WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With visits to four states scheduled, U.S. President Donald Trump plans to inject himself as often as possible this week into Democrats’ carefully choreographed plans to nominate Joe Biden as their presidential candidate.
At the same time, Trump’s travel this week, to states likely to prove crucial to whether he wins a second term, promise to show a framework for how he will campaign this fall, given that the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed the mass arena rallies that the president favors.
Trump’s goal by campaigning this week is to limit the damage to his standing from the Democratic National Convention. National polls and many in battleground states show him already in deep trouble.
Trump, whose Republican National Convention is next week, will travel to Mankato, Minnesota, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Monday, Yuma, Arizona, on Tuesday and Biden’s home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the campaign expects Biden to get a convention bounce from the week of Democratic activities.
He will push a law-and-order theme in Minnesota, the state where the death of George Floyd, a black man, while in police custody gave rise to massive protests against racial injustice.
In Wisconsin, Trump will talk about job growth and trade in the state where the Democratic convention is headquartered. In Arizona, the president will emphasize border security and his tough-on-immigration stance.
The main event will be on Thursday in Scranton, the same day Biden is to accept his party’s nomination for the Nov. 3 election.
An aide said Trump’s speech in Scranton will review “Joe Biden’s four decades in public life” and contrast his record with Trump’s over the past three and a half years.
It was possible that the funeral for Trump’s brother, who died in New York on Sunday, could impact the president’s week. Trump is expected to attend the funeral.
Some of the Trump campaign events will be held in airport hangars with crowds ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 who will be seated at a socially distant range from each other.
A campaign adviser said Trump has been resistant to holding events with relatively small crowds, but has grudgingly accepted the fact that he must do this instead of large rallies.
Trump had tried a large rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, but the crowd was smaller than forecast and virus exposure forced several campaign officials to self-quarantine.
While Trump is traveling, his re-election has arranged for a sweeping digital ad buy that could reach $10 million, a campaign official said.
Trump’s campaign will take over the banner of YouTube for 96 hours starting on Tuesday, and will put ads up on the home pages of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and FoxNews.com.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Diane Craft)