CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – On the same day Ohio State returned to the football field, President Donald Trump returned to the Buckeye State, 10 days before the election, taking credit for the Big Ten’s return.
The president’s supports started lining up bright and early Saturday morning outside the Pickaway County Fairgrounds, which would normally be hosting the annual Pumpkin Show this weekend.
But the president’s supporters took advantage of the timing, making shirts and calling the rally “The Trumpkin Show.”
On the tarmac after Air Force One landed, Trump told reporters he votes straight Republican Saturday in Florida.
Before the president arrived, screens played Ohio State’s opening win over Nebraska for the crowd.
When the president took the stage, he joked he wouldn’t have wanted to come if the Buckeyes lost, and recapped how he allegedly brought football back, a claim that has been denied by Big Ten representatives.
“So I said, ‘What’s the problem with football?’ They said, ‘Big Ten football is shut down.’ Well, he said I did it? Yeah, he blamed me. I said, ‘I had nothing to do with it.’ So I said, ‘I have an idea, I’m gonna get it open if it’s shut down.’ So guess what happened?”
Trump was asked about rising coronavirus cases, responding with claims that the U.S. only has so many cases because more tests are conducted here than in any other country.
The president also began making comparisons about the crowds at his rallies as opposed to Biden events, claiming that the crowd President Obama drew was “not too big.”
Biden has repeatedly said he does not want to hold in-person, large campaign rallies like Trump’s because Biden does not want to hold a COVID-19 super spreader event.
The president was scheduled to take the stage at 4 p.m. at the Pickaway County Fairgrounds in Circleville. He took the stage at approximately 5:20 p.m.
Saturday marked Trump’s sixth stop in the Buckeye State this year, with the last being a two-event stop on Sept. 21 in Vandalia and Swanton.
Lines of people, food trucks, and merchants set up outside the fairgrounds throughout the day Saturday.
On Friday afternoon, residents said despite record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers and a potentially large crowd, they’re not worried about the rally becoming a “super-spreader” event.
“It could be, but I believe that the media maybe exaggerates that a little bit,” said Circleville resident Karen Noecker. “I obviously wear my mask and I would hope that others would, too, but I don’t know. I think it’s up to every individual to take care of themselves and make their own choices on whether they wear a mask or not.”