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Defensive Trump courts voters in two must-win states

With just more than two weeks to go before the United States presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are fighting over a battleground state that will be key to their respective paths to the White House: Michigan.

He also offered an optimistic assessment of the pandemic, even as a surge of new infections spread across America.

His victory marked the first time the state, which former President Barack Obama won in 2012 by 9.5 percentage points, had been won by a Republican presidential candidate since George HW Bush won it in 1988.

Despite the tough talk, Mr Trump's actions on the ground in Florida underscored the conflicting messages his administration has sent throughout the pandemic. But the latest one has stunned many of his followers and supporters. "I will never speak to you again".

"Mishandling the pandemic isn't enough for Trump", Mr Biden charged.

The remarks quickly picked up steam online with Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans sharing video of the speech.

More news: Las Vegas 'Misfits' No More, Golden Knights Now Expected To Win

Trump's event, aired across NBC and its sibling cable channels of MSNBC and CNBC in the same hour, drew 13.5 million viewers altogether.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted that the Trump effort had $251.4 million on hand at the end of September, compared with $432 million for Biden. He said Mr. Trump's comments were a "dog whistle" to such groups.

On ABC, Mr Biden suggested he would offer clarity on his position on expanding the Supreme Court if Mr Trump's nominee to the bench was seated before Election Day.

Mr. Biden, meanwhile, was campaigning in MI, where he ripped into Mr. Trump's handling of the coronavirus - the strongest issue of his campaign.

"Today" anchor Savannah Guthrie grilled Trump on his pandemic response, as well as asking him to denounce white supremacy.

"It's an organized crime family, as far as I'm concerned", the president said at an event aimed at seniors in Fort Myers, Florida.



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