Trump holds Fla. rally to support Republican candidate for governor

Hannah Rogers
August 4, 2018

Trump is holding a rally in Tampa on Tuesday in a show of force for congressman Ron DeSantis, who faces off against state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the state's August 28 GOP primary.

Trump stood on stage, in front of about 10,000 cheering, MAGA-adorned fans, and made the same refrain at least three times during a broad-ranging, hourlong speech: Vote for "my great friend", Ron DeSantis, whom he called a "tough, brilliant cookie". In Trump's America, this high-stakes political gamble is exactly what Trump does, as a president who still holds rallies like he's running for re-election already.

"And you need your picture".

Trump's first expressed support for DeSantis in December and more explicitly endorsed him with a tweet in June, launching him past former congressman and Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam in the race to replace two-term GOP Gov. Rick Scott. While he's against numerous President's policies, he also believes the two-party system is failing.

"In this country, the only time you don't need [ID] in many cases is when you want to vote for president, when you want to vote for senator, when you want to vote for a governor or congressman", he said, adding, "It's insane".

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Several voters at Tuesday's rally said that Trump's endorsement helped, but that they would like to hear DeSantis talk more about state issues. Bill Nelson in a high-profile Senate race.

"We've got a message for lawmakers across the country". But Trump nonetheless also briefly praised Scott, and criticized Nelson as an out-of-touch politician, saying he sees him in Florida only "five months before every election".

At last week's White House meeting, Trump, Ryan and McConnell agreed that Congress was on track to enact more than half of federal spending before the new budget year begins October 1, but that DHS funding, including the border wall money, doesn't have to be settled before then, according to a person familiar with the meeting who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and insisted on condition of anonymity.

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THE FACTS: This concern, often voiced by Trump as well, stems from an unsupported theory that voter fraud has shaped election outcomes.

"I can be more presidential than any president in history, except for maybe Abe Lincoln with the big hat", Trump said.

Trump will not be one of those presidents who only grudgingly tears himself away from the weighty affairs of state to campaign for party lawmakers.

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are working to fund the government and that Trump's threat "is not good for anything".

Also changing political alliances was Selembi Diemi of Tampa.

"I don't think he's anxious about the general election at this point", Weisert continued. The president's unexpected and narrow victory over Clinton there earned him a critical 20 electoral votes on his path to the White House.

Of course, the gaffe was easy fodder for Trump's detractors on Twitter.

This article was written by Felicia Sonmez and Ashley Parker, reporters for The Washington Post.

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