Trump in Pennsylvania: 'Our country is going to hell'

Former president slams Joe Biden as "corrupt" and "extreme," rips into president's "hateful, divisive" speech.
Trump at a rally for Mehmet Oz, May 2022

President Donald Trump delivered blistering broadsides against Democratic politicians in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, urging voters to cast their ballots for Republicans in November as he declared that, under the Joe Biden administration, "our country is going to hell."

The president appeared in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, both of whom he has endorsed. 

"This election is a referendum on skyrocketing inflation, rampant crime, soaring murders, crushing gas prices, millions and millions of illegal aliens pouring across our border, race and gender indoctrination, perverting our schools," Trump told the cheering crowd.

"And above all this election is a referendum on the corruption and extremism of Joe Biden and the radical Democrat party," he added. 

Trump touched on President Joe Biden’s highly controversial speech delivered in Philadelphia earlier this week, in which the Democratic president delivered unprecedented opprobrium to Americans who voted against him and who continue to oppose the Democratic agenda. 

Trump slammed the speech as “the most vicious, hateful, divisive speech ever delivered by an American president, vilifying 75 million citizens … as threats to democracy and enemies of the state," Trump said.

“You’re all enemies of the state,” he joked with the crowd.

Trump criticized ongoing Democratic claims that Republicans have attempted to undercut U.S. democratic ideals by questioning and investigating certain aspects of the U.S. election system, with the former president declaring that “the danger to democracy comes from the radical left, not from the right."

"Republicans in the MAGA movement are not the ones trying to undermine our democracy," he said. "We are the ones trying to save our democracy." 

Elsewhere he criticized the recent federal raid undertaken against him at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, claiming that "the FBI and the Justice Department have become vicious monsters" consumed by politicized intent.

The speech was seen as a critical stump for Republicans in the state, particularly Oz. His challenger, John Fetterman has become increasingly favored to win the Senate election in November, with numerous handicappers and analysts giving him the edge in the contest.

The embattled Republican Senate candidate there is doubtlessly banking that Trump's considerable star power will give him a much-needed boost. Fetterman himself has been a fixture in Pennsylvania Democratic politics for years, having served in his current role since 2019 and previously as mayor of the town of Braddock from 2006 until he became lieutenant governor.

Oz throughout the late summer has struggled to maintain an edge against Fetterman after having won the Republican primary in early June. Numerous polls put Oz as much as 13 points behind Fetterman with just two months to go in the election. 

Much can happen in two months, of course, and Trump's continued support of Oz will likely play a critical role in closing that gap as November draws near. Trump himself has enthusiastically endorsed the Republican candidate over the course of the race. 

"[H]e’s tough, he’s smart and he really loves our country and he wants to do a great job for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," the former president said of Oz in May.