WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday will travel to the area in the swing state of Pennsylvania where Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was born to talk about his decades of government service, hours before the former vice president accepts his party’s nomination.
The speech, which the campaign has said will highlight a “half century of Joe Biden failing America,” will seek to shore up the Republican’s support in the state, which may prove key to winning reelection in November.
Trump won the rust belt state of Pennsylvania by 45,000 votes in 2016, and is trailing Biden in recent polls there by about 6 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics.
But the speech in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, on the outskirts of Biden’s birthplace of Scranton, could also backfire, according to Politics Professor Terry Madonna at Franklin and Marshall college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“He is going to have to be careful about what he says about Joe Biden given Scranton is his hometown,” Madonna said. He said that Trump should focus his message on bringing jobs back to blue collar areas and try to shore up confidence in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden, who moved to Delaware when he was young, will accept the presidential nomination on Thursday night, closing out a 4-day virtual Democratic National Convention.
The Pennsylvania speech caps a week of appearances by Trump to counter the convention, which has included speeches from some prominent disaffected Republicans, ahead of the Republican National Convention next week.
On Monday, Trump traveled to Mankato, Minnesota, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he mainly addressed his strong record on job growth and vowed to restore the economy impacted by shutdowns to curb the coronavirus.
In Yuma, Arizona, on Tuesday, Trump touted progress building a wall across the Southern border with Mexico, highlighting his anti-immigration and law-and-order messages.
Trump’s campaign is confident he will clinch Pennsylvania a second time on Nov. 3.
“Biden’s socialist agenda would kill jobs and hurt families in the Keystone State, which is exactly why he won’t confront voters in his hometown,” Deputy National Press Secretary Samantha Bullock said in a statement.
“President Trump has a record of success to point to in Pennsylvania, and voters in the state will reelect him this November as a result.”
By Alexandra Alper
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.