Biden: St. Paul hecklers ‘are not very polite — but they’re like Trump’
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden dissed protesters who tried to drown him out as he spoke at a drive-in rally Friday afternoon at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds near St. Paul.
A couple of large groups of supporters of President Donald Trump welcomed the former vice president with horns and pro-Trump flags and signs when he arrived at the fairgrounds.
A faction close to the podium where he spoke blasted horns and shouted in attempts to rattle him.
Biden delivered a high-spirited speech, himself shouting to be heard above the din, but it was clear that the hecklers caught his attention.
He countered their cacophony by shouting, “These guys are not very polite — but they’re like Trump.”
Biden also spoke about growing calls for a national mask mandate and added, “This isn’t a political statement, like those ugly folks over there beeping the horns — it’s a patriotic duty.”
Biden received an enthusiastic reception from the supporters gathered to see him speak, who honked wildly as he closed out his speech.
He encouraged those who hadn’t turned in their ballots to drop them off in person as the deadline for early voting comes to a close.
Meanwhile, about an hour to the south, President Donald Trump spoke to about 250 supporters at Rochester International Airport. Hundreds of others who couldn’t get inside showed their support outside.
The rally originally was planned to take place at Rochester until city and state officials pushed back because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The campaign then decided to move it to the McNeilus Steel foundry in the town of Dodge Center, about 20 miles west of Rochester. McNeilus Steel officials sent a letter to employees informing them of their hosting role, saying 25,000 people were expected.
However, the campaign shifted plans again, moving the rally back to Rochester and the crowd limitations.
In a tweet and during his speech, Trump blamed state leaders for limiting the crowd size. State officials invoked the limit because the state Department of Health linked 28 coronavirus cases to other recent Trump campaign event in the state.
Some supporters traveled hundreds of miles to Rochester.
“We came up last night. We left around 12 and drove straight through,” said Allison Meyer of St. Louis, which is about 45 miles from Rochester.
“We’ve been following the Trump train showing up at events to support the President’s campaign,” said Lola Sparks of Colorado, which is nearly 1,000 miles distant.
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