Biden tells Cincinnati crowd ‘It’s go time’ during trip through Ohio

Presidential candidate Joe Biden made a campaign stop Monday night at Union Terminal. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

CINCINNATI — Former vice president Joe Biden said he’s a “proud Democrat," but if he’s elected president he will serve all Americans, regardless of their party affiliation, those who voted for him and those who supported President Donald Trump.

“One America,” he told a small crowd Monday night at Union Terminal.

He was critical of how Trump has handled the coronavirus and the way he has divided the country through his racial comments.

If elected, Biden said he will provide “heal and hope” for Americans.

“That’s the president’s job,” he said.

More than two hours before Biden was scheduled to speak Monday night, his supporters and those supporting Trump stood on opposite street corners.

Both waved signs for their presidential candidate and they agreed Ohio voters could likely determine who wins the election next month.

“This man needs to win,” said Cincinnati’s Jen McMullen, a Biden supporter.

As she spoke, across the street, more than 50 Trump supporters across the street chanted: “Four more years.” Truck drivers and Cincinnati police officers honked their horns, apparently in support of Trump.

Biden said “it’s go time” with three weeks before the election. The 2020 election, he told the audience, is one of the most important in U.S. history not because he’s a candidate but what’s at stake. This election will determine the direction of the country for the next decade, he said.

Julie Sellers, of Cincinnati, was one of the first to arrive for the rally. She sat in her car that was filled with Biden signs waiting for the doors to open. She sees public education as an important issue and Biden “fully supports” education.

“He should carry Ohio,” she said.

Kate Schroder, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 1st District, said the “energy for change” never has been stronger.

She said Trump and her opponent, GOP Congressman, Steve Chabot have “divided us and torn us apart.”

Butler County Democratic Party Chairman Brian Hester called Ohio “a battleground state” as Trump’s “broken promises and toxic politics have driven people away who were willing to take a chance on him four years ago. Trump clearly isn’t fit to be President.”

Hester said Biden has shown that the country can’t get its economy “back on track” until the coronavirus gets under control. Then, just as Biden helped save the U.S. auto industry from the last recession, his “Build Back Better” will focus on growing manufacturing jobs in American with policies that will benefit middle class families in Ohio, he said.

He said Biden is the only candidate who has shown he is able to “bridge the partisan polarization” of this country and will seek to bring the country together instead of trying to divide the U.S.

President Trump won Ohio “convincingly” in 2016 and will do so again in November, said Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director. The president won the state over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 8 percentage points in 2016.

Polls showed the two candidates in a tight race in Ohiothe Buckeye State, drawing more advertising and campaigning to Ohio. Biden also stopped Monday in Toledo, while Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in Columbus.

Murtaugh said Trump’s campaign was “thrilled to see Joe Biden wasting a valuable day on the campaign trail visiting a state he cannot win.”

Murtaugh said Biden’s policies proposed $4 trillion tax increase and his embrace of the Green New Deal would “decimate” the Ohio economy and destroy 700,000 fracking jobs in the state.

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Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and many experts thought the state was out of play in this election.

Polls, however, showed the two candidates in a tight race in the Buckeye State, drawing more advertising and campaigning to Ohio.

Biden also stopped Monday in Toledo, while Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in Columbus.

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