senator tester donald trump split
Getty Images
senator tester donald trump split
Now playing
02:40
Trump's political brawl seeps into Senate race
senator bill nelson 11132018
CNN
senator bill nelson 11132018
Now playing
02:03
Nelson: Scott should recuse himself
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks to supporters after she was declared the winner over former Gov. Phil Bredesen in their race for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/AP
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks to supporters after she was declared the winner over former Gov. Phil Bredesen in their race for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Now playing
01:26
Meet the Republicans who held onto the Senate (2018)
Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar is greeted by her husband's mother after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Miller
Eric Miller/Reuters
Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar is greeted by her husband's mother after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Miller
Now playing
01:33
Minorities, LGBT make history in 2018 midterms
WJLA
Now playing
02:01
Hear from the Democrats who took back the House
CNN
Now playing
01:50
Abrams vows to remain in gubernatorial race
Spectrum News NY1
Now playing
02:05
Ocasio-Cortez: This is a movement for justice
KXAN
Now playing
02:07
O'Rourke congratulates Cruz on his victory
CNN
Now playing
01:57
Tapper: This is not a blue wave
CNN
Now playing
02:11
Van Jones: It's a rainbow wave
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 20:  U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen (D-NV) speaks during a rally at the Culinary Workers Union Hall Local 226 featuring former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on October 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Early voting for the midterm elections in Nevada begins today. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 20: U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen (D-NV) speaks during a rally at the Culinary Workers Union Hall Local 226 featuring former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on October 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Early voting for the midterm elections in Nevada begins today. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:45
CNN projects Jacky Rosen elected to US Senate
Additional Embargo:   Additional Source(s):    Date Shot: 11/6/2018   Shipping/Billing Info:     Description: Projects: None  Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101   Created By: DHackett  On: 1541544461  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WSB;
Additional Embargo: Additional Source(s): Date Shot: 11/6/2018 Shipping/Billing Info: Description: Projects: None Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101 Created By: DHackett On: 1541544461 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now playing
00:59
Brian Kemp: Confident victory is near
2018 Elections Primary Clean path
CNN
2018 Elections Primary Clean path
Now playing
01:49
Pelosi: Tomorrow will be a new day in America
CNN
Now playing
01:36
The Democrats who might lead the House
CNN
Now playing
01:54
DeSantis thanks Trump in victory speech
KXAN
Now playing
01:44
Cruz: This election was a battle of ideas
(CNN) —  

As President Donald Trump heads to Montana in an effort to torpedo the re-election campaign of Sen. Jon Tester, the Montana Democrat placed a full-page ad in 14 of the state’s newspapers touting the 16 bills he supported that the President has signed.

The play by Tester’s campaign underscored the difficult re-election campaign facing Tester in this deeply red state where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 20 points in 2016.

Tester, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Veteran Affairs’ Committee, infuriated Trump with his fervent criticism of Ronny Jackson, who was briefly Trump’s nominee to be secretary of veterans affairs – making Tester a top target for Trump’s trolling on Twitter.

Though Jackson ultimately withdrew from consideration as a result of allegations of misconduct and poor administration of the White House medical office, the President called for Tester to resign, claiming that Tester made false claims against Jackson, who was the President’s personal physician.

“The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being,” Trump tweeted in April.

In an interview with Fox News after Jackson withdrew, Trump said Tester would have a “big price to pay in Montana” over the accusations.

The President is following through on that threat with his visit to Montana Thursday where he will rally his voters in support of Republican state auditor Matt Rosendale, who won a June primary with 33% of the vote for the nomination to face Tester.

In the newspaper and radio ad, Tester’s campaign points out that the Montana Democrat has voted with the President on issues like accountability for the Veterans Administration.

The ad says “Welcome to Montana & Thank you President Trump,” noting that Trump signed Tester-supported bills addressing issues from care for veterans to response times of first responders.

Republicans currently hold a 51 seats in the 100-member Senate. As Democrats seek to win control, the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has intensified the heat on Tester and other red state Democrats, who will face intense pressure to support the President’s Supreme Court nominee.

Tester, who was born in Montana and still farms wheat and lentils on the land that his grandparents homesteaded near the town of Big Sandy, does not face a particularly strong Republican challenger in Rosendale.

On his campaign website, Rosendale describes himself as a rancher and businessman, but Democrats have excoriated him for that claim, noting that he moved to Montana in June 2002 from Maryland, where he focused on real estate development.

Both his Democratic and Republican opponents have poked fun at his Maryland accent. In 2011 while serving in the Montana legislature, Rosendale told a Maryland publication, MyEasternShoreMD, that he leases his land to farmers and to a cattle rancher.

“There’s a bunch of irrigated ground and I lease it to one of my neighbors and he grows crops on it, and then there’s dry farmland and I lease that to another neighbor, and then I’ve got all the native pasture and I lease that to another guy who runs cattle,” he told MyEasternShoreMD.com.

Rosendale added that he fixes fences on his property, rides his horse to “check things out” and then allows 50 to 70 people to come on his property to hunt.

Some negative campaign ads have mocked Rosendale as “Maryland Matt.”

In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Tester said he would not watch Trump’s rally and – after holding a roundtable discussion on trade – would likely be on his tractor.

“I doubt Rosendale could change the oil on a tractor,” Tester told the Journal.

But Trump has shown an unique ability to elevate even obscure contenders by rallying supporters and turning out his base. He will likely point to Tester’s opposition to the tax bill, as well as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, as votes that were out of step with Montanans.

In the 2012 race, Tester beat then-Rep. Denny Rehberg 49% to 45%.