‘If Democrats take control they will try to reverse our amazing progress…’
(Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times) COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — With four weeks until the midterm election, President Donald Trump encouraged about 9,000 supporters here, reiterating his recent claims that Democrats are an “angry mob” intent on “policies of anger, division and destruction.”
“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what the Democrats are,” he said in this Iowa town across the river from Nebraska, appearing with Republican candidates from both states.
The rally, one of four that Trump has scheduled for a second consecutive week, included familiar hype about the economy, as well as explaining the dangers of the prospect of Democrats capturing control of Congress in the Nov. 6 election.
“If Democrats take control they will try to reverse our amazing progress and plunge our country into gridlock and maybe into poverty and ultimately into chaos,” Trump said.
The president addressed the bitter fight over his newly installed Supreme Court pick, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was narrowly confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate over the weekend despite sexual assault allegations against him.
Trump said that Democrats “wanted to destroy” Kavanaugh.
When he questioned whether Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, had leaked Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation against the nominee, the crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” — echoing their chants at Trump’s mention two times of his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton.
Feinstein has denied that either she or her aides leaked Ford’s confidential letter.
One man, referring to Feinstein, yelled out repeatedly, “Traitor!”
The president variously described Democrats as “outrageous,” “wacko” and “unhinged,” referring to images such as one from the weekend that showed Kavanaugh opponents screeching and pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court.
The Republicans’ current majorities in Congress, he said, are too small.
“We hardly have a majority,” Trump said. “We need votes.”
Framing the midterm election as the chance for voters to “render your verdict on the Democrats’ outrageous conduct,” Trump urged people to reject “Democrat politics of anger, division and destruction.”
The freewheeling, 76-minute remarks offered the latest example of the president’s closing arguments for the final month of campaigning, in hopes of animating conservative voters and staving off a potential Democratic wave that could flip control of the House and perhaps the Senate.
Raising Republicans’ well-worn specter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco as speaker of a Democratic-controlled House, Trump implored his supporters, “We have to stop Pelosi from becoming — can you believe this? — the speaker of the House.”
Trump didn’t just mock his possible 2020 rivals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as usual denigrating her as “Pocahontas” for her unsubstantiated claim of Native American ancestry; he took on the Democratic opponents of local Republicans on the Iowa and Nebraska ballots.
In keeping with his penchant for nicknames, he branded Democrat Cindy Axne, who is challenging Iowa Rep. David Young, as “Cindy Tax-me.” “That was so easy,” he said.
And he made a point of struggling to pronounce the name of another Democrat. “Who the hell is that?” the president exclaimed, to the laughter of the crowd. “Who is that?”
©2018 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.