• By The Financial District


Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy as the two rivals headed to the election battleground state of Minnesota, one of four states where early voting was getting underway.

Trump trails Biden in national opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election, but is trying to make up ground in Minnesota, a state he lost by about 1.5 percentage points to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, Julio-Cesar Chavez, Jarrett Renshaw and Joseph Ax reported for Reuters.

Biden toured a union carpenter training center in Hermantown, a suburb of the Lake Superior port city of Duluth, and painted a grim picture of the economic situation in Minnesota’s iron ore mining region, saying the coronavirus pandemic has driven up joblessness. He blamed Trump for the sustained economic downturn, saying the Republican president has done little to contain the public health crisis. “Trump has given up on even pretending to do his job,” Biden said.

Biden repeated a pledge to invest $2 trillion on U.S. infrastructure improvements while tackling climate change. Biden also said he would make sure all federal projects use American-made materials and union labor. Trump keeps promising an infrastructure plan, but one never materializes, Biden said. “He has no plan,” Biden added. Recent opinion polls have given Biden a comfortable lead in Minnesota. The poll-tracking website RealClearPolitics showed Biden up by an average of 10.2 percentage points as of Friday.

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