Live blog: Joe Biden/Kamala Harris, Mike Pence in Arizona to campaign
PHOENIX – All presidential campaign roads converged in the Phoenix area on Thursday.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris made their first visit to Arizona on the same day Vice President Mike Pence represented the Republican ticket in the Grand Canyon State for the fourth time this year.
President Donald Trump had planned to appear in Arizona earlier this week, but that was canceled along with all his other scheduled campaign stops after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Below are live updates from Thursday’s visits:
Pence arrived at Goldwater Air National Guard Base near Sky Harbor International Airport about an hour ahead of schedule. He was in Nevada earlier in the day.
He was greeted by Gov. Doug Ducey and Sen. Martha McSally when he stepped off Air Force Two.
The parents of Kayla Mueller, the Arizona humanitarian aid worker who was killed by terrorists in Syria in 2015, flew with the vice president and first lady Karen Pence.
Carl and Marsha Mueller of Prescott, who were Pence’s guests at Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, were set to be on hand when Ducey unveils a painting honoring Kayla.
Pence was originally scheduled to speak at TYR Tactical in Peoria at 2:30 p.m., but that timetable was moved up by about an hour.
Biden briefly took questions from reporters at an airport hangar after landing earlier in the day.
The Democrats also arrived in Arizona ahead of schedule.
Biden and Harris were scheduled to meet with Native American leaders at 2 p.m. at the Heard Museum.
The event, which Cindy McCain is attending. McCain, the widow of longtime Republican Sen. John McCain, crossed party lines to endorse Biden.
Supporters were still waiting to get into the event at TYR Tactical when Pence’s motorcade arrived.
A stage was set up outdoors with socially distanced seating available.
Masks were being handed out to people coming in, but some chose not to wear them.
U.S. Reps. Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert were on hand.
The Republican event started in Peoria with the owner of TYR Tactical speaking first.
Pence started speaking to a crowd of several hundred. The speech is being livestreamed here.
He immediately noted the importance of Arizona in the race for the White House.
He alluded to Biden in Harris being in town at the same time.
Biden’s group wrapped up the Heard Museum event and headed to a Phoenix union hall, where the candidates will speak. The appearance will be livestreamed here.
Pence wrapped up after speaking for about 35 minutes.
“Let’s go get it done,” he said before leaving the stage.
Vice President Biden, Sen. Harris and Cindy McCain met with Arizona tribal leaders at the Heard Museum.
McCain has given her unwavering support to Biden in recent weeks, saying she will vote for the Democrat for president but is still a Republican.
Biden and Harris pitched an economic message, hammering Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a failure to address the needs of working Americans during a union event in Phoenix.
“You’re facing real challenges right now, and the last thing you need is a president who exacerbates them, who ignores you,” Biden said.
“We’ve paid too high a price already for Donald Trump’s chaotic, divisive leadership.”
The Democratic presidential ticket chose Arizona to kick off a bus tour, underscoring the significance of a state whose 11 Electoral College votes could tip the scales if Trump can rebound from his fall slump.
After meeting with local business owners at Barrio Cafe and FABRIC Tempe, the Biden campaign will spend the night at a hotel in metro Phoenix, according to the press pool.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gabriel Gamiño and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.