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Trump holds rally in Wisconsin, as polls show state is still a toss-up

Former President Trump makes campaign stop in Wisconsin, Michigan
Former President Trump makes campaign stop in Wisconsin, Michigan 00:29

Using a day off from his criminal trial in New York, Donald Trump headlined a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday, blasting President Biden's economic agenda, praising the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a constitutional right to abortion, and complaining about his legal predicaments. 

He told supporters at the rally in Waukesha that Mr. Biden has unleashed mayhem on the economy. 

"If Joe Biden wins the election, the middle class loses," Trump said. "We are a failing nation, a nation in decline. We are a nation that has lost its way."

What Trump said about abortion rights

He spent much of the nearly 90-minute speech off prompter, including an unscripted assessment of abortion rights following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

He said it was always the plan "to get abortion out of the federal government."

With the issue now up to the states to decide the issue, "people are absolutely thrilled."

He repeated his claim that he was "indicted four times for nothing."  

After he was hit with fines for violating the judge's gag order in his current New York hush-money case, he didn't spend much time discussing it, briefly claiming he has "a crooked judge. He's a totally conflicted judge."

At one point, as he blasted Mr. Biden for causing inflation, he brought to the stage the owner of a vegan restaurant who is struggling to stay in business. 

Trump admitted that he has never tried vegan food, repeatedly mispronouncing the word "vay-gan."

Why is Trump campaigning on Wednesday?

Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the trial, uses Wednesdays to handle other cases on his docket. That frees up the former president, allowing him to campaign in key swing states like Wisconsin. 

Jurors in former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York heard testimony Tuesday from Keith Davidson, an attorney who represented two women who claimed in 2016 that they had sex with Trump and were paid for their silence.  

Before testimony resumed, Merchan found Trump in contempt of court for violating a gag order limiting what Trump could say about those involved in the case. The judge fined him $1,000 for each violation. 

One thing to watch Wednesday: Will Trump calibrate his rhetoric in light of Merchan's ruling? 

Who is favored to win in Wisconsin: Trump or Biden?

President Biden won Wisconsin by just about 20,000 votes in 2020. CBS News polling released this week shows Biden faces challenges in holding off Trump again in the Badger state. 

With inflation looming large, most voters in three key swing states — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — don't see improvement in their state's economy post-pandemic: only a quarter say it has improved in the years since, with about half saying it has gotten worse.  

Amid those poor economic numbers, Mr. Biden narrowly trails his rival on "understands the needs and concerns of people like you." That means he's losing an edge he enjoyed in the summer of 2020 when CBS News asked voters in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin this question.    


The former president is fund-raising following Merchan's contempt of court ruling. 

On the homepage of his campaign website, he's urging voters to support him after "a liberal judge just silenced me! I'm calling on you to chip in and proudly say: End the witchhunt against Trump!"

Trump will also campaign Wednesday night in Freeland, Mich., another key swing state in the presidential campaign. 

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