Trump campaign adviser pressed on 'America's Newsroom' on Biden's big lead in Pennsylvania

Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp faced questions Tuesday on "America's Newsroom" about how President Trump plans to bolster his support in Pennsylvania, especially against current Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.

Ahead of a visit to the western part of the state by Trump, anchor Sandra Smith asked Schlapp about the RealClearPolitics polling average, which shows Biden ahead of the president by 10.5 points in Pennsylvania.

"What's the president's message? How does he close that gap?" Smith asked.

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Schlapp downplayed the importance of the hypothetical matchup polls, arguing Trump remains in a "winning position" in the Keystone State and said the numbers will improve once the Democrats settle on a candidate.

"He has a positive record to run on, that of sustainable economic growth impacting these communities," she said.

Trump was headed to Monaca, about 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday to tour Shell’s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.

The focus is part of a continued push by the Trump administration to increase the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And it’s an embrace of plastic at a time when the world is sounding alarms over its ubiquity and impact.

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Trump’s appeal to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters turn to Democrats in 2018′s midterm elections.

Schlapp later highlighted the recent string of gaffes on the campaign trail by Biden in Iowa, saying the former vice president "can't remember basic facts" and is in a "weakened position" in the race.

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She expressed confidence in Trump being able to run against the Democrats' "extreme policies," arguing the party is in "disarray."

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Biden raised eyebrows in recent days by mistakenly saying he was vice president at the time of the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

The misstatement came just days after Biden said "poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids" and declared that he supports "truth over facts," all of which prompted a response from his campaign.

"Joe Biden has spoken his mind his entire life, which voters know and love about him. He’s a real person, he’s authentic and that will never change," Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director and deputy campaign manager, told The New York Times.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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