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January 26, 2022

The Countdown: Lady Gaga gets drawn in as campaign heats up

There is just one day left.

Donald Trump hit five states in a single day but Joe Biden is now focused on Pennsylvania, which is how Lady Gaga got involved in an unusual debate.

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The news in four sentences

1. Donald Trump swept through five states on Sunday – they were either swing states or states he won last time but where polls are now showing a very close race.

2. “Fire Fauci” was the latest chant to be heard at a Trump rally – and the president hinted to a crowd in Florida he might like to do just that after the country’s top infectious diseases expert criticised the White House’s virus strategy.

3. Joe Biden focused on Pennsylvania, an important state in his path to the White House, but one which will only start counting postal votes on election day – something Mr Trump has said he could challenge in court.

4. Groups of Trump supporters in trucks were out on the streets and some of them have been accused of intimidation – the FBI is already investigating Trump supporters for harassment of a Biden campaign bus in Texas on Saturday.

Trump supporters travelling down highway in California
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‘Anti-fracking activist’ Lady Gaga and the Pennsylvania vote

Lady Gaga, that well-known “anti-fracking activist”, has made her way into Donald Trump’s mentions.

The 34-year-old, who is also known for being a pop superstar with several Grammy awards and one Oscar, is set to join Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday.

Lady Gaga accepting an award

For the record, she is not famous for being an anti-fracking activist but that is how she was described in a tweet by Donald Trump’s communications director Tim Murtaugh.

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“Nothing exposes Biden’s disdain for the forgotten working men & women of PA like campaigning with anti-fracking activist Lady Gaga,” he wrote.

The Trump campaign statement on Lady Gaga’s forthcoming appearance with Joe Biden links to an October 2012 post on Lady Gaga’s official Facebook page, which posts without comment a link to the website Artists Against Fracking. Mr Trump also tweeted his outrage.

Lady Gaga responded, glad “to be living rent free” in their heads and asked “also, what is fracking?”

Fracking is the process of drilling into the earth to release natural gas and oil. The Trump campaign has identified it as a critical election issue in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which has a booming natural gas industry.

The Biden campaign says it does not have a policy to ban fracking but it would seek to end fracking leases on federal land. The Democrat has been under particular pressure on the issue since speaking about a “transition” away from oil in the final TV debate., which his team later said he didn’t really mean.

Lady Gaga did also include in her post: “Keep your jobs PA!”

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Last push for Latino votes

Rally in Florida 1 November

Both candidates are after Latino votes in a year when only half say they are “extremely motivated” to vote, compared with two-thirds of US voters overall.

Mr Trump’s final rally of Sunday was in Miami – and the Spanish-speaking Colombian vallenato band he brought in to warm up the crowd was a clue as to one important intended audience.

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by Bob Smith

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