Making his fifth visit to the pivotal battleground state this year, he held a rally Thursday evening in Mosinee, in central Wisconsin, an area of the state that shifted dramatically toward Republicans in 2016, enabling Trump to overcome deficits in urban and suburban parts of the state.
Trump has increasingly used his public appearances to elevate cultural issues. In Mosinee, he called for a statute to ban burning the American flag in protest and criticized sports players and leagues for allowing demonstrations that divide the nation.
“We have enough politics, right,” he said, joking that sometimes, “I can’t watch me.” He added of protests in sports, “People don’t want to see it and the ratings are down.”
Earlier Thursday, in a speech at the National Archives to commemorate Constitution Day, he derided the New York Times’ ahistorical “1619 Project,” which infuses American history with a heavy dose of critical race theory.
“For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans’ silence for weakness. But they are wrong,” Trump said. “There is no more powerful force than a parent’s love for their children — and patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.”
Trump told supporters in Wisconsin: “We’re launching a new pro-American lesson plan for students called 1776 Commission. We’re going to teach our children the truth about America.”
Trump’s last visit to Wisconsin came on Sept. 1, when he met with law enforcement and toured damage from riots in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man shot seven times from behind after resisting arrest and attempting to access a knife in his vehicle.
“I saved the suburbs,” Trump said Thursday of his call for federal law enforcement and national guard troops to confront protesters. He added that police “did a great job in Kenosha.”
Trump also previewed aid to the region’s farmers, saying $13 billion would begin flowing “starting next week” to help farmers.
Trump took another victory lap two days after he presided over Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recognizing Israel in a White House ceremony.
“I got nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. That’s a big deal,” Trump said, adding, “I should’ve gotten nominated seven times.” His supporters chanted “Nobel Peace Prize” in response.
Trump won Marathon County, which includes Mosinee, by more than 12,000 votes in 2016 — over three times more than the margin by which 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney won the area.
Trump’s path to 270 Electoral College votes may well hinge on Wisconsin, and his campaign is investing tens of millions of dollars on advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts in the state.
Trump’s event took place largely outside an aircraft hangar at the Mosinee airport, his campaign’s preferred format for mass rallies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was set to join Trump on Air Force One but ended up under quarantine Thursday after learning he was exposed to someone earlier in the week who subsequently tested positive for the virus. Johnson tested negative on Wednesday night, his office said.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.