President Donald Trump called on supporters to show up at the polls and vote Republican in the fast-approaching midterm elections at a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Lebanon, Ohio, on Friday evening.
Praising Republican leadership, Trump told the cheering crowd: ‘We’re here to make sure our amazing progress continues full speed ahead.’
As he described economic triumphs including the creation of 4.2million jobs and a decline in the number of people on food stamps, Trump singled out the unemployment rate in the African American community.
‘We are asking all African Americans to honor us with their support this November,’ he said.
The then thanked Kanye West, with whom he met in the Oval Office on Thursday, praising the rapper as ‘pretty amazing’ and boasting that his support would boost GOP support in the polls.
‘I think we’re going to get the African American vote,’ Trump said.
President Donald Trump greeted an enthusiastic crowd at a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Lebanon, Ohio, on Friday evening
During the rally at Warren County Fairgrounds, Trump repeatedly urged supporters to show up for the GOP in the midterm elections, which are coming up in just three weeks
As he does in most rally performances, Trump took a number of swings at Democrats, including one where he referred to Democratic candidate for governor Richard Cordray as a ‘disciple of ‘Pocahontas’ – his nickname for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
He specifically blamed Democrats for the circus surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, accusing the party of trying to end the judge’s career over a ‘little mistake’.
‘This incredible man, you saw it, what they did to him, to his family, to his daughters,’ Trump said of Kavanaugh.
He urged the crowd to combat ‘hateful’ Democrats by electing Republicans to Congress, specifically plugging Senate candidate Jim Renacci and Representative candidate Steve Chabot.
Long-time Ohio Republican Rep Steve Chabot, who is up for re-election this fall, addressed the crowd, saying: ‘God bless America, God bless Donald Trump and God bless Kanye West’
The rally was held at Warren County Fairgrounds in the heart of southeast Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, where long-time Republican Rep Chabot, 65, is seeking re-election in a tight race against Democrat Aftab Pureval.
Chabot was invited to speak to the crowd, saying: ‘God bless America, God bless Donald Trump and God bless Kanye West.’
Renacci also took the mic for several minutes to criticize his opponent, incumbent Sherrod Brown.
When Trump stepped back up to the podium he mentioned Brown’s voting record in Senate as a segue into a plug for his Mexico border wall, which the Democratic Senator opposed.
Trump said of the wall: ‘It’s happening, it’s moving, we’ve made so much progress.’
He also warned that if Republicans don’t get out to the polls, that progress could be stunted by ‘the radical Democrats’.
‘Don’t take any chances. We don’t want any surprises,’ Trump said.
‘You have the power with your vote to defend your country, your family, your values.’
US Rep Jim Renacci, a Republican who is running for Senate, took the mic briefly to criticize his opponent, incumbent Sherrod Brown
The 7pm appearance in Lebanon caps off a press-heavy week for the president, who set up a string of media appearances following a spate of good news for his administration.
On Thursday alone, Trump held four separate press availabilities, including one that featured a profanity-laced Oval Office performance by rapper Kanye West and a 45-minute phone call in to Fox & Friends.
While the Russia investigation still looms and polls still predict major Republican losses in the House in next month’s midterm elections, Trump has been logging a series of wins, including appointing a second Supreme Court Justice to the bench and reaching an updated North American trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
The stream of negative headlines that have been a constant presence through most of Trump’s administration, has abated – at least for a time.
Kanye West’s astonishing meeting in the Oval Office was Trump’s live TV hit of the week
In a bit of less positive news, surviving family members of legendary artist Prince asked the president to stop using late rock star’s music at campaign rallies.
Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ has frequently been on Trump’s playlist at recent rallies, including last week in South Haven, Mississippi.
A statement retweeted on behalf of the estate by Prince’s half-brother Omarr Baker said: ‘The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.’
Trump has been warned by Prince’s estate not to use Purple Rain or any other songs from the late legend’s vast catalog at campaign events