Melania Trump blasted Joe Biden’s “socialist agenda” as the First Lady launched a rare political attack amid signs the Democrat challenger’s lead over her husband in the election race is narrowing slightly.
The First Lady lined up squarely behind the President at a rally in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania, declaring: “We must keep Donald in the White House so he can finish what he’s started and our country can continue to flourish.”
Speaking in suburban Philadelphia, Mrs Trump, 50, tried to pile pressure on her husband’s political opponents, accusing Democrats of choosing to “put their own agendas ahead of the American people’s wellbeing” and focusing on a “sham impeachment” instead of coronavirus.
Turning her fire directly on the Democratic candidate, she said Mr Biden’s “policies and socialist agenda will only serve to destroy America and all that has been built in the past four years”.
It was a rare intervention from the First Lady and reflected Mr Trump’s keenness to throw everything into a final push for votes in key swing states, six days before the election.
Earlier Ivanka Trump was out campaigning for her father in Florida, another key state where a poll yesterday gave Mr Biden a two percentage point lead over Mr Trump.
The 38-year-old told supporters in Sarasota: “There is only one choice in this election. Mr Donald J. Trump.”
Some supporters wore face masks but there was not much social distancing, despite evidence Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalisations in the Sunshine State are on the rise again.
Mr Biden has held a healthy lead over Mr Trump in national opinion polls, but there were signs the gap may be narrowing as election day looms.
The 77-year-old’s polling average is 50.6 per cent compared with 43.5 per cent for Mr Trump, according to the US polling analysts RealClearPolitics — a seven percentage point gap, down one point on the previous day’s average.
The race is likely to hinge on a handful of battleground states, where Mr Trump has mostly been trailing in the polls. In North Carolina, Mr Trump seemed to be back in the race, with a SurveyUSA/WRAL News poll putting him and Mr Biden level. However, Reuters/Ipsos yesterday had Mr Biden nine points ahead in both Michigan and Wisconsin, two states which Mr Trump visited yesterday.
Mr Biden is hoping to win traditionally Republican states in the Deep South.