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Friday August 14th, 2020 9:53PM

The Latest: Sanders says Trump rally was 'lies, distortions'

By The Associated Press
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says President Donald Trump is "a man way out of touch with the needs of ordinary people and a man who must be defeated."

Speaking after Trump's 2020 campaign kickoff event in Florida on Tuesday night, Sanders said Trump's rally was "an hour and a half speech of lies, distortions and total, absolute nonsense."

The Vermont senator was the only candidate among the nearly two dozen Democrats seeking the presidency to offer a live rebuttal immediately following the speech. Vice President Joe Biden's campaign released a statement nearly an hour before Trump was scheduled to speak.

Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that the country faces a choice, "we can make Trump an aberration or let him fundamentally and forever alter the character of this nation."

___

10:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is promising to eradicate AIDS in America and to come up with cures to many diseases, "including cancer and others," during his second term.

The president made the promise Tuesday at his 2020 campaign kickoff rally in Florida. It came shortly after Trump's eldest son mocked former Vice President Joe Biden for laying out the same goal on cancer. Donald Trump Jr. said earlier Tuesday before his father spoke: "Why the hell didn't you do that over the last 50 years, Joe?"

Former President Barack Obama had tasked Biden with developing a "moonshot" to accelerate the fight against cancer. The effort resulted in Congress passing a bill to speed the development of cures in the final weeks of Obama's presidency. Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, died from brain cancer in 2015.

___

9:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is decrying "illegal mass migration" as he tries to fire up supporters at his kickoff rally for the 2020 election.

Trump made border security a focus of his first presidential run and returned to the topic frequently on Tuesday in Florida.

Trump says millions of low-wage workers who come to the U.S. illegally compete for wages and opportunities against the most vulnerable Americans.

Trump is also claiming that schoolchildren across the country are being threatened by MS-13 gang members and blames "Democratic policies."

He says if Democratic officials "had to send their children to those overcrowded, overburdened schools, they would not tolerate it for one minute."

___

9 p.m.

President Donald Trump is returning to a familiar theme of attacking old trade deals as he tries to appeal to working-class voters in his campaign kickoff for 2020.

Trump said Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, that the U.S. is taking in billions of dollars in tariffs and that companies are leaving China as a result of the 25 percent tariffs he has imposed on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Trump is preparing to target $300 billion in Chinese imports that he hasn't already hit with tariffs.

Trump says the U.S. helped rebuild China, and "they took us for suckers, and that includes Obama and Biden."

Trump tells supporters he's fighting for them. He says, "I have news for Democrats who want to return us to the bitter failures and betrayals of the past: We are not going back."

___

8:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling supporters in Florida that he has taken on the "political machine" during his presidency and "that is why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently."

Trump formally kicked off his 2020 campaign on Tuesday by complaining that "for the last 2½ years we have been under siege."

Despite that, Trump claims that he has accomplished more than any other president during his first 2½ years in office.

Trump is complaining about special counsel Robert Muller's investigation into Russian meddling in 2016, stating, "We went through the greatest witch hunt in political history."

He is proclaiming that his opponents have been given a "free pass" and is telling supporters: "They are really going after you. That's what this is all about."

___

8:10 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says America needs four more years of President Donald Trump.

At a 2020 campaign kickoff rally Tuesday in the critical swing state of Florida, Pence told a crowd of thousands: "It's on everybody. Time for Round 2."

Pence says Trump promised to make America great again, "and that's exactly what we've done."

Pence says the president has made unprecedented investments in securing the U.S. border with Mexico. The crowd chanted, "Build that wall!" — one of Trump's catchphrases.

He is also crediting Trump with delivering 5.8 million jobs since the last election and says four more years means more jobs and judges. He says: "It's going to take at least four more years to drain that swamp."

He says, "As the campaign begins, I encourage you: Bring all your enthusiasm and have faith."

___

6:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in Orlando, Florida, where he is set to kick off his reelection campaign with a rally.

Campaign advisers say Trump will seek to connect his first term to the goals he hopes to achieve with four more years as president.

They say his brash version of populism, combined with his mantra to "Drain the Swamp," still resonates, despite his administration's cozy ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family's apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.

Trump supporters began arriving as early as Monday for the Tuesday night campaign rally, braving downpours and listening to a cover band playing Southern rock standards.

Democrats say Trump won't be credible running again as an outsider, and they claim that he's made life harder for people after two years in office.

___

6:30 p.m.

Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters clapped and took photos when a 20-foot blimp of a snarling Trump baby in a diaper was inflated near the Orlando, Florida, arena where President Donald Trump was set to formally launch his reelection campaign

It wasn't the only helium-filled balloon outside Tuesday's rally. Lane Blackwell, who owns a clothing and swimwear store in Orlando, had manufactured 200 small balloons with Trump in a diaper.

At least twice, groups of men wearing black Proud Boy T-shirts tried to enter the street where the anti-Trump protest was being held. They were stopped by groups of police officers and deputies.

Shaun Noble says his mother was at the Trump rally while he was at the anti-Trump protest.

He says, "It's really caused a divide in our relationship." But he says it's his right to believe what he wants and his mother's right to believe what she wants.

___

2 p.m.

A boisterous crowd of thousands of supporters has gathered in front of the Amway Center arena in Orlando, Florida, hours before President Donald Trump will hold a rally to formally launch his reelection campaign.

A cover band on a stage played Southern rock standards such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home, Alabama."

Vendors for blocks around sold water, as well as pins, hats and T-shirts with slogans including "Trump 2020" and "ICE ICE Baby." In the summer heat, some women wore "Make America Great Again" bathing suits.

Fifty-six-year-old Margaret McDeed says she came from Tampa and supports Trump because "his policies are for the American people." She adds that, as a tax accountant, she's seen savings from the Republican-backed tax cuts.

Thirty-three year old Alex Fuentes wore a shirt that said "Make Democrats cry again." The rally is set to begin at 8 p.m. local time.

___

8:30 a.m.

"Wild" like a rock concert.

That's how President Donald Trump envisions his campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday night.

To Trump, Republican enthusiasm is at an all-time high. But the political event is also drawing protesters.

Trump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. In a tweet, he says: "People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild — See you later!"

Some supporters started lining up Monday to attend the event.

Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. The city is home to a large Puerto Rican population and it's also where a shooting at a gay nightclub killed 49 people three years ago.

___

12:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is set to kick off his re-election campaign with a rally Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.

Campaign advisers say Trump will seek to connect his first term to the goals he hopes to achieve with four more years as president.

Democrats say Trump won't be credible running again as an outsider and they claim that he's made life harder for people after just two years in office.

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