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As Barrett hearings begin, Biden and Pence emphasize their significance

Both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in battleground state Ohio Monday -- and both referred to President Trump's latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Biden warned that a more conservative court could overturn the Affordable Care Act amid the pandemic, while Pence argued Barrett would defend religious liberty. Yamiche Alcindor reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The 2020 presidential campaign headed to key battleground states today.

    But, as Yamiche Alcindor reports, the candidates kept an eye on the confirmation hearing in Washington.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    Hello, Toledo!

  • Crowd member:

    Hello, Joe!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    For former Vice President Joe Biden, the Supreme Court stakes are clear.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    It's about finally getting his wish to wipe out the Affordable Health Care Act, because their nominee has said in the past that the law should be struck down.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    Well, hello, Ohio!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    For Vice President Pence, Barrett's nomination and confirmation hearing are about standing up for religious liberty. Some Democrats have raised questions about whether Barrett, a devout Catholic, can separate her faith from her judicial rulings.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    To live, to work, to worship according to the dictates of our faith and conscience lives in the Constitution of the United States of America!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Both Biden and Pence spent the afternoon in Ohio, where early voting started last week. Four years ago, President Trump won the state by eight points. But recent polls show Biden and Trump in a statistical tie.

    Since the pandemic began, the state has lost about 40,000 manufacturing jobs. Campaigning with auto workers in a socially distance drive-in rally, Biden touted his experience leading the 2008 economic recovery, a recovery he says President Trump squandered.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    We're in a manufactured recession because of Donald Trump, even before the COVID virus hit.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Meanwhile, President Trump touted the stock market and job numbers. He also attacked his opponent on Twitter, writing: "Sleepy Joe wants to quadruple your taxes. Depression."

    Over the weekend, President Trump returned to public events. He held an official White House event on the South Lawn that felt more like a campaign rally. On Saturday, hundreds packed the lawn wearing red hats, with little social distancing. The president, who is still recovering from COVID-19, spoke from the balcony about law and order.

    In a letter, White House Dr. Sean Conley said President Trump is no longer considered a transmission risk to others. Today, the president officially returns to the campaign trail for a rally in Florida, just one week after leaving the hospital, kicking off the final three-week sprint to Election Day.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

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