Biden Tells Alliance Crowd Debate Was ‘National Embarrassment’

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Former Vice President Joe Biden today called the way President Donald Trump acted during last night’s debate in Cleveland “a national embarrassment.”

During a stop at the train station here, Biden said the debate was “a wake up call for all Americans. … For 90 minutes, he tried everything to distract, everything possible, and it just didn’t work,” Biden said.

In response to a reporter’s question, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee said at the two remaining debates, he hopes the “debate commission can control the ability for us to answer the questions without interruptions.”

Biden began his brief remarks (WATCH VIDEO) by noting Alliance became a town because two railroads intersected here.

“Alliance started as a place where people came together, and it’s what we want to do as a country: to come together,” he said.

He cited the plight of an autoworker he called Tom who lost his job when General Motors closed its Lordstown plant. “He’s now making an eight-hour drive to Kentucky so he can keep a job,” the former vice president said.

As he frequently does, Biden spoke of his father losing his job at a plant in Scranton, Pa., the hardship his family endured, and how his father assured him everything would work out.

“Does your president have any idea, any understanding of what you’re going through, or does he just ignore you, look down on you, lie to you, like he did when he said, ‘Don’t sell your house’?” Biden asked.

The reference was to comments President Trump made during a 2017 rally in downtown Youngstown, when he told attendeeshe’d help revive the area’s manufacturing base and bring back jobs.

“A measure of our success as a nation is not how well the stock market is doing,” Biden continued.

“This election is between Scranton and Park Avenue, and about Alliance and Park Avenue, and whether parents can look their kids in the eye and say, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ ”

About 100 supporters of President Trump and Biden turned out in advance of Biden’s train stop here and were stationed in lots across the road from the Amtrak terminal.  A large contingent of Biden supporters invited to the event stood close to their candidate at the station.

Fresh off last night’s debate, Trump and Biden are targeting voters across the Midwest.

Biden headed out on his most aggressive day on the campaign trail all year, with eight stops planned for his train tour that began mid-morning in Cleveland and was scheduled to end Wednesday night in western Pennsylvania. Trump is scheduled to address voters and donors in Minnesota later in the day.

Biden opened his day by delivering a speech alongside the rails of Cleveland’s train station. The former vice president’s campaign stenciled a map of the train journey he’s making with wife, Jill, on a board behind the lectern where he spoke.

Aboard the six-car train: only the Bidens, their campaign staff and a handful of journalists. The train features a Biden-Harris logo and a sign urging supporters to text “Train” to the campaign to show their support.

Awaiting Biden’s visit here was Philip Brady of Alliance, a Vietnam era veteran who said he has voted for five decades, and there has “never been a more important race” than the Nov. 3 election.

“Democracy is at stake,” he warned. The alternative to Biden is going to be “fascism or totalitarian government.”

Gino Rome of Canton opposes Trump over comments reported by The Atlantic in which he disparaged members of the military. She has sons in the Army and Navy.

“I don’t agree with what he called them,” she said.

She also is concerned about health care, particularly regarding protections the Affordable Care Act provides for individuals with preexisting conditions. She has no thyroid and suffers from a heart condition.

Deborah and George Curl of Columbiana traveled to Alliance to show their support for Trump and to protest Biden’s appearance.

Deborah Curl said she supports “all the things that [Trump] stands for,” though she acknowledged she wasn’t “completely for him” in the beginning.
“He honors God. He honors America. He honors life,” she said.

“I wasn’t positive he would work out as well as he has but I really support him,” George Curl said. He praised Trump’s handling of the economy and the Middle East.

He said Biden isn’t “the safe candidate” for the country. “He made no statements last night that were understandable that I could get something from,” he said.

Regarding the debate, Deborah Curl acknowledged the president has “a little bit of an issue on not interrupting.” She also said Biden lied when he said Trump didn’t do a good job on the coronavirus.

“He did an excellent job,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Check back to The Business Journal Thursday morning for more coverage.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.