KENT COUNTY, Mich. — With the election just two weeks away, campaigning is continuing to ramp up across West Michigan.
On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump made a surprise visit to Robinette’s Apple Haus in Grand Rapids before speaking to a crowd of supporters at Wildwood Family Farms in Alto.
Trump answered questions asked by Mercedes Schlapp, an advisor to the president, on a wide range of topics.
She listed her father’s 2017 tax reform bill, re-negotiation of trade deals, like the USMCA, and deregulation efforts as the reasons why he should be re-elected. Trump added the president’s focus on those areas would continue for the next four years.
“He goes to the mat every single day for your families, your future, and for your jobs,” said Trump.
Trump also touched on the coronavirus pandemic.
Right now Kent County’s positivity rate is 4.5%, which is a significant increase from the previous weeks. The United States also leads the world with the highest number of infections and deaths.
Trump instead said there is no strategy behind shutdowns and the decisions on how to handle the virus should instead be left up to local communities.
“We have to know how to live with this, we have to do so safely, we have to be responsible,” said Trump.
Meanwhile supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden say President Trump mishandled the pandemic which is why he should go.
“We shouldn’t settle for that,” said Pete Buttigieg, former Democratic presidential candidate. “Not when we have so many good people here doing the work, being undermined by their own president.”
Buttigieg canvassed for Biden and other Michigan Democrats in Grand Rapids earlier Tuesday afternoon before participating in a Vote Now mobilization event in Kalamazoo.
The former South Bend, Indiana mayor added issues like the economy and healthcare are at stake this November.
“All these things add up to a shared view of where our country ought to go,” said Buttigieg. “I’m really proud that Democrats who maybe disagree on the details, but can come to agree with each other and Independents, and an awful lot of Republicans, that it’s time for a change.”
An average of polls place Biden ahead of President Trump by eight points, however both campaigns acknowledge that can change.
“Very rarely are the differences between the candidates so extreme,” said Trump. “What we’re fighting for is the heart and soul of this country.”