During a rally in Sanford, Fla., on Tuesday, President Trump said it "looks like" he is "going to win Minnesota" in the 2020 presidential election despite statewide polling showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden.
The president has been pushing to win the battleground state that he narrowly lost to then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. In his new bid, he is citing Democratic leadership's response to the social unrest and an uptick in violence as his reasoning for a potential victory.
"Remember, Minneapolis was burning down. Day after day, and I'd call. 'Let us come in. Let us come in,'" Trump said of deploying the National Guard amid unrest after George Floyd's May 25 death. "Anyway, they finally came in. How long did it take? About a half an hour. ... Then, they just walk forward, and that was the end of that. And I think we're going to win the state of Minnesota because of it, I think."
The Real Clear Politics average shows Biden leading the incumbent by 9 percentage points.
Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's response to rioting that took place in the city between May 26 and 29 an "abject failure," according to the Star Tribune. The city's Third Precinct was destroyed at the time, after rioters burned buildings, destroyed cars and looted local stores.
In an August interview with the outlet, Frey suggested that the governor's office did not immediately respond to his request to deploy the National Guard on May 27.
"We expressed the seriousness of the situation. The urgency was clear," Frey told the Star Tribune, adding later that Walz "did not say yes" but instead "said he would consider it."
Trump has campaigned largely on Minnesota's response to unrest and a recent uptick in violence in Minneapolis and St. Paul, emphasizing the need for reform and "law and order" in Democrat-run cities. Minnesota has not voted for a Republican president since Richard Nixon was elected for his second term in 1972.
"Hasn't been won since 1972, but it's looking like we're going to win Minnesota because of it," the president said during the Sanford rally, referring to the response to unrest in Minneapolis. He added that he gives the governor credit "even though it was too long" before he deployed the National Guard.
"This is why you cannot have the Democrats and that whole philosophy -- that whole craziness. You can not have them involved in running your country," he said.
The 2020 Democratic nominee has also condemned violent protests and rioting in Portland and Minneapolis in statements on his website and on Twitter.
"We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us," Biden wrote in a May 31 tweet, six days after Floyd's death. "We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. Please stay safe. Please take care of each other."