- The Washington Times - Friday, October 23, 2020

President Trump said Friday that Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden made “one of the worst mistakes” in presidential debate history when he acknowledged he wants to get rid of the U.S. oil industry.

Speaking at The Villages in central Florida, the nation’s largest retirement community, the president called Mr. Biden’s comment “perhaps the most shocking admission ever made during a debate.”

“One of the most stunning moments last night was when Joe Biden admitted that he wants to abolish the oil industry,” Mr. Trump said. “Did you see him this morning, saying ‘I didn’t really mean that’? That could have been one of the worst mistakes made in presidential debate history. We hope it is.”

During their final debate on Thursday night, Mr. Biden said he wants to “transition” away from oil and gas with a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2025. He said a clean energy economy will produce many new jobs.

Trump campaign officials say the comment will impact the race in several key states, including Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio.

The president criticized Mr. Biden for espousing a “dark, gloomy vision” of the nation.

SEE ALSO: Trump campaign predicts Biden’s anti-oil pledge will ‘put nail in coffin for Pennsylvania’

“I think Joe Biden proved last night that he’s not capable of being president of the United States,” the president said. “The country saw first-hand that this election is a choice … between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression. We’re all about the American dream — greatest country in the world.”

Mr. Trump is also holding a rally Friday night in Pensacola, in Florida’s Republican-heavy panhandle. He will also vote on Saturday in Palm Beach, near his Mar-a-Lago club.

It’s Mr. Trump’s third campaign stop in the past two weeks in central Florida. The Villages is home to more than 120,000 people, and the community is 55 percent Republican. Sumter County went for Mr. Trump with 68 percent of the vote in 2016, compared to 49 percent statewide.

The president also took aim at Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, for alleged profiteering from foreign companies while his father was vice president.

“It’s corrupt as hell,” the president said. “How did Biden get so wealthy spending a half a century in public office? In 2016, Florida voted to fire this depraved political establishment, and you elected an outsider as president.”

Mr. Trump ridiculed Mr. Biden’s prediction during the debate that the U.S. is about to enter a “dark winter” due to a surge in the pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Trump sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ as virus spikes

“We’re not entering a dark winter,” he said. “We’re entering the final turn and approaching the light at the end of the tunnel.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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