US poll campaign adopts drive-in style rallies, Joe Biden to host one of them

  • About 100 cars were allowed to participate in the invitation-only event in Delaware, where Biden will deliver his acceptance speech.
Joe Biden supporters wave American flags while sitting atop their vehicle at a drive-up rally in Delaware. (REUTERS)
Joe Biden supporters wave American flags while sitting atop their vehicle at a drive-up rally in Delaware.

The Biden campaign is setting up a drive-in movie theater-style watch party outside the venue where he will deliver his acceptance speech. President Donald Trump argued that Joe Biden “abandoned" his hometown at age 10. And Biden’s son Hunter Biden will appear on the convention stage.

There are 75 days until the election.

Biden’s campaign has built up a drive-in movie theater-style watch party outside the Wilmington, Delaware, venue where he will deliver his speech accepting the Democratic nomination on Thursday night.

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While the Chase Center will be closed to the public as a precaution against coronavirus, about 100 cars were allowed to participate in the invitation-only event in the parking lot outside.

They began gathering at sunset with advance staff passing out signs that read “Biden-Harris," “watching from Delaware" and “Dr. B," a tribute to Jill Biden. When Jill Biden herself made an appearance just after 8 p.m. as she walked by, supporters blasted their horns for her.

There were also drive-in watch parties slated for New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa, the Biden campaign said. -- Jennifer Epstein

Trump argued again Thursday that Biden “abandoned" his oft-cited hometown of Scranton by moving away at age 10.

At a campaign event outside the city, Trump said that Biden will likely talk about the city in his remarks at the Democratic convention Thursday.

“I’m sure that he’ll just knock ‘em dead, and he’ll remind us that he was born in Scranton. But you know he left, like 70 years ago," he said, adding “He abandoned Scranton!"

The visit came on the day that Biden will accept the Democratic nomination, a day when the convention features gauzy biographical videos about its nominee.

Biden was born in Scranton in 1942 and his family lived there until 1953, when they moved to Wilmington, Delaware, so his father could find work. Biden wrote in his autobiography, “Promises to Keep," that it “felt like leaving home."

In his speeches, Biden often uses Scranton as a touchstone, arguing that his policies will be “laser focused on working families" like his middle-class neighbors growing up.

Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will be among the many family members on the convention stage tonight, in his first major public appearance since being at the center of a political storm earlier this year.

President Donald Trump repeatedly sought to cast Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Ukrainian natural gas producer as nefarious, pressing the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation, a move that led to Trump’s own impeachment and acquittal.

Undeterred, Trump has repeatedly brought up Hunter Biden in recent months as he sought to undermine Biden’s campaign "with unsubstantiated charges, some discredited, against him and his son.

Trump’s campaign on Thursday released a two-minute digital ad targeting Hunter Biden’s dealings with China.

The Republican National Committee brought in 55.3 million in July, part of a $169.3 million haul for President Donald Trump’s re-election effort.

The RNC ended the month with $109 million in the bank, according to figures it released to The Hill, putting Trump’s total war chest at more than $300 million. Biden and the Democratic National Committee announced earlier that they had $294 million cash on hand after raising $140 million in July.

While Biden and the DNC have closed the cash gap -- Trump’s re-election effort had $155 million more in the bank as recently at the end of April -- they did so in part by spending less. The Democrats spent roughly $88 million in July compared with $160 million for Trump and the RNC, based on figures both campaigns released. Presidential campaigns, party committees and most super PACs are due to file detailed reports on their fundraising and spending to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

The RNC is spending big on its data-driven ground game, which it’s relying on to get voters to support Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot, according to a statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who added that the July numbers show the strength of the grassroots support for Trump.

First Published Date: 21 Aug 2020, 08:58 AM IST

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