President Donald Trump announced his new Supreme Court Justice pick "will be a woman" at a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio on Monday.
Trump said his team has been vetting five finalists, and that the official announcement would come on Friday or Saturday this week.
Trump said Ohio was having the best year it ever had before the onset of the coronavirus, and by the "third quarter" of the year Ohio would have its best year again. Trump said a coronavirus vaccine would be ready by the end of the year, and that he has been rushing the FDA to approve a vaccine "two or three years" before one would normally be approved.
He taunted opponent Joe Biden, seeking to tie him to policies related to China. Biden's "brutal betrayals" of the American worker ended the day he entered office, Trump said. And he claimed Biden committed "treason" and spied on his 2016 campaign.
The crowd cheered mentions of the military and the 2nd Amendment, and chanted "Lock Her Up" at a mention of Hillary Clinton. The president talked at length about political disagreements with the Teamsters union, and he claimed the military has supremacy over the Supreme Court, to some cheers. And several times, the president praised the potency of the American military and new American weapons.
"I call them the super-duper missiles," he said.
Trump introduced Gov. Mike DeWine, to raucous boos from the crowd; Lt. Gov. John Husted, to cheers; and congressmen Warren Davidson and Mike Turner as well. But the loudest cheer for a guest was for Rep. Jim Jordan.
Trump said his tariff policies have benefitted Ohio, adding 200 manufacturing jobs at a washing machine plant in Clyde, OH, and prompting the opening of new steel mills in places like Toledo and Cuyahoga Heights.
The campaign appearance was at Wright Brothers Aero, a private aircraft servicing firm located at the Dayton International Airport. The Trump campaign says his comments were focused on "fighting for the American worker."
Over 1,200 tickets were distributed for the Dayton event, according to campaign and local Republican Party officials. Most people in attendance were not wearing masks.
WYSO's Leila Goldstein was on the scene for WYSO and Ohio Public Radio, and we have been providing providing continuing updates of this event.
As the crowd waited for Trump to arrive, Ohio Lt. Gov. John Husted took the stage. The crowd booed when Husted mentioned Governor Mike DeWine’s name, and again when he tried to promote mask-wearing.
“I get it, we don’t like it, but if you go into a grocery store where you gotta wear one, alright, hang on, hang on, just listen up, just listen up, alright I get it but if somebody tells you to take it off you can at least say that you’re trying to save the country by wearing one of Donald Trump’s masks,” Husted told the rowdy crowd.
The crowd also chanted at Husted to open up the economy.
At an Ohio Democratic Party virtual news conference this morning, Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said President Trump has broken his promises to Ohio workers. And the last time Trump came to Dayton, she says things did not go well.
"The city was struggling in the wake of a devastating mass shooting. He picked a Twitter fight with Ohio leaders and made the trip all about himself," Kaptur said.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told WYSO yesterday that the rally had the potential to spread COVID-19. Trump political rallies have been exempted from the state's mass-gathering and mask ordinances by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
After he leaves Dayton, Trump is scheduled to end the night with a public rally in Toledo.
WYSO reporters Leila Goldstein and Chris Welter contributed to this report, and it was written by Jason Saul.