Maine Democratic leaders lambasted President Trump shortly before his arrival in Bangor on Sunday afternoon, attacking his coronavirus response and his stance toward truth and the rule of law.

Trump added an impromptu visit to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which he won in 2016 and hopes to keep red in 2020, after an appearance near Manchester, New Hampshire, earlier on Sunday. The president was greeted by about 3,000 supporters at Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant shortly before 4 p.m.

At the Democratic event, held outside the Union Street Recreation Center in Bangor, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon worked to tie Trump to her opponent in the ongoing race for U.S. Senate. Gideon attacked Sen. Susan Collins’ votes to confirm more than 100 Trump judicial nominees, some of whom were rated unqualified by the American Bar Association.

Gideon also went after Collins’ vote to acquit Trump in his Senate trial after he was impeached this year, as well as the senator’s assertion after her vote that Trump had learned a “lesson” from the backlash to his attempts to leverage the power of the presidency to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, who became the Democratic presidential nominee.

“The only lesson that Donald Trump learned is that you won’t do anything to hold him accountable,” Gideon said.

Speaking next, Gov. Janet Mills praised Gideon, calling her “a woman of stamina, integrity and courage,” before launching into a passionate denunciation of Trump.

In 2017, Mills said, she was willing to give Trump “a shot” at governing after his election.

“I am not willing to give him the benefit now, and no one should,” she said.

Her voice rising to stir an animated crowd, Mills assailed Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the president had repeatedly “lied about” the seriousness of the virus and his response to it. Mills accused the president of being indifferent toward working Mainers and people working long hours to pay for health care or to put food on the table.

“If you’re an everyday Maine person, Donald Trump does not care about you,” Mills said.

Aaron Frey, Maine’s attorney general, said Trump’s administration had forced him to join multiple nationwide lawsuits to preserve access to health care, clean air and clean water.

“The Trump administration has been working hard to sell out to the corporate interests and not worry about how it is that we keep our air clean,” Frey said.

High-profile Republicans such as Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence have visited Maine’s 2nd District recently in a bid to hold onto its one electoral vote. Trump carried the district in 2016, the first time since 1988 that a Republican presidential candidate has won there.

Later on Sunday, Collins’ campaign responded to Gideon’s comments by accusing the House speaker of neglecting her current duties during the race.

“Speaker Sara Gideon has said that she wakes up every day and tells herself that the most important job she has is defeating and replacing Susan Collins,” campaign spokeswoman Annie Clark said in an email. “Instead of doing her current job as Maine’s Speaker of the House and working to help our state, Sara’s top priority has long been getting a promotion for herself. But Senator Collins’ focus remains solely on doing what’s right for the people of Maine, and how she can use her experience and seniority to get things done – no matter which party controls the Senate or the White House. “


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