Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — President Donald Trump brought his campaign rally roadshow to Kentucky, in a last-minute effort to stave off a Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
After rallying in Mississippi on Friday ahead that state’s close gubernatorial race, Monday’s rally will be the president’s latest push to drum up support before voters head to the polls on Tuesday, in what could be seen as the first big test of Trump’s electoral support amid an intensifying impeachment inquiry.
“The radical Democrats are going totally insane,” Trump told the crowd. “They want to obliterate the rule of law, drive out faith from the public square, silence you online, confiscate your guns. You better be careful.”
Trump also promised his supporters that if Democrats win, “You will have a depression the likes of which you have never seen. Mark my words.”
Trump descended on the Bluegrass State as Bevin is in a bitter re-election fight with Andy Beshear, the Democratic attorney general and a Kentucky political heir. His father, former two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, preceded Bevin.
Ahead of the rally, Trump tweeted, “Matt has been a GREAT Governor. Kentucky (I Love You!), please be sure to vote for Matt Bevin on TUESDAY.”
“Matt will never let you down, and we have to send a strong signal to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats. See you on Monday night, VOTE TUESDAY!!!” he added.
The president closes out a show of top Republicans barnstorming Kentucky, including Housing Secretary and former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and Vice President Mike Pence. Even former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a brief return to the political sphere to stump for Bevin.
This show of force comes as Kentucky’s gubernatorial election is considered to be one of the most consequential this year — as both sides navigate the politics of impeachment, which has become a dividing line in the state-wide race.
Bevin’s hopes to hold onto the governor’s mansion are coming down to how tightly he can tether himself to the president — who has turned the election into a referendum on impeachment — and how successfully he can align his Democratic rival to the House’s inquiry, frequently invoking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in his campaign to cast Beshear as too liberal for the red state.
Despite the efforts to nationalize the race, Beshear has trained his focus on Kentucky, prioritizing education and health care — two issues that have frequently put Bevin at odds with teachers over walkouts and the courts over his cuts to the elder Beshear’s Medicaid expansion.
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