Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada

Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE touted Nevada Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R) as a reliable supporter of his agenda while hammering his Democratic Senate opponent Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenFemale senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Lawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding MORE during a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

Trump praised Heller, one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in November, as a "tremendous supporter." Heller greeted Trump at the airport when the president arrived Thursday before going up on stage with him at the rally for a handshake and hug.

The president recounted during the rally how the two Republicans weren’t initially “friends,” but said they now “love each other” and he considers Heller one of his greatest allies in Congress.

“I have to say this, when we started out, we weren’t friends. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me, and as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not, we started to respect each other...and then we love each other,” Trump said. “He’s been a tremendous supporter ever since I won the election.”

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Trump on Thursday blasted Rosen, reiterating his nickname "Wacky Jacky" that he has used to knock the Democratic Senate candidate. The president criticized her for voting against the GOP's tax law, arguing that if elected she would serve to back up House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi hits Trump on health care: His 'cruel hypocrisy knows no bounds' Pelosi hits Trump on health care: His 'cruel hypocrisy knows no bounds' On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerUS women's soccer team reignites equal pay push Blue Dogs look to move forward on infrastructure project Democratic strategist says Republicans are turning immigration debate into 'political football' MORE (D-N.Y.).

“Wacky Jacky will never vote for us folks,” Trump said to applause. “[Democratic lawmakers are] voting for Nancy Pelosi. They’re voting for the new de facto leader of the Democratic Party, [Rep.] Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersLawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people Criticism punctuates Nadler's leadership of Trump probe MORE (D-Calif.). Sen. Dean Heller is going to be with us all the time.”

Heller is the only Republican senator up in a state that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYoung Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Young Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Trump highlights polls that showed Clinton beating him by double digits MORE won in 2016. Nevada's marquee Senate race will likely determine which party controls the majority in the upper chamber.

Earlier in the day, Heller was criticized for saying there was a "little hiccup here" regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been battling sexual assault allegations. In a statement, Heller said the "hiccup" was in reference to how "poorly the Democrats have handled this process."

Trump is slated to follow up on the rally Thursday night by attending a high-dollar fundraiser with Heller and Republican Danny Tarkanian, who’s running in the competitive open-seat race for Nevada’s 3rd district against Democrat Susie Lee.

The president is seeking to boost the Republicans less than seven weeks before the midterm elections.

Trump called Heller up to the stage during his rally Thursday night, where the GOP senator thanked the president for raising wages and his work with veterans.

“I think you just turned Nevada red today,” Heller said. “But most importantly Mr. President, thank you for putting Nevada back to work.”

Following the rally, Rosen pushed back on Trump's "petty insults," making the argument that Heller would be in lockstep with Trump if elected.

“President Trump came back to Nevada to fundraise for my opponent and attack me with petty insults because he knows Dean Heller will be his rubber stamp in the Senate, and I won’t," Rosen said in a statement.

"Nevada’s hardworking families deserve an independent voice in the Senate who will fight for them and put our state first, not a spineless politician who breaks his promises under pressure from the White House and votes to take away health care from his constituents.”

While the Nevada contest could help determine the Senate majority in the fall, Trump repeated a refrain to voters to “not be complacent” in November.

“We need more Republicans,” Trump said, referring to the GOP’s slim 51-seat majority. “If someone has a cold, we don’t have a majority that day.”

Trump also singled out Tarkanian at the rally and former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), who wants to reclaim his seat in the slightly Democratic-leaning 4th district.

Hardy has a rematch against former Rep. Steven HorsfordSteven Alexander HorsfordT.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill Dems warn against deporting former Trump golf course workers Ten Dem lawmakers added to House Ways and Means Committee MORE (D-Nev.), whom he beat in 2014.

Trump briefly noted his support for Hardy, a past Trump critic, but heaped praise on long-time ally Tarkanian, who was previously running in the primary against Heller but switched to run for Congress at Trump's urging.

“He’s shown such incredible stamina and loyalty and friendship,” Trump said of Tarkanian, who’s unsuccessfully ran for Congress on multiple occasions. “We gotta get him to win this race.”

Trump has a packed calendar of campaign events, with a rally scheduled Friday night in Springfield, Mo., to boost Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Lobbying world MORE (D-Mo.).

McCaskill is one of 10 Democratic senators up for reelection in a state Trump won in 2016.

On Thursday, Trump accused Democrats running in those states of pretending to want bipartisanship.

“They get up and talk nicely about me,” Trump said. “But they’re never going to vote. I rather have them say bad things about and vote.”