EXCLUSIVE: President Trump Holds Rally in Pittsburgh
'The Cardinal' was one of the White House Press Pool organization’s in attendance
Vincent Patierno, Junior Contributor
March 11, 2018 • 28 views
With a congressional special election in western Pennsylvania’s eighteenth district coming Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump took to the stage in Moon Township to rally support for candidate, Rick Saccone—a district Trump won by more than 20 points in 2016.
Air Force One hit the runway at Pittsburgh International Airport just before 7 PM Saturday as a nearby hangar filled with supporters of the president awaited his remarks.
While Mr. Trump did shine a light on the Republican congressional candidate a handful of times—citing the need to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives through this November’s midterm elections—almost all the President’s 75-minute event was vintage Trump.
A venue to his liking, of which was packed with a raucous crowd, Trump touched on issues ranging from his administration’s latest steel tariffs, North Korea, his aversion toward the nation’s news media, calling for the death penalty for drug dealers, and his own election victory 16 months ago.
“Steel is back!” Thundered Trump at the top of his remarks – noting his latest decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
A move that came with stark opposition by both congressional Republicans and Democrats yet stood as quite popular in this Pittsburgh suburb.
“A lot of steel mills are opening up because of what I did,” Trump commenting, “Tariff’s [are] my baby.”
The tone of the evening quickly turning to sharp jabs directed toward the “evil in Washington,” of which the President proclaimed he is “getting out” of the town – and the “fake media,” as echoes of “CNN sucks!” roared in the packed-hangar.
On the rumor that Oprah Winfrey may be seeking public office, Trump boasted, “I would love it!”
The president also promised to expose Winfrey’s weaknesses if she would decide to run.
Aside from the censure and pillory of his opponents – which included swings at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a potential 2020 challenger, and knocks on Representative Maxine Waters – The President calling the California Democrat a “low-IQ individual” – Trump used the venue as an opportunity to do what he does best: say what’s on his mind.
With the latest jobs report released on Friday, Mr. Trump used the moment Saturday evening to call attention to the “lowest African-American employment rate in history,” also noting the United States adding over 300,000 jobs in the month of February.
“Let’s just coast!” Trump proclaimed, speaking of his path forward toward the 2020 election.
After “Make America Great Again!” in 2016 – A slogan that carried him to the White House – President Trump rolled out what he proclaimed to be his 2020 re-election bid slogan: “Keep America Great!”
He spoke admiringly of foreign laws imposing the death penalty on drug dealers, brushing aside the notion for due process when it comes to the matter.
The President also stating, “we’re going after the opioid companies!”
And on North Korea, “it’s very positive,” said Trump after the mention of Kim Jung Un’s name prompted boos and jeers.
Trump, who last week agreed to a ground-breaking one-on-one meeting with Kim, called on the crowd to “be very nice,” – at least until after the meeting. The President also bloviating that it was something his predecessors couldn’t do.
“The NRA happens to be very good people,” said the president speaking of gang violence in the nation. “They don’t use guns. They like to use knives and other things because it’s much more painful, it’s much slower, it’s much – these are animals.”
The rally has originally been scheduled for mid-February but was postponed after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. President Trump making no mention of the tragedy that left 17 dead at Saturday’s event.
The White House tonight unveiling steps to harden security at schools and improve background checks.
The Sunday evening announcement including a plan to establish a commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention.
The announcement of the commission comes less than a day after Trump criticized blue-ribbon committees at the Pittsburgh rally, saying, “We can’t just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees,” adding that they do nothing but “talk, talk, talk.”
From calling on Congress to defund sanctuary cities – to voicing continued support for GOP congressional candidate Rick Saccone in hopes that Tuesday’s special election will turn in the Republican Party’s favor – the president found himself in a familiar setting.
Surrounded by his supporters, scuttling the news media, and a campaign soundtrack, the president was at ease.