What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Biden, Trump campaign in Minnesota as its early voting period begins

Correction: This piece mistakenly refers to Minneapolis city council member Jeremiah Ellison as James Ellison. The transcript has been corrected. We regret the error.

The presidential campaign spotlight is on Minnesota Friday, with both Joe Biden and President Trump visiting a state that has become a new battleground -- and is one of the first in the country to begin early voting. Minneapolis officials say they’re working to ensure a safe process for poll workers and voters alike. Meanwhile, the candidates’ war of words is escalating. Lisa Desjardins reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The presidential campaign spotlight is on Minnesota tonight, with Joe Biden and President Trump both making stops in a state that's become a battleground for now.

    It comes as the president offers another new timetable on the pandemic.

    Lisa Desjardins begins our campaign coverage.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    At the White House, two days after breaking with experts and indicating a coronavirus vaccine could be ready in weeks, President Trump today gave a new date, saying a vaccine will not be widely available until spring at least.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month, and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    This hours before he was to travel to Minnesota, where the election is under way. There and in three other states today, early voters took to the polls, waiting in long, distanced lines.

    The campaign trail led both President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to the North Star State too. Vice President Biden went to a carpenter's training facility in Hermantown.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I think this campaign is between Scranton and Park Avenue.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    With both campaigns pressing to gin up turnout, officials in Minneapolis say they're working to ensure a safe process, amid a historic election.

  • Jeremiah Ellison:

    It's unique because of the pandemic, of course, and our need to make sure that we're making voting safe for everyone, accessible and safe for everyone.

    We don't want people exercising their right to vote to be dangerous.

  • Anderson Cooper:

    Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for joining us.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The pandemic was also central to Biden's CNN town hall in his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, last night.

    The former vice president accused his opponent of letting Americans die through inaction on COVID-19.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive. All the people — I'm not making this up. Just look at the data. Look at the data.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    It is not true that President Trump could have prevented all U.S. COVID-19-related deaths, though countries with more coordinated response plans have seen significantly fewer infections and deaths.

  • Crowd:

    Four more years! Four more years!

  • President Donald Trump:

    Thank you very much.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    At a rally in Wisconsin last night, the president painted a grim picture of what a Biden win would look like, in a more than an hour-and-a-half-long speech condemning recent anti-racism protests and some violent riots in cities.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Biden wins, very simple, China wins. If Biden wins, the mob wins. If Biden wins, the rioters, anarchists, arsonists, and flag-burners, they win.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    A historic campaign grinds on, with the war of words escalating by the day.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    More courts were heard from today on U.S. elections issues.

    The state Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that absentee voting is not automatically available to people whose health problems make them vulnerable to COVID-19.

    A Michigan judge cleared the way for absentee ballots to be counted as long as two weeks after Election Day. And, in Ohio, state officials and the state Republican Party are appealing a ruling against limiting counties to a single drop box for ballots.

Listen to this Segment