Trump brings campaign politics to infrastructure event

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE on Thursday brought campaign politics to an official White House event in Ohio, urging Republicans to not get “complacent” and vote in the midterm elections.

In an appearance billed as an infrastructure speech, Trump pointed to historic trends showing that the president’s party typically loses seats in the midterms.

Republicans are facing a tough political environment as they seek to protect their majorities, particularly in the House.


Trump touted the strength of the economy and GOP tax plan, accusing Democrats of not wanting the economy to rebound for political reasons.

“We have a very important election coming up, and they don't like the wins we've been getting,” Trump said. “[Democrats] don’t like that the economy is so strong. They don’t like that they don’t have one vote on the tax cuts. Not one vote.”

“We should do well,” Trump added about the midterms. “History says that when you win the presidency, that party doesn’t do so well in the midterms. Because people get complacent, we can not get complacent.”

Presidents typically don’t use official White House events paid for by tax dollars for campaign politics. When presidents fly to an area to give campaign speeches, campaigns or party committees typically reimburse the federal government for a portion of travel costs.

But Trump has muddied the waters.

In the lead-up to a special election in a Pennsylvania House district, Trump was scheduled for an official White House event in Pittsburgh to tout the GOP’s tax overhaul. But Trump tweeted that he was headed to Pennsylvania to give his full support to Republican candidate Rick Saccone.

The White House later denied that the event was for political purposes. The president ended up not mentioning Saccone in that event, and returned for a separate campaign rally the weekend before the special election to endorse Saccone