Some have accused Arizona’s Doug Ducey of mocking the Democrat candidate, who has a speech impediment, after a video of the incident was shared on Twitter by the New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman.
In the video, Mr Ducey can be heard saying: “J-J-Joe Biden is wrong for America!” while Mr Trump is stood to the side, waiting to approach the microphone.
Haberman’s tweet, which has now been deleted, read: “The governor of Arizona mocks Biden’s stutter, almost certain to become the latest person to claim he didn’t know when asked about it.”
Haberman later clarified that she deleted the tweet because it was not entirely clear whether Mr Ducey was indeed mocking Joe Biden, or if it was a “reverb” sound malfunction.
Mr Ducey has also responded, tweeting to Haberman: “This is false. I did not mock Joe Biden's stutter, nor would I ever.”
Deleting this because there are enough folks who say they hear it as a reverb - folks can click audio and decide what they think without prelude pic.twitter.com/6Etucl5qJy
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 20, 2020
Twitter users remain divided on the topic, some suggesting Haberman was being too “tentative” in taking the video down, while others said they had been following Mr Ducey for years and felt such mockery would be out of character.
Maggie, I've covered Governor Ducey for many years here in AZ. He occasionally stutters the beginning of sentences, and it would not be in his character to mock someone. To insinuate otherwise or say "folks can decide what they think" is irresponsible.
— JOE DANA (@JoeDanaReports) October 20, 2020
This is the video circulating after a NYT reporter claimed @dougducey made fun of Joe Biden’s stutter. She has since deleted her claim. Gov. Ducey tweeted he would never mock somebody.
As a reporter who covers Ducey, I don’t believe this was intentional.pic.twitter.com/mRucRmbxrF
— Briana Whitney (@BrianaWhitney) October 20, 2020
— Tanya (@tgreene319) October 20, 2020
I mean, Maggie, I try not to pile on to you, but really: this is pathetic. Even the tweet you deleted was too tentative.
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) October 20, 2020
The allegation involving Mr Ducey comes after a Republican senator was accused of racism for making fun of Kamala Harris’s name at another Trump rally.
David Perdue, a senator from Georgia and the brother of the secretary of agriculture, appeared to intentionally stumble as he said the Democrat’s first name as he warmed up the president’s crowd in the city of Macon.
Claiming that Mr Trump’s challengers, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, would bring “radical socialism” to the nation if they win in November, he then mispronounced “Kamala”.
“Kamala? Kamala? Kamala-mala-mala,” he said, as the crowd laughed. “I don’t know. Whatever.”