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President Trump spoke out against a "merciless campaign" to wipe out American history during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore.

Why it matters: Trump's "dark and divisive" speech comes as states continue to hit new coronavirus records and a national reckoning against racial inequities pushes forward, The New York Times writes. Trump's public approval is faltering heading toward the November elections, and he made an appeal to his base at Friday's spectacle, per The Washington Post.

What Trump is saying: Trump said a "left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution." He barely mentioned the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 130,000 Americans, the Times notes.

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing."
"They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive.  But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them."

The state of play: Mostly-Native American demonstrators lined the road leading to the monument ahead of the event, the AP reports.

  • The group protested against the use of fireworks, which have been banned from the area for more than a decade. They said the use of fireworks could lead to wildfires and contaminate the water in the area.
  • They also protested against the taking of the land from the Lakota people.

Go deeper: Trump's troubles grow, spread

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

VP debate brings back normal politics

Photos: Robyn Beck, Eric Baradat/AFP via Gety Images

Toward the end, the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City got personal — about President Trump, a reminder of what this election will ultimately come down to.

Sen. Kamala Harris flashed back to last week's raucous presidential debate, arguing that Trump's "stand back and stand by" answer to a question about white supremacists "is part of a pattern."

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.