Lee Chatfield, the Republican speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, also commented on Twitter: “Trump didn’t chant ‘lock her up’ about our Governor. But others did and it was wrong. She was literally just targeted. Let’s debate differences. Let’s win elections. But not that.”
Michigan added 1,791 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s seven-day total to more than 10,000 cases, a new record, according to the state’s health department.
Wisconsin reported 3,861 new Covid cases on Friday, also a new record. Mr Trump won both states four years ago but is behind Mr Biden in them this year.
Mr Biden, a former vice-president, has hammered Mr Trump for his response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 219,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll in the world. He said in a statement on Saturday that he planned to unite the country to fight the virus if he wins.
“All President Trump is offering the people of Michigan is more lies and distractions — no plan to get the virus under control, no strategy for pulling our economy out of this recession, no vision for uniting the country,” Mr Biden said.
Mr Trump sought to turn that criticism around on Saturday by saying, falsely, that his rival would impede the recovery from the outbreak.
“Biden will shut down the country, delay the vaccine and prolong the pandemic,” Mr Trump said at both rallies.
Mr Trump’s advisers have long seen Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Pennsylvania, as key to his chances of re-election. The president is also playing defence in traditional Republican strongholds, including Arizona, where he plans to campaign on Monday, and Georgia, where he campaigned on Friday night.
He plans to campaign in Nevada, a state Mrs Clinton won in 2016, on Sunday.