MESA, Ariz.—After attending a roundtable event with supporters in the morning, a fundraiser luncheon, and the signing of a presidential memorandum on farming water—President Donald Trump made a final stop at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to speak at a MAGA rally.
Trump was in Mesa, Arizona on Oct. 19 to stump for Republican Rep. Martha McSally who will face off against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the upcoming midterms—now just 18 days away. The state’s tight Senate race comes as the president ramps up voters in hopes of maintaining Republicans’ current slim majorities in both the Senate and House.
“I love Arizona. We’ve been here all day and all night,” Trump told the sea of red MAGA hats gathered in the aviation hangar. Some in the crowd of Republican supporters arrived a day earlier just to secure their place in line.
Trump’s visit was the second in a three-day “Western swing” campaign this week at three important battleground states. He was in Missoula, Montana the day before.
Early voting has already started in Arizona, Trump capitalized on this as he reminded his supporters to get out. He also used the Democrat’s “destroy” tactics during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings as a rallying cry for republicans.
“Don’t forget it on Nov. 6,” Trump said.
Trump won the state of Arizona by a slim margin of 3 percentage points in the 2016 presidential elections, according to election data. Earlier on Twitter, he appeared to promote a new rally catchphrase “#JobsNotMobs!” and rally attendees wore t-shirts with the slogan.
Neck and Neck
But the focal point of the event was to get Republicans to back Rep. Martha McSally.
“They are all talking about Arizona, they are all talking about Martha. The choice for every American could not be more clear than it is right now,” Trump said. “Democrats produce mobs, Republican’s produce jobs.”
“She’s tough and she’s smart and she’s brave and she can fly a plane better than anybody.”
Trump was referencing McSally’s experience as a colonel in the United States Air Force. During her 26-year military career she was deployed six times to the Middle East and Afghanistan, flying 325 combat hours and earning a Bronze Star and six air medals.
She not only became the first woman in U.S. history to fly a fighter jet in combat— but the first woman to command a fighter squadron.
McSally used her background to her advantage as she touted her policies on the military, economy, and national security.
“We have so many job opportunities, we are rebuilding our military. I said I would vote for Kavanaugh, Sinema said she would vote no,” she told the crowd.
“On national security we fought and kept the A10 Warthog. Sinema advocated to shut down Luke Air Force base. … On economic security I voted for your tax cuts, and Sinema voted no.”
According to a recent poll by RealClearPolitics, McSally was just 0.3 of a point ahead of her opponent.
McSally also criticized Sinema’s previous voting to protect sanctuary policies. Trump agreed with her.
“The Democrats don’t care that a flood of illegal immigration is going to bankrupt our country. All the Democrats care about is power,” he said.
“We cherish ICE, we cherish Border Patrol,” Trump said in response to what he described as “sick” Democrat policies.
“The casualties in the Democrats open border crusades are innocent American families and lives. And we have some of those incredible people tonight.”
He said Republicans need a person like McSally in Washington. During the rally Trump also endorsed incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey who is seeking re-election. Ducey will face Democrat candidate David Garcia in the general election.
The president continued to lament over Sinema’s policies throughout the rally, describing them as far left. At one point he said she was protected “by the fake news back there” as he pointed to the line of media cameras pointed at him.
Meanwhile, Trump summarized the support he was receiving as: “The greatest movement in the history of our country. Never happened before.”