He has his back to the wall. Donald Trump tries to turn things around with a daring last sprint – Germany also plays a role in this.
The polls are bad and he is running out of time, but Donald Trump has come to once again present himself to his supporters as the shining winner. When he comes on stage, he throws red caps in the audience to the beat of his favorite song “God Bless the USA”. The famous inscription: “Make America Great Again”.
Appearing on a windy tarmac at a regional airport, he doesn’t let a minute pass before he gets to the point: On Tuesday, the state of Pennsylvania will be won. “And we’ll win four more great years in the White House.”
Donald Trump is trying the last few yards of everything to reverse the mood in the country. It flies all over the United States from Michigan to Florida, Wisconsin to Georgia. Fourteen election rallies in three days. In focus: Pennsylvania in the Northeast, where he won a razor-thin 2016 and has to win this year, it should still work with the four other fine years at the White House. In the polls he is also behind Joe Biden here.
“Biden will lock up your families”
In the small town of Reading, showman Trump has no problem creating a good mood. He’s joking, he’s the entertainer, but how does Trump want to convince the people? More than 90 million Americans voted early. Trump must therefore hope to achieve a record result himself on election day.
On paper, it’s mostly about Corona and Joe Biden. It sounds like this:
- “Biden will lock up your families in your house!”
- “At Biden there is no school, no Christmas, just endless lockdowns.”
- “Biden is sending you into a deep and catastrophic economic crisis.”
- “If Biden wins, China will own the US.”
There is no lockdown with him, the president says, while the number of new infections and occupied intensive care beds is skyrocketing almost nationwide. Trump repeatedly describes Joe Biden as corrupt, lazy and weak.
The big problems of the last message
These messages have clear problems: As the corona crisis escalates again, more and more Americans are deviating from Trump’s line. In a new poll from Trump-friendly broadcaster Fox News, 61 percent want the priority to be on controlling Covid-19 and only 36 percent, as Trump promoted, on the rapid reopening of the economy.
And the allegations of Biden’s corruption are not supported by evidence, nor do they fall on any particularly fertile ground: The Democrat is simply more popular than Hillary Clinton was four years ago. Another look at Fox News numbers: More respondents consider Trump (56 percent) than Biden (40 percent) corrupt.
Then the language comes to Germany
But Trump is not following the prepared remarks about the teleprompter anyway. Time and again he improvises and tells about what he personally dislikes. Germany also occurs several times. With more than a dash of satisfaction, Trump says there are now major problems in the former Corona model Germany.
Later, when the teleprompter said it was about China, he complained about Barack Obama’s popularity in Germany. “I have ancestors there who should like me, but they like Obama better,” says the campaigner.
For Trump, this is because he was pushing for higher defense spending from the Germans. Since Obama campaigned for Biden, Trump has spoken repeatedly about his popularity in Germany. Trump’s logic: Anyone who is popular abroad is not doing justice to the work of the US president. America first.
Can he afford it?
There is applause for it among the staunch supporters in Reading, Pennsylvania. But can an election activist with his back to the wall really afford such digressions?
Trump also prefers to spread his personal feuds in the final sprint – and make statements about impending fraud in the election count. He is not only complaining about Biden and his vice-candidate Kamala Harris, but also about “false surveys”, “criminal media” and, more recently, the Supreme Court.
Are you interested in the US election? Washington correspondent Fabian Reinbold writes a newsletter about the election campaign, his work in the White House and his impressions from the US under Donald Trump. Here you can subscribe to the “Post from Washington” for free, which then arrives directly in your mailbox once a week
The Constitutional Court has not pre-cut the number of ballots in Pennsylvania, as requested by the Republicans. Votes sent by post prior to election that arrive within three days of election day are also counted there. “They don’t treat me right,” Trump said of the constitutional court, to which he himself appointed three of the nine judges. That only leads to “fraud”.
The essence of the speech is not so much about a post-election government program as the outcome of the election itself: Trump mixes his staging of an impending victory with a guarantee in the event of defeat. As a precaution, the president delegitimized the outcome of the election. His real last message is: if I lose, it couldn’t have been right.