Trump Stumps in Montana 19 Days Before Midterms

By Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao is a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
October 19, 2018Updated: October 19, 2018

MISSOULA, Montana—In the President’s first stop as part of a three-day “Western swing” campaign he arrived at Missoula, Montana, to speak at a signature MAGA style rally just 19 days away from the midterm elections.

Trump’s jam-packed schedule this week includes stops at three important battleground states. Aside from the Oct. 18 Montana rally, Trump will stump in Mesa, Arizona, on Oct. 19 and Elko, Nevada, on Oct. 20.

Speaking outdoors to crowd of about 8,000 supporters at the Minuteman aviation hangar, which is just west of the Missoula International Airport terminal, Trump urged supporters to vote for state Auditor Matt Rosendale, who is running against incumbent Democrat Senator Jon Tester, and Rep. Greg Gianforte, who is being challenged by Democrat candidate Kathleen Williams.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Missoula, Montana, on Oct. 18, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Opening with a slew of positive economic wins such as the unemployment level falling to its lowest in 50 years, Trump also acknowledged Montanans for voting for him in the 2016 president election, where he beat candidate Hillary Clinton by about 20 percentage points, according to voting data.

He hopes to capture momentum from voters to get enough Republicans elected to maintain the majorities in the Senate and the House—currently Republicans have a slim advantage in both.

“Here in Montana, household incomes have reached an all time high… we watch Montana, we watch your miners, your loggers. And two years ago you watched over me because we won this state by a lot,” Trump said.

Missoula is a blue stronghold in a red state. It has a population of around 73,340 as estimated by the United States Census Bureau in 2017—the second largest city in Montana, after Billings. When looking at the bigger picture, the Missoula Metropolitan Area sits at around 117,400 in total.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Missoula, Montana, on Oct. 18, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Trump strayed away from the teleprompter, like he often does at his rallies, commenting on subjects such as the approaching Honduran migrant caravan, his 2020 election, and Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren.

“I just want to thank the Mexican government because they are going to stop it before it ever gets to Mexico,” Trump said, referring to the migrant caravan. “I will send the military to defend the border if necessary, all because of the immigrant onslaught brought by the Democrats.”

As he lamented about Democrat policies he said are increasingly shifting far-left, he touched upon his 2020 re-election run, “Eight years, it’s going to be fine. That’s all the time we need to make America great again.”

Trump described Warren, who recently released her DNA tests revealing she was between 1/64 to 1/1024—or 0.09 percent Native American, as a “phony.”

“She has so little Indian,” he said. Cherokee Nation—the largest federally recognized tribal nation in the United States and one of two tribes Warren claims to be descended from—rejected the results.

He also described his own platform as not Republican or conservative but as “common sense.”

“The Democratic party has come so far left its become radical resistance. But we fight like nobody ever fought before,” he said.

When commenting on Rosendale, Trump said he has a lot of respect for him. As Rosendale spoke to the crowd, he urged Republicans that if they want to keep the country as it is now, they must get out and vote.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump and Montana GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale at a Make America Great Again rally in Missoula, Montana, on Oct. 18, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Rosendale commented on his conservative policy positions such as healthcare and support for the Second Amendment.

“I will never give up on repealing and replacing Obamacare. We must have healthcare that we can actually afford, and I will make sure to always protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Rosendale told the crowd.

“Remember when Jon Tester talks about supporting the Second Amendment? He voted for liberal justices who will take your guns away,” he said.

Tester has a D rating from the NRA, while Rosendale has an A rating, which the state auditor touted at the rally.

In the meantime, Trump described Gianforte as one of the most respected representatives in Congress and a “tough cookie.” In response, Gianforte thanked Trump for giving Montanas “hope again” after he was invited on stage briefly.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Missoula, Montana, on Oct. 18, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Trump also used the Democrat’s “obstruction” tactics during the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a rallying cry for Republicans to get out and vote.

“What they did to Kavanaugh and his family was a national disgrace,” he said. “Come election day the American people will remember Kavanaugh … because it was a shameful act.”

According to a recent poll from RealClearPolitics, Tester was ahead in the race by 3 percentage points over Rosendale. Meanwhile, Gianforte was leading in the polls by 9 percentage points over Williams.

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