Trump rallies for Moore ahead of Alabama election
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 9, 2017
President Trump rallied on behalf of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore in neighboring Florida on Friday night in an effort to boost the Republican in the final days of the campaign.
“We need a Republican in the House, we need a Republican in the Senate. We need more of them,” Trump said during the rally in Pensacola, Fla., touting his agenda.
Trump spoke for over an hour, feuding with CNN and ABC News over recent faulty reports and blasting illegal immigration before mentioning Moore.
“This guy’s screaming, ‘We want Roy Moore,’ ” Trump said, pointing to an audience member.
“How many people here are from the great state of Alabama?” Trump asked to cheers.
“We want jobs, jobs, jobs. So get out and vote for Roy Moore.”
The rally took place just 20 miles from the Alabama-Florida border and in the same media market as Mobile, Ala., the state’s third most populous city.
Trump’s rally in Pensacola was scheduled before he explicitly backed the Senate candidate, who has been embroiled in controversy since allegations of sexual misconduct emerged last month.
Various GOP leaders in Washington have called on Moore to step aside after multiple women accused him of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, including one woman who said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32.
Trump, who has pointed to Moore’s denial of the allegations, formally endorsed the GOP candidate earlier this week while ripping his Democratic opponent Doug Jones ahead of the special election on Tuesday.
Trump continued to blast Jones on Friday, claiming he would be a “puppet” of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
In boosting Moore, Trump also touted news about a woman who has accused the GOP candidate of sexual misconduct revealing that she included her own notes below a yearbook signature she claims was made by Moore.
“Did you see what happened today? You know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump told the crowd at the rally.
“Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her you know something’s going wrong,” Trump added, referring to the woman’s attorney.
Beverly Young Nelson, who has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her decades ago when she was 16 years old, said during an interview with ABC News on Friday that she made notes underneath Moore’s alleged signature in the yearbook.
The credibility of the signature has become a source of contention between Moore’s supporters and critics. While the woman defended the veracity of the message Friday, Moore’s campaign seized on the revelation, arguing that it undercut her entire story.
Much of Trump’s freewheeling rally Friday focused on touting his administration’s accomplishments, criticizing media outlets and emphasizing his hard-line stance on immigration.
Trump went after the news media out of the gate, pounding CNN for issuing a correction earlier in the day for a story dealing with WikiLeaks’s contact with Donald Trump Jr. and members of the Trump campaign last year.
“Oh thank you, CNN, thank you so much,” Trump said.
“You should have been apologizing for the last two years,” he added to cheers from the audience.
Trump also mentioned the case of Kate Steinle, a woman shot to death in 2015 in San Francisco, while blasting so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to help federal authorities enforce immigration law while also riffing about violence in Chicago and local politicians’ efforts to combat the issue.
“We’re going to have such borders. We’re going to have borders on top of borders,” Trump said of his strategy to combat illegal immigration, adding that the U.S. wouldn’t “listen to other countries telling us how we should be running our immigration.”
– Alicia Cohn contributed