President Donald Trump has intensified efforts to win over Latino voters as polls show their support increasingly up for grabs - a flashing warning light for Democrat Joe Biden's campaign.
Trump hosted what was billed as a roundtable with local Latino supporters in Phoenix on Monday, a day after holding a similar event in Las Vegas.
However the stop featured a raucous audience of hundreds, sitting close in the indoor venue despite public concerns about the coronavirus.
"This is supposed to be a roundtable but it looks like a rally," Trump told the crowd.
Biden was scheduled to travel to Florida on Tuesday in a bid to shore up flagging support from Hispanic voters in that key battleground state.
The former vice president has seen his edge with Latino voters shrink in the run-up to the November 3 election.
Among the most recent national polls, his lead over Trump among Hispanics fell to 9 points in August from 30 points in July.
In Phoenix, Trump was praised by small-business owners and local law enforcement officials, while continuing to criticise Democratic protests against racism in US cities, saying they threatened Latino businesses.
"They'll rip down your community," he said.
"Many of these are Hispanic-American small businesses, stores, shops and they rip them down and call it peaceful protesting."
A day earlier in Las Vegas, Trump drew the condemnation of Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, who said the event ran afoul of coronavirus guidelines.
Ahead of Trump's visit to Phoenix, Latino Democratic officials in Arizona said the administration's halting response to the pandemic had devastated Latino families in the states.
Alfredo Gutierrez, a former Democratic state Senate majority leader, called those who met with Trump on Monday "self-loathing", citing Trump's history of incendiary rhetoric concerning Latino migrants and his efforts to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
"Why would they deign to sit, agree to sit, next to this guy who has spent the last three years spewing hate against us?" he said.
Trump won Arizona over Democrat Hillary Clinton by less than 4 points in 2016.
Since then, the state, once a hotbed of conservatism, has elected a Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, and the Biden campaign has hopes of scoring a win there.
Recent polls have shown Biden with a slight edge in the state.
Nationally, Hispanics make up the largest minority voting group at more than 13 per cent of eligible voters.
Clinton in 2016 won about two-thirds of the Latino vote, with Trump earning a 28per cent share.
Biden's trip to Florida on Tuesday comes as polls show the race there to be tight, and with Trump holding a 4-point lead with that state's Latino voters - including its large Cuban-American community.
Biden will hold events in Florida in the cities of Tampa and Kissimmee, which have high Puerto Rican populations.