President Donald Trump held one of his signature rallies in Elkhart, Indiana, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, hours after the pair hosted an early morning celebration for the American hostages arriving fresh from their captivity in North Korea.
The top two elected officials in the country spoke at length on the theme of “promises made, promises kept,” touting the administration’s successes and seeking to build momentum for the upcoming heart of the 2018 election season. High on the list of accomplishments were the North Korean prisoners’ release and the employment boom of the last 18 months.
The president and vice president’s campaign pitch called broadly for “more Republicans” to help implement the Trump agenda, but, being in Indiana, where Pence once served as governor, they focused significant attention on U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun, who won his primary Tuesday and will face incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly in what may be the Republicans’ best bet to pick up a Senate seat in November.
Both Trump and Pence made a point of laying blame for the agenda items left unaccomplished at the feet of their Democratic rivals, who are hoping a “blue wave” will deliver one or both houses of Congress in November.
“The Democrats, who are just obstructionists – that’s all they can do – have had a lock on the Hispanic vote…and the African American vote. No longer,” Trump told the packed North Side Middle School gym, citing record low unemployment rates for black and Hispanic Americans.
The president was echoing complaints his number two delivered just before in his introductory speech. “The truth is, our administration has faced unprecedented obstruction from Democrats in Congress,” Pence told his homestate crowd. “Democrats have stood in the way of every major reform the president and I have put forward. It’s been one obstruction after another by the Democrats, including Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.”
Pence then slammed the vulnerable Democrat on his votes against last year’s Republican tax cuts, repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, and confirming CIA Director-nominee Gina Haspel.