President Trump’s visit to a Shell natural gas plant in rural western Pennsylvania on Tuesday was an official White House event, but that might not have been readily apparent to those listening to his speech.
Addressing workers at the yet-to-be-completed plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump reminisced about the margins of his 2016 victory in the county, predicted the states he would win again, touted his administration’s immigration policies, attacked the “fake news” media and blasted his political foes. The president even explicitly urged workers, hundreds of whom were gathered for his speech, to vote for him.
“In 2020, we’re running, so you’d better get out there and make sure we win,” the president said in his speech, which ran more than an hour and was supposed to focus on American energy dominance and manufacturing.
The line between the president’s political events and official events are often blurred as the presidential election nears and Mr. Trump, who filed for reelection the day he was sworn into office, travels to states that are key to his victory. Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump’s campaign officials and political analysts recognize, is pivotal to his successful reelection — Tuesday marked his 13th visit to the state since taking office.
President Trump speaks to contractors at the Shell Chemicals Petrochemical Complex on August 13, 2019, in Monaca, Pennsylvania. / Getty Images
At the event, the president bashed his predecessors and faulted former vice president Joe Biden, his potential Democratic rival, for the nation’s struggles. He also took one of his typical swipes at Elizabeth Warren, or “Pocahontas,” as the president calls the Massachusetts senator who once claimed native American heritage. Biden and Warren are among the top contenders in the polls.
“We’ll have to hit Pocahontas again if she does win,” Mr. Trump told the Pennsylvania crowd, adding soon thereafter, “What a group, Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe.”
The president insisted he’s a big supporter of unions, and said he wants union members to be sure