- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2020

President Trump took a swing at Gov. Roy Cooper, the media and Senate Democrats as he campaigned in North Carolina on Wednesday, marking his sixth visit to the pivotal state since the GOP convention in Charlotte in late August.

Mr. Trump fumed at Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, who earlier in the day extended “phase 3” restrictions on occupancy at bars, theaters and entertainment venues until Nov. 13 instead of letting them expire on Friday.

“You’ve got to get your governor to open up your state. Open up your state, governor, it’s time,” Mr. Trump told supporters in Gastonia, a town west of Charlotte.

Reveling in chants of “Four more years!” and “We love you,” Mr. Trump said North Carolina better give him its 15 electoral votes after he won the state in 2016 and lavished attention on it in recent weeks.

North Carolina is one of six states with at least 15 electoral votes that Mr. Trump relied on to win in 2016. The others are Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

A Biden victory in North Carolina would put a big dent in Mr. Trump’s path to victory, especially if the president is unable to string together victories in Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin to make up ground.

Mr. Trump ticked through his usual campaign points about his “sleepy” rival, Joseph R. Biden, who is running neck-and-neck with the president in polls.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden will fall in line with Democrats who are pushing ideas like single-payer health care and adding seats to the Supreme Court.

The former vice president specifically ran against “Medicare for all” during the primary, though is open to a government-run “public option,” and has equivocated on court-packing but says he’s “not a fan” of expanding the high court beyond nine justices.

“I said, ‘Why not 18, why not 20, why not 22?’” Mr. Trump quipped before the outdoor crowd in Gastonia.

Mr. Trump said while he basks in large crowds, Mr. Biden draws socially distanced circles for his small events — only to find that he “can’t fill them up.”

“You couldn’t catch COVID in those circles, no matter what you did,” Mr. Trump said.

The president also complained about media coverage, saying they refuse to cover the discovery of a laptop purportedly owned by the Democratic nominee’s son, Hunter Biden, and revealing his overseas business deals. And he said reporters don’t understand when he’s sarcastic about Russia or pleading for support from suburban women.

The president also said he’ll throw CBS a curveball after he sat for a “60 Minutes” taping with Leslie Stahl, only to reportedly walk out early because he was upset with her questions.

“We have a little surprise for 60 Minutes,” Mr. Trump said.

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