President Trump late Sunday said the “gloves are off” as he derided Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden as unfit for the presidency, too soft on anti-police protesters and inconsistent on fracking and other issues.
“He would surrender your country to the mob, you know that,” he said at Xtreme Manufacturing in Henderson, Nevada. “I’ll always stand with the heroes of law enforcement.”
He said flag-burners should go to jail for one year and that cop-killers should receive the ultimate punishment as authorities search for the assailant who ambushed two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies. The officers remain hospitalized.
“If you murder a police officer, you should receive the death penalty,” Mr. Trump told cheering supporters.
He reissued his complaint that Mr. Biden and others in the Obama administration spied on his campaign, sparking chants of “Lock him up,” and said supporters need him in office, eliciting cheers of “We love you.”
He also took aim at Mr. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
“We’re going to have a woman president someday — not going to be her,” he said.
Mr. Trump, who lost Nevada by 2.5 percentage points in 2016, is hoping to swipe the state this time.
Mr. Biden, the former vice president, has consistently led Mr. Trump in nationwide polls, as the president faces withering criticism over his coronavirus response, but Mr. Trump sees a path through the Electoral College as the numbers tighten in Nevada and other swing states.
“I love the Hispanics,” Mr. Trump said, courting a key demographic in the state.
The president held a series of big weekend campaign rallies in Nevada even though Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak limited in-person gatherings during the pandemic to 50 people or less.
“I’ll be with you all the way, don’t worry about a thing,” Mr. Trump said.
The venue featured forklifts and other heavy machinery but no physical distancing and scattered mask-wearing among attendees.
Notably, it is the Trump campaign’s first indoor rally since late June. Scientists say gathering indoors is more dangerous than assembling outdoors, where the fresh air allows for the unlimited dilution of virus particles.
Campaign officials said each attendee received a temperature check, a mask they were encouraged to wear and access to hand sanitizer.
Mr. Sisolak was livid.
“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” the governor tweeted shortly before Mr. Trump took the stage.
He called the indoor event flouted the White House’s own advice, dubbed it an “insult” to Nevadans who sacrificed during the pandemic and accused Mr. Trump of flubbing the national response early on.
“To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices — he left that to governors and the states,” the governor wrote. “Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”
Mr. Trump said he took the virus seriously in the early days, citing his travel restrictions on China, as he weathers the fallout from newly released tapes that show he told author Bob Woodward in March that he likes to play down the threat from the virus.
“We will very easily defeat the China virus,” Mr. Trump said, claiming the nation is “rounding” the final turn although transmission remains elevated, at a seven-day rolling average of over 30,000 reported cases per day.
The president spent a good deal of his remarks on racial-justice protests that have turned violent in some parts of the country.
“They’re really anarchists, they’re not protesters,” Mr. Trump said.
He said threats of federal intervention solved problems from Minneapolis to Seattle.
“It was taken care of in 15 minutes,” Mr. Trump said.
The president acknowledged the deadly wildfires that are devastating the American West. He said he will be stopping in California to meet with Gov. Gavin Newsom and that he’s been in touch with Oregon’s governor, using the reference to point to ongoing unrest in Portland.
“That’s a much easier fire to put out,” Mr. Trump said.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report.