Trump says Democratic agenda would 'shatter' America's seniors and prolong pandemic

'You're expendable, you're forgettable,' Joe Biden recently told seniors about president’s view of them

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Friday 16 October 2020 20:15 BST
Trump claims Democrats have a ‘plan to delay’ a coronavirus vaccine
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Donald Trump warned seniors in battleground Florida that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is powerless to stop his party’s liberall wing from enacting “Marxist” policies he contends would  “shatter America’s seniors.”

“‘Sleepy Joe’ can do nothing about it. The left has been taken over by leftists and Marxists. Our country would no longer be recognisable,” he said at an official event in Fort Myers before a campaign rally in Ocala “Their agenda would shatter America’s seniors [and] delay therapies and prolong the pandemic.”

“They care more about illegal aliens than they do senior citizens, the Democrats,” he said.

Mr Trump sounded a different tone, more empathetic, about seniors and the coronavirus than he has previously.

“My heart breaks for every grieving family. ... I feel their anguish and I mourn their loss,” he said. 

"We love our seniors," Mr Trump said at the start of the event. “I happen to be a senior. You devoted your life to this country. And I am devoting my life to you."

He also advised older Americans to “stay where you are” and not to go out in public much since the virus is hardest on older people. And he said they should not view travel by their 74-year-old president as a sign they also can travel.

“I know there's risk,” he said. "But, as president, I can't just be locked in the basement."

Mr Trump has been losing senior voters at what CNN described as an "historic rate."

A recent CNN/SSRS poll showed Mr Biden leading among older voters by 21 percentage points. And a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has him ahead by 27 points with voters over 65.

That means, if the polls are accurate, the shift among seniors could be around 30 percentage points – or more. Mr Trump won the demographic in 2016, besting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with older voters by 7 points, according to national exit polling data, 52 per cent to 45 per cent.

Mr Biden recently told a group of seniors in Florida, where he leads Mr Trump in most polls by a narrow margin as they jockey for its 29 Electoral College votes, that the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic shows he does not care about them.  

"You're expendable, you're forgettable, you're virtually nobody. That's how he sees seniors. That's how he sees you," Mr Biden said, giving his assessment of the president's viewpoint

Mr Trump, Mr Biden added, is the "only senior Donald Trump seems to care about."

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