- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 31, 2020

President Trump told a raucous Reading crowd Saturday that Pennsylvania is truly the keystone in his election night fortunes, declaring he spends so much time there because it could hand him a second term if he locks down places like Ohio and Florida, which he also won in 2016.

“This is an enthusiastic group, isn’t it?” Mr. Trump said, basking in their cheers. “This doesn’t seem like someone who’s going to come in second.”

“Ohio is looking real good, they’re all looking real good. You know what’s looking good? Pennsylvania’s looking good,” Mr. Trump said. “If we win Pennsylvania, it’s over. It’s over.”

Both campaigns view Pennsylvania as pivotal.

Joseph R. Biden is spending time there, too, and recently enlisted former President Barack Obama to campaign in Philadelphia, as the Democratic nominee tries to translate a slim polling lead into a win on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump said he feels confident but warned of ominous forces who “play dirty,” specifically Democrats, Big Tech and Republicans In Name Only, or “RINOs.”

He scolded Mr. Biden for portraying himself as a Pennsylvania native even though he became a “Delaware guy” early in life.

“He likes it so much he never leaves,” Mr. Trump said, reprising his “Basement Joe” teasing.

The president suggested voters are being tricked into voting for Mr. Biden’s younger running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris. He played a Halloween-themed ad on a large screen that, set to spooky music, depicts a trick-or-treater in a Biden mask.

The person takes off the mask and it is Ms. Harris.

“Know who you’re voting for. Don’t get tricked,” the ad says.

Mr. Trump also said the nation is rounding the corner on the coronavirus pandemic even as metrics across the country start blinking red, with cases hitting daily records and hospitalizations peaking in more than a dozen states, especially in parts of the Midwest and Rockies.

The president recounted his own bout with the virus, noting that his son, Barron, and the first lady also recovered from their infections.

“At least those rumors we don’t live together turned out to be false,” Mr. Trump said of Melania Trump.

Mr. Trump bluntly criticized Gov. Tom Wolf for his coronavirus strategy and approach to voting in the state, where officials plan to continue receiving absentee ballots for three days after Nov. 3.

“Hey governor, you gotta open up the state, governor. You gotta open it up,” Mr. Trump said. “Don’t cheat on the ballots, governor.”

“What’s the extension all about,” Mr. Trump said. “November 3rd, wouldn’t you like to hear, we win, we lose?”

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