Six days, eight states, 11 rallies. Scenes from the road as President Donald Trump sprints to Election Day (all times local):
SATURDAY, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola, Florida
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2018
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: Lots of pink “Women for Trump” signs in the crowd.
BIG LINE: “A vote for any Democrat this November is a vote to really put extreme far-left politicians in charge of Congress and to destroy your jobs, slash your incomes, undermine your safety and put illegal aliens before American citizens. Not good.” — President Donald Trump on the stakes of the midterm elections.
PLAYING TO THE CROWD: In just about every campaign speech, Trump reminds audiences that he kept his campaign promise to replace the “horrible, horrible” North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said had contributed to the loss of thousands of jobs in the U.S. Trump has replaced NAFTA with a new trilateral agreement, one he calls the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, or U-S-M-C-A, for short.
Even he acknowledges the acronym is a mouthful, but he told the Florida audience to just think of the one-time hit song “YMCA” by the Village People. “USMCA right? Like YMCA,” Trump said, as he proceeded to sing a little bit of “YMCA” before he moved on to his next talking point.
Another fantastic #MAGARally tonight in the Great State of Florida. In just 3 days, the People of Florida are going to elect @ScottforFlorida and @RonDeSantisFL to protect your jobs, defend your BORDERS, and CONTINUE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! https://t.co/0pWiwCHGbh?? pic.twitter.com/sS78uyafOG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2018
NEEDLING THE MEDIA: Trump said during his rally, “Could the cameras please pan out and show this crowd … would really be nice … you know they never like to do that, folks.”
— By Darlene Superville
SATURDAY, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Belgrade, Montana.
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 10 minutes
BIG LINE: “The choice in this election could not be more simple. A Republican Congress means more jobs and less crime. A Democratic Congress means more crime and less jobs.” —Trump
PLAYING TO THE CROWD: Speaking about border security, Trump said: “Barbed wire, used properly, can be a beautiful sight.”
TODDLER TRUMP: Jackie Poulsen of Billings dressed her 15-month-old daughter, Finley, as Trump for the rally, drawing a crowd of people with cellphones taking photos of the toddler with the tie and slicked-back hair.
SPEAKING TRUTH: Joyce Murray, 70, of Ronan, Montana, says she wants to curb immigration. “I worked the oil fields. The Hispanics are great workers. I understand that. But the immigration, we have to stop somewhere.”
She said she supports Trump because “he speaks the truth.”
—By Darlene Superville and Matt Volz
FRIDAY, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Southport High School, Indianapolis.
RUNNING TIME: 57 minutes.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: “Jobs vs. Mobs.”
BIG LINE: “I need you to vote for a Republican House and a Republican Senate so we can continue this incredible movement, the greatest political movement in the history of our country. It is.” — Trump on what’s at stake Tuesday.
PLAYING TO THE CROWD: There didn’t appear to be an empty seat in the gymnasium at Southport High, where the crowd appeared thrilled that Trump had returned to Indiana with Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight, a state legend, and Vice President Mike Pence, who was formerly the state’s governor. Trump recalled in great detail how Knight had reached out to him before he launched his campaign to encourage a run and how he’d magically found Knight’s number buried in a stack of papers on his desk months later. “That was from God,” Trump said. Knight led the crowd in a “Go get ’em, Donald” chant, adding that Trump has been “a great defender of the United States of America.”
— By Darlene Superville and Jill Colvin
FRIDAY, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Huntington Tri-State Airport, Huntington, West Virginia.
RUNNING TIME: 52 minutes.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: “Trump Digs Coal.”
CRY BABY CRY: Trump suggested talk of Democrats pulling off a “blue wave” on Tuesday may peter out. “It’s going to be an interesting day at the office. You remember an election two years ago? There were a lot of really happy people that night but there were some that were slightly not too happy — cry, baby, cry.”
PLAYING TO THE CROWD: Trump was at times jovial, joking at one point that it’s not easy being married to him, and later saying that Vietnam’s leaders told him West Virginia has the best coal. He confessed to be out of his element on that point: “Somebody like me, coming from 5th Avenue, what the hell do I know about that?”
— By Darlene Superville and Zeke Miller
THURSDAY, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Columbia Regional Airport, Columbia, Missouri.
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 17 minutes.
VIBE: Bundled up in warm jackets and winter hats, the crowd spilled out of an airline hangar into the crisp, dark night. Trump basked in the cheers from a stage positioned in front of the open doorway, surrounded by American flags and with Air Force One parked just behind him.
LOCAL SIGN OF THE TIMES: Trump noted a “Tigers for Trump” sign, a reference to the University of Missouri mascot. Said Trump, “I like that.”
BIG LINE: “The Republican agenda is the mainstream agenda of the American people — it’s how we all got here.” — Trump.
CANDIDATE CORNER: “Claire McCaskill wanted us to call Hillary Clinton Madam President. On Nov. 6, we’re going to call Claire McCaskill fired.” — Republican Josh Hawley, seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. McCaskill.
OF NOTE: As proof of the tight race, Trump isn’t done with Missouri just yet. As he said, “I’m actually coming back on Monday.”
— By Catherine Lucey and Summer Ballentine.
WEDNESDAY, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hertz Arena, Estero, Florida.
RUNNING TIME: 54 minutes.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: An Elvis impersonator! After all, it was Halloween. And at least one supporter dressed as Trump.
BIG LINE: “The far left media used tragedy to sow anger and division.” — Trump, complaining about “fake” reporting on demonstrations during his visit to the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were killed. (Trump’s visit Tuesday did attract large numbers of protesters.)
OF NOTE: Most rally-goers shot up their hands when asked if they’d already voted. Trump’s response: “Then what the hell am I doing here tonight?”
— By Jill Colvin and Tamara Lush
Source: The Associated Press