Here’s what you need to know:
- Trump plays on racist fears in appeal to white suburban voters.
- Obama will deliver a eulogy at John Lewis’s funeral.
- A new poll shows Biden tied with Trump in Georgia.
- Asked about Russian bounties, Trump says his phone call with Putin focused on ‘other things.’
- The president floats the idea of giving his renomination speech at the White House, a likely Hatch Act violation.
- During a hearing on antitrust, Republicans accuse big tech of censoring conservative views.
- Val Demings, a V.P. finalist, has a complicated record on police accountability.
President Trump vowed on Wednesday to protect suburbanites from low-income housing being built where they live, continuing his efforts to shore up the support of white suburban voters by stirring racist fears about low-income housing.
In a tweet and later in remarks during a visit to Texas, Mr. Trump painted a false picture of the suburbs as under siege and ravaged by crime, using fear-mongering language that has become something of a rhetorical flourish in his general election campaign against Joseph R. Biden Jr.
In the tweet, he appealed to “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream,” promising them that they would “no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.”
He explicitly referenced his administration’s move last week to roll back an Obama-era program intended to combat racial segregation in suburban housing. The program expanded provisions in the Fair Housing Act to encourage diversification and “foster inclusive communities.”
“Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down,” he wrote.
And during his remarks in West Texas later on Wednesday, Mr. Trump warned that “the radical left” was a threat to “every American value” and again bragged that he’d ended a government program that tries to reduce segregation in suburban areas.
“People fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home,” he said. “There will be no more low income housing forced into the suburbs.”
“It’s been hell for suburbia,” he added, before telling the audience to “enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen.”
Mr. Trump and his father were sued by the Justice Department in the 1970s for their company’s practice of discriminating against Black tenants.
His remarks on Wednesday were further evidence that he is deploying a strategy rooted in racism, classism and fear-mongering as he courts white suburban voters, particularly white suburban women, who were the key to his victory in 2016 but are slipping away from him.
And his vision of the suburbs as white is outdated, as they become more economically and racially diverse.
In 2018, support from suburban voters helped Democrats retake the House of Representatives. The following year, voters in the suburbs helped Democrats win governorships in reliably red states like Kentucky and Louisiana.
Mr. Trump made similar remarks last week when he first announced his administration’s plans to eliminate the Obama-era rule.
“The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article,” Mr. Trump said, referring to an opinion piece in The New York Post that attacked the housing rule and Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama’s vice president. “Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!”
A spokesman for the Biden campaign said last week that Mr. Trump was trying to distract from his handling of the coronavirus. Mr. Biden has proposed a housing policy that would combat systemic racism, including by ending redlining and other discriminatory practices in the housing market and providing a tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time home buyers.
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden unveiled wide-ranging plans to address systemic racism in the economy.
During a discussion on Wednesday afternoon with Janet Murguía, president of the UnidosUS Action Fund, Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump’s messaging stemmed from his own fear that he was losing the suburbs.
“Look what he’s doing now, the president,” Mr. Biden said. “He’s trying to scare because an awful lot of suburbanites are now deciding they’re going to vote for me, at least the data suggests, as opposed to him.”
Former President Barack Obama will deliver a eulogy at John Lewis’s funeral on Thursday. Two other former presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will also attend the funeral, which will be held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Mr. Lewis, a civil rights icon who represented Atlanta in Congress for more than three decades, died on July 17 at age 80, amid a national reckoning over racism and police brutality. This week, he became the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are locked in a tight race for Georgia, while at least one of the state’s two Senate seats currently appears on track to remain in Republican hands, according to a new poll of voters there released Wednesday.
The survey, conducted by Monmouth University, shows Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden tied with 47 percent support each and only three percent of registered voters indicating that they were undecided.
It also shows Republicans ahead in both of the state’s crucial Senate races. In the tighter of the two contests, Senator David Perdue, the Republican incumbent, currently leads Jon Ossoff, his Democratic challenger, by six percentage points, according to the poll.
Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat late last year by Gov. Brian Kemp, must defend her seat in a special election in November that will feature candidates from both parties; she leads the large group with 26 percent support and is followed by another Republican, Representative Doug Collins, who garnered 20 percent support. The leading Democrat, Matt Lieberman, was the choice of just 14 percent of voters, while another Democrat, the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, had the support of 9 percent.
The Monmouth poll of 402 registered voters comes as some Democrats are pressing the Biden campaign to expand its ambitions and compete aggressively in states like Georgia, where a win could help solidify an Electoral College victory and deal a damaging blow to Mr. Trump’s brand of politics. The Monmouth poll of Georgia voters was conducted by telephone from July 23 to 27 and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.
Georgia has long been seen by Democrats as a fast-changing state where electoral success could help carve a new path to the presidency. Mr. Biden’s campaign has mostly focused on a handful of more traditional battleground states in the months since he became the presumptive nominee.