MISSOULA – President Donald Trump spoke for 70 minutes Thursday night at a rally in Missoula, giving an aggressive pitch to Montanans to vote out Senator Jon Tester.
He hit on many familiar themes, from taxes to immigration to the Supreme Court – and, one very unexpected one, about Montana’s Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte.
“Democrats have become the party of crime. It’s true. Who would believe you could say that and nobody even challenges it,” President Trump said.
President Trump didn’t waste much time firing up the partisan crowd of several thousand people – castigating Democrats for their treatment of Supreme Court nominee, and now Justice, Brett Kavanaugh.
“Come Election Day Americans will remember Kavanaugh and they will remember all sorts of other things because that was a shameful act,” President Trump predicted.
He also made it personal against Sen. Tester, saying he especially wanted to come to Montana to help defeat him, after Tester aired accusations that sunk Trump’s Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson this spring.
“He was attacked so viciously. So violently by Jon Tester. Like I’ve never seen before. All lies, all made up stuff,” President Trump said.
President Trump didn’t bring out Tester’s opponent, Republican Matt Rosendale, until a half-hour into the speech.
“Jon Tester has been to wrong, for too long. We can’t let Jon Tester and the radical, liberal resistance win this November. If they win, they’ll go after President Trump, and his agenda. We can’t let that happen,” Rosendale told the crowd.
But shortly before that, the president praised Congressman Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter on the night before Gianforte’s election last year.
“Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kinda guy,” President Trump said.
He also brought the crowd to a roaring approval, with tough talk about securing the border, “and we will keep the criminal drug dealers and terrorists the hell out of our country.”
President Trump boarded Air Force One a few minutes after completing his speech – and was off to Arizona, for another campaign rally on Friday.
-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News