ABC News(LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana) — Just a day after President Donald Trump delivered a blistering campaign speech in the blue state of Minnesota, he traveled to deep-red Louisiana as part of a last-minute push to thwart the state’s Democratic governor from clinching a second term.
Trump kicked off his event Friday night by urgently calling on supporters to come out and vote for Republicans to replace the Democratic governor of the Bayou State before veering almost immediately into a fiery defense of his presidency amid the impeachment push.
“Tomorrow you will head to the polls and you will vote to replace a liberal Democrat who has sold you out — John Bel Edwards with a great new Republican governor,” Trump told a raucous crowd at the Lake Charles Convention Center.
Trump quickly doubled down on previous comments tied to the Democrats’ impeachment push, angrily blasting the investigation that, according to recent polls, more Americans support.
“They’re pursuing an illegal, invalid and unconstitutional, bull—- impeachment,” Trump railed, getting a raucous ovation from the Louisiana crowd.
The president also launched into a string of attacks against a pair of his potential rivals in 2020, echoing his vicious attacks levied against Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren the night before in Minnesota.
“Can you imagine having Pocahontas as your president?” Trump asked the crowd, which booed. “Now the real Pocahontas we would not have minded, but the fake Pocahontas you can’t have. Or how about sleepy Joe?”
Even for Trump, Thursday night’s Minneapolis rally featured particularly vicious rhetoric toward familiar foes, including the press, House Democrats pushing impeachment and political rival and 2020 candidate former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump said Biden only was a good vice president “because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
But while Thursday night’s rally saw a president defiantly and angrily fire back against impeachment push, Trump has another objective on Friday: Louisiana’s governor’s race.
The president’s plan to leverage his massive rally roadshow to try to force Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to face a Republican candidate came together at the 11th hour, according Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, who told ABC News he’s confident Trump’s presence on Friday will be more than enough to create a runoff.
“The president’s time is our most valuable commodity,” Murtaugh said, pointing out that Trump wouldn’t be deployed unless the campaign was confident he could make a major impact.
Trump and the campaign’s efforts to energize voters ahead of crucial elections in key states to tip Republicans over the edge has proved successful lately.
“Tomorrow is your chance to send a clear message to the American-hating left,” the president told the crowd, urging his supporters to come out and vote for Dan Bishop, who would ultimately go on to narrowly win the open congressional seat.
The Trump campaign quickly took full ownership for Bishop’s close win.
“There’s no question that he’s the congressman-elect this morning because the personal efforts of President Trump, and the involvement of the entire political operation and the Republican National Committee,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said.
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