CLEVELAND — President Trump billed his trip to Ohio Thursday as a chance to promote economic recovery, but he quickly pivoted to a deeply personal attack on Joe Biden, even questioning without foundation the former vice president’s faith in God.
Even for a president known for his blunt criticism, Trump’s remarks stood out and they signaled how contentious the campaign may get over the coming months.
“He’s following the radical left agenda, take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy, our kind of energy. I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio,’’ Trump said.
Biden called the remarks beneath the office he holds. “For President Trump to attack my faith is shameful,’’ Biden said.
Trump also used his trip to Ohio to talk trade, telling workers at a Whirlpool plant, “I will stand up to the foreign trade cheaters and violators that hate our country.”
Trump also sought to remind voters of the economic prosperity that much of the nation enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic and said that he is best suited to rebuild a crippled economy. But his handling of the outbreak has weakened his bid for a second term, causing Trump to spend time and resources in a state he won easily in 2016 but now could be in danger of slipping away.
Biden’s campaign issued a statement from the former vice president in which he said his faith has been the bedrock foundation of his life and provided him comfort in moments of loss and tragedy.
“Like the words of so many other insecure bullies, President Trump’s comments reveal more about him than they do about anyone else,’’ Biden said.