09:28 GMT25 October 2020
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    Democratic candidate Joe Biden used his speech in Novi, Michigan to accuse President Trump of pandering to the right. But Twitter users ridiculed his apparent dependence on a teleprompter and the small turnout at the big city drive-in rally.

    US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been lampooned for reading from a teleprompter at a poorly-attended rally in Michigan.

    Biden held another of his low-attendance drive-in rallies a suburb of Detroit, a once-thriving city and hub of the auto industry in the industrialised midwestern Rustbelt.

    ​Biden claimed Trump had failed to condemn right-wing groups, despite the president's repeatedly doing so.

    "We need to be clear, from the president on down in this country: There is no place for hate in America", the former vice-president said.

    He also repeated claims by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer that Trump was responsible for a plot by extremist militias to kidnap her in an attempt to force an end to the state's coronavirus lockdown, dubbing the president's tweets to protesters to "liberate Michigan" a "dog whistle."

    Trump unequivocally condemned the kidnap scheme in a series of tweets on October 8. But he also slammed what he called Whitmer's ingratitude after "My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement" foiled the plot, and accused Democrats of condoning anarchists, rioters and looters.

    ​Netizens quickly piled on to ridicule the event.

    Amid speculations of low attendance rates at the Democratic candidate's campaign events, the Biden team says it is deliberately focusing on gatherings smaller in size as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus. One in Toledo, Ohio, two weeks ago saw only about 30 cars turn up for a drive-in event at the office of the United Auto Workers union, which supports Biden.


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