Trump seeks to project confidence on economy at New Hampshire rally

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President Trump took aim at Democrats during a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday evening, branding them proponents of “socialism” and suggesting the country would undergo another recession if he isn’t reelected in 2020.

Trump repeatedly went after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), calling her “Pocahontas” and noting her recent rise in the polls.

“Democrats are now the party of high taxes, high crime, open borders, late term abortion and socialism,” Trump asserted more than an hour into his remarks. “The Republican Party is the party of freedom.”{mosads}

Trump also lambasted the media for negative headlines about his administration’s ongoing trade war with China, which has contributed to recent fears of the prospect of a recession.

“We are doing very well with China, despite the fact that they would have you believe to the contrary,” Trump said, later using his familiar attack of “fake news.”

“They want to make a deal,” Trump said later of Beijing. “I don’t think we’re ready to make a deal. We’re taking in billions of dollars of tariffs”

Trump delivered what were, at times, rambling remarks for roughly 90 minutes to a crowd of supporters in Manchester, touching on numerous topics including healthcare, military spending, the opioid crisis and his longstanding pledge to build a wall at the southern border with Mexico.

The rally marked a rare visit for the president to a state won by Democratic contender Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race.

“We should have won New Hampshire, that was taken away,” Trump said at one point.

Trump was also joined at the rally by former campaign aide Corey Lewandowski, who is mulling a run for Senate in the Granite State.

“I think he’d be tough to beat,” Trump said, gesturing to Lewandowski. “We’ll see what happens. He hasn’t made up his mind yet.”

The president arrived in New Hampshire as he sought to exude confidence about signs of an economic decline, accusing those who question the stability of the markets of being ignorant and unnecessarily projecting panic.

Trump mentioned the economy and jobs consistently throughout his remarks, further cementing what has already become a key theme of his 2020 reelection bid. Trump again took credit for economic gains after November 2016, asserting his election spurred them.

The rally comes after days of mounting fears that the country could be approaching economic downturn. U.S. stock markets witnessed their largest drop in 2019 on Wednesday, following a decision by Trump to delay implementation of looming tariffs until the end of the holiday season.

On Thursday, Trump told voters they have no choice but to vote for him in 2020, warning the economy would tank if they don’t. The remarks echoed those he made to reporters before departing New Jersey for the rally earlier the same day.

“You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k)’s down the tubes. Everything’s going to be down the tubes. So, whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me,” Trump said.

Trump began to mention the Democratic field early during his remarks, recycling his nicknames for Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“I sort of hope it’s him,” Trump said of Biden. “I don’t mind any of them. You’ve got Pocahontas, who is rising. You’ve got Kamala. Kamala is falling. You’ve got Beto. Beto is like, gone.”

“We’ll see what happens. Whoever it is, doesn’t matter,” Trump said. “I think Sleepy Joe may be able to limp across the finish line.”

Trump also briefly addressed the issue of guns following two mass shootings last week, vowing to protect the Second Amendment and arguing mental illness should be a priority.

“People have to remember however, that there is a mental illness that needs to be dealt with,” Trump said. “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person holding the gun.”

The rally followed a day of controversy over Trump’s effort to pressure Israel to bar two U.S. congresswomen from traveling to the country later this month.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that the country would bar entry to Muslim congresswomen Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) because of a law that prohibits entry of individuals who support boycotts on Israel — a move that touched off a wave of criticism from Democrats, some Republicans and pro-Israel groups.

The announcement came shortly after Trump said Israel would be displaying “great weakness” by allowing them entry, though it was not clear how or whether Trump’s public pronouncement factored into decision.

Trump mentioned Omar briefly during the rally on a tangent about trade — “Representative Omar, that’s another one,” he said — but quickly moved on from her thereafter without mentioning the decision by Israel.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Corey Lewandowski Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton Ilhan Omar Joe Biden Rashida Tlaib

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