President Donald Trump’s final rally heading into the midterm election and third of the day Monday took place at 9 p.m. in southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau.
The President surrounded himself with numerous state and national figures, members of his administration as well as state elected officeholders and media commentators, at the event that was partially meant to be a gathering in support of Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley.
Trump paid tribute to Ronna Romney McDaniel, the current Chair of the Republican National Committee who chaired the Michigan Republican Party when Trump won the state in an upset to help propel him to the presidency in 2016. Trump called McDaniel to the stage to briefly greet the crowd. (She had previously served to warm up the audience along with Republican Governor Mike Parson and southeast Missouri Congressman Jason Smith before Trump’s arrival at the venue known as the Show Me Center). The President came to the stage while conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh, a Cape Girardeau native, and Sean Hannity introduced him.
He also invited FOX News commentator Jeannine Pirro up to the podium to briefly speak to the crowd. Pirro has lumped extended adulation on President Trump during on her Saturday night TV show throughout his time in office.
The President spent a relatively short period of time railing against network TV and cable channel CNN for allegedly treating him unfairly. He also chastised familiar targets at his rallies such as Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters and referred to Democratic priorities as the “socialist agenda.” He also claimed Democrats would engineer a socialist takeover of healthcare if elected Tuesday and predicted the health care law commonly called Obamacare would be eliminated if Republicans remained in charge.
The President praised a tax cut passed by Congress under his watch that sliced the corporate rate by 14 percent but polls show has not been well received by individuals. He promised a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class would be coming.
Trump claimed the appointment of Supreme court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would help protect the rights and freedoms of Americans. He claimed “the accuser” in an investigation of Kavanaugh over sexual assault and misconduct admitted last Friday that she never met, had contact with or had been touched by Kavanaugh. The “accuser” Trump referred to was not Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before a Senate committee that she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, or the second or third woman who alleged misconduct against him, but another woman who had sent anonymous letters to Senators.
Trump paused his presentation and stood at the podium while doctors tended to an elderly woman who had collapsed. After about 10 minutes during which a segment of the crowd started singing Amazing Grace, Trump thanked the crowd for behaving well during the woman’s mishap. She was eventually assisted from the arena and the President continued his address to the audience of roughly 7,500 people. The president’s earlier rally in Fort Wayne, Ind., was also briefly interrupted by a medical incident in the crowd. A first stop Monday in Ohio was free of any medical incidents.
The President gave brief shout-outs to Congressman Smith and southwest Missouri Republican Congressman Billy Long, before eventually bringing Hawley on stage to speak for less than five minutes during his roughly one hour, 15 minutes address in Cape Girardeau.
Hawley accused McCaskill of opposing the entire agenda of President Trump, who won the state by 19 points in 2016. He said McCaskill voted for every far-left environmental bill, including the “Waters of the U.S.” measure proposed under the Obama administration that has since been abandoned under Trump.
The Republican candidate reiterated many of his talking points during his campaign, including criticism of McCaskill’s embrace of Hillary Clinton. Upon mentioning Clinton’s name, Hawley gloated as the crowd chanted “lock her up”, a common occurrence when Trump brings up the losing 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State. He made several comparisons where he claimed McCaskill voted with “Hillary” and condemned a remark once made by the Democratic Senator that offered special respect for Clinton. “Senator McCaskill said that we all ought to call Hillary Madam President,” said Hawley, “Well, tomorrow we’re going to call Senator McCaskill fired.”
Trump finished his presentation by touting his accomplishments in the first two years of his administration, saying “we’ve made extraordinary progress.”
The President continued to accuse Democrats of being soft on immigration policy while portraying many migrants as criminals. Polling shows the approach is proving to be a hindrance in suburban areas where House Republicans are in danger of losing their majority but is also thought to be helpful for GOP Senate candidates running in rural states won by Trump such as Missouri.
In Cape Girardeau, Trump said Democrats want to give undocumented migrants special privileges. “Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws and violate our borders,” said Trump. “And they want to sign them up for free welfare, free healthcare, free education, and most importantly they want to give them the right to vote.”
The President closed by urging the crowd to cast votes for GOP candidates in Tuesday’s election. “I need you to get your family, get your friends, get your neighbors, get your co-workers and go out and vote for Republicans (in) Congress, for Republicans (in the) Senate,” Trump said. “Go out and vote Republican tomorrow.”