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Trump slams reconciliation deal, touts endorsements at rally while taking jabs at Republican foes

Former President Trump used his rally in Waukesha, Wis., on Friday evening to criticize Democrats’ sweeping climate, tax and health package while touting his track record of recent endorsements.

While Trump was in the Badger State to boost several of his endorsed Republican candidates ahead of the Aug. 9 primary, including gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels and Adam Steen, running in the 63rd Assembly District race against Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, the former president used the rally to take jabs at his opponents.

“The radical Democrats now intend to impose the biggest tax hike in American history, the exact opposite of what I did,” Trump asserted, referring to the reconciliation deal. “And they are working feverishly to pile on more regulations at levels never seen before. You’re going to have regulations like nobody’s ever seen before.”

He name-checked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), claiming he got “taken for a ride” by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who made a surprise announcement with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) last week that they had reached a deal on climate, health and tax reforms. 

“Joe Manchin has totally sold out West Virginia. What he’s done to that state is disgraceful. And I told the old broken crow Mitch McConnell that this was going to happen,” Trump said.

Manchin had earlier in July appeared to pour cold water on the prospects of a deal after data was released showing inflation at 9 percent annually. 

When the deal was announced, after the Senate with GOP support passed a bill to boost domestic semiconductor production and fund scientific research, some Republicans expressed frustration about the agreement, saying they would have blocked the chips and science bill if they had known Democrats were pressing forward with provisions on taxes and climate in a reconciliation package.

Manchin claimed he and Schumer had not misled their colleagues.

The former president touted the recent successes of Arizona candidates Kari Lake in the GOP gubernatorial primary and Blake Masters in the Republican Senate primary as well. 

He also mentioned Michigan Republican candidates Tudor Dixon in the gubernatorial race and former Department of Housing and Urban Development official John Gibbs, who defeated Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.), one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump.

Trump called Michels, who is running against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday, an “incredible success story” and touted his construction company.

He called Steen — a candidate he endorsed as part of a larger revenge tour against Republicans he believes crossed him following the election and the Capitol riot — a “true patriot.” Vos, Steen’s opponent, drew Trump’s ire after he refused efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

As Trump took a few jabs at Kleefisch, he also appeared to subtly hit back at those who endorsed her, including former Vice President Pence.

“Tim’s opponent in the primary is Rebecca Kleesfisch, a career politician and a political insider. Known her for a long time. She’s the handpicked candidate of the failed establishment, the RINOs … the Washington swamp, and she’s running a campaign of falsehoods and lies,” he alleged, using the acronym for “Republicans in name only.”

The former president even waded into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip to Taiwan, one of several stops she made in her travel to East Asia amid heightened tensions between China and the self-governing island, asking why she would travel to Taiwan.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Joe Manchin John Gibbs Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Robin Vos Wisconsin
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