MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden are both slated to hold campaign events Friday in Minnesota and other battleground states in the Upper Midwest.
The president is holding an evening gathering in Rochester while the former vice president is holding an afternoon drive-thru event in St. Paul.
The Trump campaign initially announced it was holding a rally at the Rochester airport, and the campaign briefly moved it to Dodge Center in anticipation of a large crowd. But when the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office asked about the campaign’s COVID-19 plan, the event was moved back to the Rochester airport so as to comply with state pandemic restrictions.
Instead of a rally, the president’s campaign is now holding an invite-only event. Per an agreement between the city and the Trump campaign, the event will not exceed 250 people.
Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted about the Rochester event, saying that his campaign was initially planning on a crowd as large as 25,000 people. He blamed Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz for only allowing 250 people to attend.
The governor’s office told WCCO-TV on Thursday that it was not in communication with the Trump campaign. However, officials did note that an event with more than 250 people would not comply with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.
At the end of his early morning tweet, Trump mentioned the unrest in the Twin Cities following George Floyd’s death and Rep. Ilhan Omar, a progressive congresswoman whom he’s frequently traded barbs with on Twitter. The president suggested that those two factors will push Minnesotans to vote red on Election Day.
“Riots plus Omar = WIN,” the president tweeted.
Yet, according to recent polls, Trump currently trails Biden in Minnesota, which hasn’t opted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. Election Day is Nov. 3.
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Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are surging in Minnesota and across the Midwest. On just Thursday, Minnesota health officials reported a daily record for new cases, with more than 2,800 new infections detected. Top health officials say they expect more daily records to be broken as the virus spreads across the state and officials ramp up testing capacity.