In Ohio, Trump offers argument for his reelection

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Three months from Election Day, President Trump offered a loosely defined set of promises for his second term, some of which are based on the coronavirus pandemic and on the economy. 

The president articulated these six campaign promises during a speech Thursday at a Whirlpool plant in Ohio:  

  1. Defeat COVID-19;
  2. Rise from the current adversity of this “invisible enemy” to be “more prosperous and resilient” than ever;
  3. Make America the “premier medical manufacturer;”
  4. Bring pharmaceutical and medical supply chains to the U.S. and end reliance on China;
  5. Bring back American jobs and factories using every tool, including tariffs; and
  6. Uphold the commitment to put American workers first.

He also vowed to reimpose tariffs on aluminum from Canada, a country that the president said has not been fair to the U.S. 

Last month, Mr. Trump could initially offer no specifics when Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked what he would do if he were re-elected. On Thursday, the president argued he should be reelected because he’s kept all of his promises from 2016, although this is not true.

“I didn’t back down from my promises, and I’ve kept every single one,” Mr. Trump said Thursday.

Mr. Trump was supposed to be greeted by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, at the airport, but DeWine, an early advocate of strong measures to quash the virus, tested positive for COVID-19 hours before the president landed. 

A CBS News poll in late July found the president has just a one-point edge in Ohio, a state he won by a comfortable margin four years ago. Ohio is also a critical part of the president’s overall electoral map in 2020.

While he has done some of the things he said he’d do — like renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and enacting tax reform — he’s also failed to keep many of his promises. 

In the last three-and-a-half years, the president has not succeeded in repealing the nation’s health care law, or in making any progress toward eliminating the national debt. He has also not released his tax returns, nor has he enacted a five-year ban to keep White House and congressional officials from lobbying, or built a significant part of the border wall at Mexico’s expense, among other pledges. 

Plans for Mr. Trump’s acceptance of the Republican nomination for the presidency remain unclear. He is mulling a GOP acceptance speech at the White House, which hasn’t been warmly received by Republicans, who are reluctant to see the White House used for a purely political event. While it’s technically legal, such a speech could pose problems for aides who, unlike the president, are subject to laws preventing them from using federal resources for political use. 

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