President Trump visited the key battleground state of Wisconsin on Thursday to tour a shipyard and make remarks at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
The president touted a Navy contract awarded to the Fincantieri Marinette Marine last month to build up to 10 frigates. The deal could be worth as much as $5.6 billion and create 1,000 jobs if all the ships are built.
“Through your sweat, skill and devotion, the workers of this shipyard will forge the future of the United States Navy,” Trump said. “You’ll fashion the ultimate symbol of American power and American prestige. Wherever the FFG(X) cuts across the horizon, it will go as a 7,500-ton message to the world that American might is second to none.”
Trump also criticized Democrats for voting against military spending increases, claiming that domestic manufacturing "came back big" under his watch, and predicted the economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic soon.
The visit comes as the president kicks his 2020 campaign into high gear.
Trump won Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes in 2016, receiving 47.2 percent of the vote compared to Hillary Clinton’s 46.5 percent.
Polls show that Trump is trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Wisconsin. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Thursday puts Trump 11 points behind Biden. A Marquette Law School poll released the day before had Biden ahead by eight points.
But the president carried 65 percent of the vote in Marinette County in 2016, and his visit Thursday marks his need to shore up support in the rural parts of Wisconsin.
The Democratic National Committee is planning to hold a socially distanced national convention in the liberal stronghold of Milwaukee in August, a city that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton in 2016. Vice President Mike Pence rallied evangelicals in Milwaukee's more conservative suburbs earlier this week ahead of Trump's visit.
Biden accused Trump on Thursday of taking credit for what he and former President Barack Obama did during their administration.
"Today, Donald Trump is in Marinette to take credit for Obama-Biden Administration-fueled successes in an attempt to paper over the fact that Wisconsin has been bleeding blue-collar manufacturing jobs over the past few weeks," Biden said in a statement. "Instead of offering real relief to working families, he’s trying to claim credit for progress in Marinette he did not build.”
Before touring the Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Trump taped a town hall with Sean Hannity, which will air on Fox News tonight at 8 p.m. ET.