Biden, Trump, Obama campaign before midterms

Politics

(NewsNation) — The weight of Pennsylvania’s Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz was on full display Saturday as both parties sent their heavyweights to the state to rally for the candidates.

Fetterman received endorsement speeches on Saturday from both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama, who hoped to tilt the race back in Fetterman’s favor after recent polls show Oz holding a razor-thin lead.

“Sulking and moping is not an option,” Obama said in Pittsburgh on Saturday. “On Tuesday, let’s make sure our country doesn’t get set back 50 years.”

Trump meanwhile held a rally for Oz in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he attacked the media for being “fake news,” falsely claimed he won the 2020 presidential election, bragged about Republican polling numbers and in general, hit many of the same notes he has stuck to through much of the midterm campaign season.

While pointing out the size of the crowd in attendance at the Pennsylvania rally Trump told Oz and House candidate Doug Mastriano there was “no way they could lose” if the people in the crowd voted for them. He then, without evidence, said the Republican rally has “tens of thousands” of people in attendance while the Obama and Biden rally had a crowd of “200.”

Former President Donald Trump adjusts the microphones after arriving to speak at an election rally in Latrobe, Pa. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

“If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American Dream then this Tuesday you must vote Republican in a giant way,” Trump said.

Biden appeared with Obama and Fetterman later in the day at a rally in Philadelphia, in which he too, stuck to his midterm script and told voters democracy would be on the ballot on Tuesday.

“Folks, three days, three days until one of the most important elections in our lifetime. The outcome is going to shape our country for decades to come, and the power to shape that outcome is in your hands,” Biden told supporters at Temple University in Philadelphia. “It’s a choice. A choice between two vastly different visions of America.”

The impact of these heavyweight endorsements for the Pennsylvania candidates will be seen on Tuesday, but The Hill’s White House columnist Niall Stanage told NewsNation the impacts could be significant.

“(Obama) brings a few things, because he is not involved in the day-to-day political conflict he has a kind of glamour, a popularity because of that,” Stanage said. “He also is a very popular person, certainly relative to President Biden or to former President Trump.”

Trump, who sources say is preparing to launch a third consecutive run for the White House after the midterms, continues to falsely claim that his 2020 defeat by Biden was the result of widespread fraud. Multiple courts, state agencies and members of his own administration have rejected that claim as untrue.

Still, opinion polls show a significant number of Republican voters accept the claim, as do many candidates for Congress, governor and state offices overseeing election administration.

“We are going to take back that beautiful house,” Trump said of the 2024 presidential race.

That could set the stage for a Biden-Trump rematch, though some Democrats say heavy losses for Biden’s party on Tuesday could increase pressure on the president to step aside and let someone else carry the party’s mantle in 2024.

The Fetterman-Oz Senate race is one of three critical contests, along with Georgia and Nevada, that will determine whether Democrats hold onto their razor-thin majority in the Senate, and with it the power to confirm Biden’s nominees to posts ranging from his Cabinet to the Supreme Court.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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