Advertisement

Biden campaign says Trump ‘wants another January 6’ after Ohio ‘bloodbath’ prediction

Trump’s ‘bloodbath’ comments in Ohio were criticised by the Biden-Harris campaign (AP)

Joe Biden’s campaign has accused his rival Donald Trump of wanting “another January 6” after the former president warned there would be an economic “bloodbath” if he loses the election.

Speaking in Ohio on Saturday to endorse GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno, Mr Trump told the crowd: “Now, if I don’t get elected ... it’s going to be a bloodbath for the country.”

In response, the Biden-Harris campaign issued a statement, stating that Mr Trump “wants another January 6, but the American people are going to give him another electoral defeat this November because they continue to reject his extremism, his affection for violence, and his thirst for revenge”.

“This is who Donald Trump is: a loser who gets beat by over 7 million votes and then, instead of appealing to a wider mainstream audience, doubles down on his threats of political violence,” the Biden team added.

The former president’s comment came in the context of promising a “100 per cent tariff” on foreign-made cars. “You’re not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected,” Mr Trump said at the rally.

“Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole – that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung dismissed that the “bloodbath” comment was related to violence, clarifying to the Washington Post that the 2024 GOP frontrunner was referring to cars made outside of the US. “If you actually watch and listen to the section, he was talking about the auto industry and tariffs,” Mr Cheung told the outlet. “Biden’s policies will create an economic bloodbath for the auto industry and auto workers,” he said.

Senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said on X, emphasising that Mr Trump was talking about “the auto industry”. He added, “Crooked Joe Biden’s Insane EV Mandate will slaughter the American auto industry. So many jobs killed! That’s why we have to elect President Trump.”

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, questioned what Mr Trump meant by his “bloodbath” remark. She told CNN on Sunday, “We just have to win this election because he’s even predicting a bloodbath. What does that mean? He’s going to exact a bloodbath? There’s something wrong here.”

The California Democrat said: “How respectful I am of the American people and their goodness. But how much more do they have to see from him to understand that this isn’t what our country is about.”

Meanwhile, members of Mr Trump’s party flocked to his defence. South Dakota Republican senator Mike Rounds told CNN on Sunday: “With regard to the autoworkers that he was talking to, he is showing them or he’s telling them what has been an economic downturn for them.”

Louisiana Republican senator Bill Cassidy told NBC News: “You could also look at the definition of bloodbath and it could be an economic disaster. And so if he’s speaking about the auto industry, in particular in Ohio, [that gives it] a little bit more context.”

But Mr Trump’s speech as a whole, Mr Cassidy said, begged another question: “The general tone of the speech is why many Americans continue to wonder, ‘Should President Trump be president?’ That kind of rhetoric, it’s always on the edge. Maybe doesn’t cross, maybe does, depending upon your perspective.”

At the rally, Mr Trump also escalated his attack against undocumented immigrants. “I don’t know if you call them people,” he said. “In some cases, they’re not people, in my opinion. But I’m not allowed to say that because the radical left says that’s a terrible thing to say.”

The former president has not been shy about his anti-immigrant agenda. During his 2016 presidential run, he described Mexican migrants who entered the US as “rapists” and “murderers”.

More recently, at a December rally, he told the crowd: “They’re poisoning the blood of the country. That’s what they’ve done.” After that attack, the Biden campaign condemned his dehumanising language and accused him of “channeling his role models” and “parroted Adolf Hitler”.

Mr Trump also mentioned Laken Riley – the Georgia nursing student who was murdered last month. Her murder suspect is an undocumented migrant. In the immediate aftermath of her death, Mr Trump took to Truth Social to label the suspect as a “monster” and to blame “Crooked Joe Biden’s Border INVASION” for “destroying our country and killing our citizens!”

He repeated the same language on Saturday, when he told the crowd, “The Republican party, we believe that Laken’s killer is an illegal alien criminal.” Mr Trump added, “Never ever would he have been in our country if the election weren’t rigged,” adding another familiar phrase.

At his State of the Union address, Mr Biden said: “Laken Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal,” a description for which he later apologised, saying he should instead have said “undocumented”.

Mr Biden added: “But how many thousands of people, being killed by legals?” Mr Biden then turned the tables on Mr Trump, blaming him for the collapse of a border bill compromise. “Politics [has] derailed this bill so far. I’m told my predecessor called members of Congress in the Senate to demand they block the bill,” Mr Biden said of Mr Trump, whose name he would not say.”

“I would respectfully suggest to my Republican friends ... to the American people – get this bill done. We need to act now,” he added.

Republicans shied away from the border deal last month at the urging of Mr Trump who did not want Mr Biden to have a victory on the issue ahead of the election.

Meanwhile the former vice president Mike Pence announced on Saturday that he refused to endorse Mr Trump and added that he wouldn’t be voting for Mr Biden either.

Mr Pence, a former 2024 presidential hopeful, said on Saturday: “It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year.”

“But that being said, during my presidential campaign, I made it clear that there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues and not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised on January 6,” he said on Fox News.

He added, “I’m going to keep my vote to myself. I would never vote for Joe Biden. How I vote when that curtain closes, that’ll be for me.”

In its fiery statement after the Ohio rally, the Biden-Harris team mentioned the minor defeat for Mr Trump, attributing the former president’s decision “to praise dictators, promise to pardon political violence, and launch racist attacks against Black and brown Americans” to why Mr Pence came out against Mr Trump.