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The ex-Democratic mayor of Eveleth, Minnesota, a small town in the state’s “Iron Range” mining country, pulled no punches during a speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, blasting his former party’s nominee, Joe Biden, as “weak,” “scared,” and “sleepy.”
Robert Vlaisavljevich, a self-described “lifelong Democrat,” called the 2020 election “make or break” for blue-collar workers before slamming Biden for not standing up to the radical left, whose “radical environmental movement,” he says, “is a job-killing disgrace dreamt up by people who don’t live in the real world.”
The mayor said that for years he and others in Minnesota mining country looked to Democrats to be their advocates in Washington, but “not any more.”
“The radical environmental movement has dragged the Democratic Party so far to the left they can no longer claim to be advocates of the working man,” Vlaisavljevich said.
“This is hard for me to see because I am a lifelong Democrat,” he continued, adding that “for far too long, members of both parties allowed our country to be ripped off by our trading partners, especially China, who dumped steel into our markets and slapped tariffs on our products.”
“And what did so-called leaders like Joe Biden do? Nothing,” he said.
Later in the speech, the mayor praised the “straight-talking New Yorker,” President Donald Trump, for standing up to China and the rest of the world on behalf of the American worker.
“He made good on his promises by cutting our taxes, rolling back senseless regulations, and delivering trade deals that put America’s interests first,” Vlaisavljevich argued.
Then, as the speech came to a close, Vlaisavljevich fired one more shot at Biden after alleging that the former vice president has kowtowed to “radicals like [Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez]” and allowed them to “craft his environmental policies.”
“Biden is too weak, too scared, and too sleepy to stand up to the radical left,” the mayor blasted, using Trump verbiage. “He has been doing nothing in Washington for 47 years. Why would year 48 be any different?”
According to a New York Times report from 2018, Vlaisavljevich changed his party registration to Republican in recent years and decorated his city hall office with Trump memorabilia.
Trump lost Minnesota — a state that no Republican has won since Richard Nixon in 1972 — to Hillary Clinton by less than 2 percentage points in 2016. But recent polling in the state shows a neck-and-neck race ahead of the 2020 election.