Alabama voters are Trump's most important audience
The President is also expected to tout his own accomplishments
President Donald Trump urged Alabama voters to “get out and vote for Roy Moore” in Tuesday’s Senate special election.
“Do it. Do it,” he said Friday night at a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, Florida – 25 miles from the Alabama state line.
“We cannot afford – this country, the future of this country – cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate. We can’t afford it, folks. We can’t,” Trump said. “We can’t afford to have a liberal Democrat who is completely controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. We can’t do it.”
He also mocked one of the women who has accused Moore of pursuing a sexual relationship with her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s.
The woman, Beverly Young Nelson, said Friday she’d added “notes” under Moore’s note and signature in her high school yearbook, which she’d previously offered as evidence of their relationship. Moore’s campaign has alleged that the entire entry was a forgery. Trump chided the woman’s lawyer, Gloria Allred.
“So did you see what happened today, you know, the yearbook? Did you see that?” Trump said. “There was a little mistake made, she started writing things in the yearbook. Ah, what are we gonna do – Gloria Allred, anytime you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”
Trump didn’t bring up Moore until late in his speech. And the first time he made reference to the Republican Senate hopeful, it was in response to an audience member.
“This guy’s screaming, we want Roy Moore. He’s right,” Trump said.
Pensacola is a Florida panhandle city in the Mobile, Alabama, media market and an easy drive for voters in a crucial portion of the state.
The rally comes after Trump spent part of the week touting Moore on Twitter, despite the accusations that the 70-year-old, twice-ousted former state Supreme Court chief justice had pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.
The President has cast Democratic candidate Doug Jones as too liberal for Alabama, and warned that Republicans can’t afford to lose a vote in the Senate, where they hold a 52-48 majority.
“LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin for victory already. The Pelosi/Schumer Puppet Jones would vote against us 100% of the time. He’s bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns & Military. VOTE ROY MOORE!” Trump tweeted Friday.
Mocking the ‘resistance’
Trump bragged about his 2016 election victory, mocking Hillary Clinton for failing to pay enough attention to the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, crucial parts of Trump’s victory.
“I’m guessing the Russians advised her not to go,” he said.
Of Washington, he said, “They will lie and leak and smear, because they don’t want to accept the results of an election where we won by a landslide.”
He called himself the leader of “proud deplorables,” a reference to how Clinton described half of Trump’s supporters during a private fundraiser last year.
“Your voice will never, ever be ignored again,” he said.
He also mocked the Democratic “resistance” to his presidency Friday night, chiding Clinton as the crowd chanted “Lock her up!”
“They’re resisting the will of the American people – that’s what they’re resisting,” Trump said.
Clinton resisted, he said, and “she lost the election in a landslide.”
Trump also derided a “rigged system” at the rally, even though he won the 2016 presidential election.
“This is a rigged system. This is a sick system from the inside. And, you know, there’s no country like our country, but we have a lot of sickness in some of our institutions, and we’re working very hard. We’ve got a lot of them straightened out, but we do have – we really do – a rigged system in this country, and we have to change it. Terrible. Terrible,” Trump said.
Touting his agenda
During his speech, Trump bragged about economic gains during his tenure and said he’d rolled back more government regulations than Abraham Lincoln – who, he said, had also repealed regulations.
“Honest Abe Lincoln, he was a regulation guy,” Trump said. “Can you believe it? He was a regulation guy.”
He also bragged about his administration’s efforts against ISIS and his travel restrictions.
Trump said the United States has “thousands of people right now under surveillance,” without offering more details.
“Surveillance? That sounds familiar,” Trump said. “Turns out I was right about that one, wasn’t I?”
Trump also reiterated his promise to build a US-Mexico border wall.
“Any Hispanics here, any Hispanics?” Trump said near the beginning of his speech. “Remember they weren’t going to vote for me, because I’m going to build the wall? But they want the wall, too, because they want security.”
He also pointed out supporters with “blacks for Trump” signs.
“Look at these guys, blacks for Trump,” he said. “I love you. I love you. I love you. By the way, now that you bring it up, black home ownership just hit the highest level it’s ever been in the history of our country. Congratulations.”
Trump touted his record and promised to soon deliver tax cuts and a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate to buy health insurance.
He also touted the nation’s economic performance since he took office.
“It’s all psychological to a large extent, and that’s what creates greatness,” Trump said of the economy, saying that “consumer confidence is at a 17-year high” and “economic growth last quarter surged to 3.3%.”
‘Who knows’ about North Korea
On North Korea, Trump said he doesn’t know if sanctions are going to work with Kim Jong Un, but “we gotta give it a shot. You know, we’ll see. Who knows?”
“I’ll just tell you folks, you are in good hands. That’s all I can say,” he said.
He has a history of raucous, news-making Friday night rallies. This summer in Arizona, he tore into both of the state’s senators, Republicans Jeff Flake and John McCain. Trump even huddled with key allies during the trip to try to recruit a primary challenger for Flake, who ultimately decided to retire rather than face daunting re-election prospects.
The President also touted his own accomplishments at the rally.
“Big crowd expected today in Pensacola, Florida, for a Make America Great Again speech. We have done so much in so short a period of time … and yet are planning to do so much more! See you there!” Trump tweeted.