both candidates swinging through the area to deliver stump speeches.
For his part, President Donald Trump spoke from Bemidji Airport on Friday, where he touted his handling of the coronavirus and the summer protests, and took swipes at his opponent as well as Democratic leaders both locally and nationally.
He also took aim at immigration, telling the cheering Minnesota crowd that Vice President Joe Biden has an "extreme plan to flood your state" with refugees from Somalia, Yemen and Syria — countries he described as among "the most dangerous places in the world."
Trump also repeated a claim that Biden wanted to raise the refugee admissions into the U.S. by 700 percent. As Roll Call pointed out in a recent fact check, however, "this doesn’t account for the fact that Trump has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the country since he took office":
So, it’s true that Biden’s platform calling for an initial cap of 125,000 is an increase — it’s actually about 600 percent higher than the current cap — but it’s only about 14 percent higher than the number set before Trump took office.
As he did during his October visit to Minneapolis, Trump scorched U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minnesota's 5th District (which covers Minneapolis), repeating a number of unfounded claims about the congresswoman — including that she allegedly married her brother.
These were among other unsubstantiated or misleading claims and statements Trump made during the rally, including his taking credit for dispatching the National Guard to Minneapolis to put down rioting and looting — when in fact it was Gov. Tim Walz who called in the Guard.
The president went on to tout his support of iron ore mining on Minnesota's Iron Range, saying that President Barack Obama closed the Iron Range, and referencing moves to open up the region to copper mining again and restore local jobs.
He also said Biden wants to shut down the Iron Range again, contradicting Biden's own statements — in which he has laid out plans to create "millions of high-paying union jobs" in the sector.
Though he took credit for helping reverse Big Ten football's cancellation due to COVID-19, he spent relatively little time talking about the pandemic, though he did criticize shutdowns and their effect on the economy.
Below are some other highlights from Trump's Bemidji event:
Earlier in the day, Biden spoke at the Carpenters Training Institute in Hermantown, in the Duluth area. You can check out coverage of his speech right here.