Here and Now 2020

Trump Highlights Law Enforcement at Janesville Rally

By Will Kenneally

October 17, 2020 • South Central Region

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump points to the crowd at a campaign rally in Janesville Oct. 17, 2020.

President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of thousands during a campaign stop in Janesville Saturday, two weeks after an Oct. 3 rally in the same city that was cancelled when the president tested positive for COVID-19.

“Seventeen days from now, we’re going to win the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

The president spoke in the key swing state of Wisconsin with less than three weeks before the Nov. 3 election, in a state where he is losing to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the latest Marquette Law School poll 46%-41%. The five-point margin places Biden just outside the margin of error. 

“We win Wisconsin, we win the whole ballgame,” Trump said.

During the rally, the president spoke on a stage adorned with “Thin Blue Line” flags and touted a message of law and order. He spoke about recent violence toward police officers. 

“The anti police rhetoric of Joe Biden, and the Democrat Party, is really what causes a lot of this, too,” he said. “It puts police officers in harm’s way.”

This was the president’s first stop in Wisconsin since he visited Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

“I had your sheriff’s endorsement and a lot of other endorsements in Kenosha,” Trump said.

Trump’s rally also comes as Wisconsin is seeing record-setting levels of COVID-19 in the state. Rock County, which fares middle-of-the-pack among Wisconsin counties in cases per capita, has recently seen a spike in test positivity rates over a seven-day average

On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers called the event a “super-spreader” of COVID-19.

“I would encourage any politician that’s having an event in Wisconsin, whether it’s Eric Trump or Vice President [Mike] Pence or the president himself, that they have control over that crowd. They can tell them if you don’t wear a mask, you’ll have to leave,” Evers said. 

The campaign required attendees to wear masks to enter the event, but some in the tightly-packed crowd removed them once inside. 

The same day as the president’s rally in Janesville, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren held drive-in rallies in Madison and Milwaukee. 

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