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Trump holds final campaign rally in Grand Rapids

By
Don Jacobson & Daniel Uria & Darryl Coote
President Donald Trump made five final campaign stops Monday, including a rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pa. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
President Donald Trump made five final campaign stops Monday, including a rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pa. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump held his last 2020 election campaign rally hours before polls were to open in Grand Rapids, Mich., after stomping through four key states on Monday.

Trump took to the stage at an airplane hangar at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport minutes before midnight on Monday, after having made stops in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin throughout the day and evening.

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From the Grand Rapids airport, he told thousands of his supporters in attendance that he had to end his 2020 presidential campaign where he concluded his 2016 run.

"I kept saying we have to finish off here," he said. "We can be a little superstitious, right?"

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Trump won the former Democratic-stronghold state by 10,704 votes in 2016 over then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and he said early Tuesday that he predicts he'll win Michigan "so easily" this time.

"We want to do it just like last time, but let's give me a little bit more margin," he said.

The president spoke for nearly 80 minutes, concluding before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Election Day, during which he thanked his family for their support.

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"No matter what happens tomorrow I'm very proud of you all," he said of his children. "But if we don't win, I'll never speak to you again."

Earlier Monday night, Trump touted his commitment to "law and order" during a campaign stop in Kenosha, Wis., where he had deployed the National Guard in response to protests following the summer's police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who was left paralyzed by the incident.

"When the violent mob came to Kenosha, [Joe] Biden opposed sending in the National Guard," Trump said. "And then we sent in the guard and we saved Kenosha."

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Following the shooting and unrest, Trump attracted criticism for defending the 17-year-old who's accused of killing two activists during the demonstrations, and for visiting the city against the advice of local and state leaders.

The president also continued his messaging that the nation is "rounding the curve" on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump also tweeted that Biden would turn America into a "prison state."

"Joe Biden is promising to delay the vaccine and turn America into a prison state -- locking you in your home while letting far-left rioters roam free," the president wrote.

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"The Biden Lockdown will mean no school, no graduations, no weddings, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas, no Fourth of July and no future for America's youth. A vote for Biden is a vote for Lockdowns, Layoffs and Misery," he added.

While campaigning on a final stump tour of Pennsylvania earlier in the day, Twitter flagged a tweet from the president in which he criticized a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting a request by Trump's campaign and state Republicans to block an extended deadline for mail-in ballots for the 2020 election.

In the tweet, Trump alleged the decision would "allow rampant and unchecked cheating" and "induce violence in the streets."

In Pennsylvania, several counties reported that more than 700,000 mail-in ballots had not been received by Monday. More than 2.4 million early ballots have been received, according to the United States Election Project.

"Please do not put ballots in the mail, hand deliver your mail ballot to your county election office, satellite election office or other designated drop box or drop-off location," Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, said Monday. "Do it today. Do not wait."

While in Pennsylvania, Trump dropped celebrity insults, including taking aim at Lady Gaga, who appeared with Biden on Monday in Philadelphia.

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"I could tell you plenty of stories about Lady Gaga," Trump said, as the crowd booed. "I know a lot of stories about her."

He then lashed out at Jon Bon Jovi, who campaigned for Biden in Pennsylvania last month.

"Jon Bon Jovi, every time I see him, he kisses my ass: 'Oh, Mr. President,'" Trump said. "But he'll get something out of it, just like everyone is."

Trump also attacked the NBA and Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James.

"How about basketball?" Trump said. "How about LeBron? I felt badly for LeBron, very badly. Down 71% and that's with the championship. I didn't watch one shot. I get bored. Back, forth, back, forth. You know why? When they don't respect our country, when they don't respect our flag, nobody wants to watch."

He smiled as the crowd chanted "LeBron James sucks."

2020 election: scenes from final stretch of presidential campaign

Democratic presidential nomimee Joe Biden addresses supporters at a drive-in rally outside of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Monday, the night before the election. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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