President Trump told attendees of a rally Thursday night in Rochester that “Democrats are truly the party of crime,” accusing them of opening America’s borders to deadly drugs and violent gangs. The president said Senator Tina Smith, “Voted for deadly sanctuary cities.” He warned that efforts to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will unleash violent predators and ruthless killers.
Democrats’ state attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, the number-two Democratic Party official, “Recently marched in a parade wearing a shirt that read, ‘I Do Not Believe in Borders.’ Oh, that’s wonderful, Trump said, “By the way, you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country, folks. You don’t have a country.” An Ellison campaign spokesman responded, “A band t-shirt is not a policy position.” He added while Republican candidate Doug Wardlow will enforce President Trump’s “cruel immigration policies, Ellison believes in a humane immigration system that respects human dignity and protects all our communities.”
“Democrats have been trying to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh since the very first second he was announced,” the president said, but added that recent polls show, “Their rage-fueled resistance is starting to backfire at a level that nobody has ever seen before.” Leading GOP lawmakers say an F.B.I. investigation found no verification of women’s sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. Democrats respond the investigation was shoddy and the White House limited the F.B.I.’s leeway.
The rally was intended to support the campaigns of 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis and 1st District U.S. House candidate Jim Hagedorn, and Trump stated that both are running against extreme Democratic opponents and, “Jim’s opponent, Dan Feehan, supports a total government takeover of health care.” Lewis’s opponent is Democrat Angie Craig and he said she, “Also wants to take away your healthcare and she refuses to support Enbridge pipeline.”
Craig’s campaign responded that she supports the Enbridge pipeline as long as it meets strict environmental guidelines — and said Craig wants all families in Minnesota to have access to affordable health care. Craig said Republicans are chipping away at coverage, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. Feehan’s campaign was not immediately reachable for comment.
Trump also criticized former Minnesota Senator Al Franken for folding quickly in the face of sexual harassment allegations, saying, “What, did he fold up like a wet rag, huh? Man.” He also called Franken a ‘whacky’ guy and went on to say, “I don’t want to mention Al Franken’s name, okay, so I won’t mention it. He was gone…he was gone so fast. It was like, oh, he did something, ‘oh, oh, oh, I resign, I quit.”
Trump also sharply criticized U.S. Senator Tina Smith who was appointed to Franken’s seat. Smith is running against Republican Karin Housley of St. Marys Point.
Anger over resistance to his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will drive Republican turnout this fall, he said, and several times Trump pointed to the media staging area with cries of “fake news” and other such remarks.
Trump also credit for pushing Canada to allow Canadian ads to be shown during Super Bowl broadcasts as part of the negotiations over the revamped trade agreement among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He told the rally crowd that he’d heard the NFL had a “big, big problem” and stepped in.
Robert Buschard from St. Paul traveled to southeast Minnesota for the rally, and said the somewhat lengthy drive was worth it. “I love President Trump. I want him to be around for at least another six years, and I think it’s extremely important that the Republicans win this off-year election.”
Another man, from Austin, said he traveled to Rochester because it’s not often anyone gets a chance to be in the same room as the president. He explained, “I’m not a Trump supporter but I just wanted to come to see the people, the environment, and see what Trump has to say.”
Jacob is from Janesville, and said, “It’s just amazing to finally have a president who agrees with a lot of things I agree with. I’m 27, so for most of my voting life I’ve had a president that I didn’t agree with.”
Deborah Campbell of Rochester said she’s been pleasantly surprised by the Trump presidency. She stated, “His signs say ‘Promises Kept’ and he actually did keep the promises, which surprised me, but he did and I’m all for that.”