Rallying supporters in Nashville, President Donald Trump refrained from commenting on the controversy involving his friend Roseanne Barr and focused his attention instead on slamming Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
"If you want your communities to be safe, if you want your schools to be safe, if you want your country to be safe, then you must go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office because there’s no common sense,” Trump said to cheers at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.
The president attended a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn and hosted a rally with his supporters. Blackburn is running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker in a race that has drawn a strong Democratic challenge from former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.
As Trump lauded Blackburn, he took direct aim at Bredesen.
“I never heard of this guy. Who is he?” the president asked. “He is an absolute total tool of ... [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer: He's a tool of Chuck Schumer and, of course, the MS-13 lover [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi. She loves MS-13.”
As he revved up the crowd, Trump turned to one of his go-to rallying cries, saying Mexico will pay for a border wall and “enjoy it,” despite ongoing talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“I don't want to cause a problem. I don't want to cause it. But, in the end, in the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” he said. “They do nothing to help us. Nothing. They are going to pay for the wall and they are going to enjoy it. OK? They are going to enjoy it. They do nothing for us.”
The president also debuted a new call and response with his crowd as he talked about MS-13.
“They are not human beings. This is why we call the bloodthirsty MS-13 gang members exactly the name I used last week. What was the name?” he asked.
The crowd shouted back: “Animals!”
The president’s visit came as Republicans are trying to maintain control of the House and Senate, where the GOP holds a slim 51-49 majority. Tennessee is considered a solidly Republican state, but it could provide an opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat come November.
Trump has traveled this year to several states where Republicans hope to unseat Democratic incumbents, including Indiana, Ohio and Missouri, and he plans on continuing his campaign push heading into the fall.