Trump makes last-minute pitch to prevent defeat in crucial Ohio election

Trump launches hour-long attack on Democratic candidate O'Connor and slings mud at Leader Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein

By Clarrie Feinstein
Published August 5, 2018 10:13AM (EDT)
Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Huntington, W.Va. (AP/Darron Cummings)
Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Huntington, W.Va. (AP/Darron Cummings)

On Saturday night, President Trump attended an election rally in Ohio to bolster support for Republican Troy Balderson, a state lawmaker who is in a tight special election contest with Democrat Danny O’Connor.

Residents of the Columbus district will vote on Tuesday in what is seen to be a close race, with the Monmouth University poll projecting Balderson at 44 percent and O’Conner at 43 percent,with 11 percent of respondent’s undecided. While Ohio’s 12th Congressional District often votes conservative and voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election — winning by 11 points — O’Conner’s popularity has Republican leadership worried. This is the final special election before November and a loss for Balderson would bolster Democratic predictions that a ‘blue wave’ will sweep the midterm elections.

Trump’s appearance at the rally was intended to boost Republican voter turnout and was the president’s third rally this week, following events in Florida and Pennsylvania, USA Today reports.
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Trump’s told supporters he needed to secure a Republican House and Senate in order to get his agenda accomplished.

He focused his speech heavily on immigration after federal courts dealt setbacks to his immigration policies. In the Southern District of California, a judge ruled that the government was responsible for reuniting children separated from their families, calling the reunification efforts, "unacceptable." And a federal judge in Washington D.C. said that DACA — a program created by Obama that shields certain young immigrants from deportation — needed to be upheld by the Trump administration.

“We want our country to be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens,” Trump told the crowd at the rally. “What we’re doing is crazy.”

He also attacked O’Conner in twitter, linking the Democrat with House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a polarizing figure in American politics — a politician Republicans and even some Democrats fiercely oppose.

"Troy Balderson, running for Congress from Ohio, is in a big Election fight with a candidate who just got caught lying about his relationship with Nancy Pelosi, who is weak on Crime, Borders & your 2nd Amendment-and wants to raise your Taxes (by a lot)," Trump tweeted. "Vote for Troy on Tuesday!”

Trump then took aim at Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein when talking about the trade war with China. The president appeared to compare the two-year investigation over Russian interference of the 2016 election to a report about an alleged Chinese spy who worked for Feinstein. "Speaking of China, it just came out that the Democratic leader and the leader of the Russian investigation, Dianne Feinstein, had a Chinese spy as her driver for 20 years!" Trump told the crowd. "And she's leading the Russian investigation if that's what you call it. How about she's leading the Russia witch hunt!" Sen. Feinstein addressed Trump’s remarks on Twitter saying the incident occurred five years ago when the FBI alerted her to the possibility that China was seeking to recruit an administrative member of her staff and made sure the employee left her office immediately —stating he was never privy to sensitive information.

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