Trump stumps for Ohio GOP candidate: Here’s what he said

In a rally inside a sweltering high school gym, President Donald Trump attacked Democrats, rehashed his 2016 election win, boasted about the economy and rallied the vote for Republican Troy Balderson, who is in a razor close race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district.

“Troy Balderson. He is the guy. He is the guy that’s gonna do things,” said Trump of Balderson, a state senator from Zanesville who is in a tough battle against Democrat Danny O’Connor.

The special election on Tuesday, which is getting national attention and money, is being framed as a referendum on Trump and an indicator of how the November midterm elections may break.

RELATED: Stakes high in special congressional race in central Ohio

State and national GOP leaders are pulling out all the stops for Balderson in a district that has been held by Republicans for all but one term since 1939. Trump’s appearance comes just days after Vice President Mike Pence held a rally and Ohio Gov. John Kasich appeared in a television campaign commercial for Balderson.

While repeatedly telling supporters to vote Balderson, Trump spent much of his 70-minute speech talking about crimes committed by illegal aliens and the need for border security; supporting veterans and active duty military service members; the need to impose tariffs; and attacking media outlets he doesn’t like as dishonest, corrupt and disgusting.

“America is winning again because we are finally putting America First. It’s about time. Our economy is booming. Jobs are pouring back into our country. We are bringing them back. Those companies that left, they want to come back, this is where that action is,” he said.

He also made veiled references to the absence of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who is suffering from terminal brain cancer.

“The fact is we need more Republicans. People say we have a majority. We don’t really have the majority in the Senate. Fifty-one, we have one person not voting. You know, not around to vote. I don’t know. He’s not voting so we have 50,” he said.

The 12th district special election race is razor close. A recent poll released by Monmouth University shows it’s too close to call.

“This is still a Republican leaning district with many metrics that continue to favor Balderson, but growing Democratic enthusiasm has made this race surprisingly competitive. O’Connor’s chances hinge on generating a larger than usual share of the vote from the suburbs north of Columbus,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

RELATED: Local congressional race now a toss-up

Outside the high school, Trump supporters stood in long security lines in the hot sun while protesters and counter protesters shouted insults at one another: “You’re an idiot!” “You lost the popular vote. The blue wave is coming. You better learn to swim.”

“They’re mad that kids are in cages but it’s okay to abort kids. I don’t get that,” said Mark Hoffman, who drives a pick up truck with “Trump” emblazoned on the front bumper.

John Price of Blacklick said he is confronting Trump supporters attending the rally. “It’s essentially a call out to them to be on the right side of history,” he said.

The rally also drew Ohio’s Republican leaders: House Speaker Ryan Smith, Senate President Larry Obhof, Attorney General Mike DeWine, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken and others.

Trump called Jordan up on stage with him as the crowd chanted “Speaker of the House!” Jordan praised Trump in brief remarks.

The rally drew Trump fans from across Ohio. “They’re huge Trump fans and they wanted to come,” said Dawn McKeel, who drove two hours from Akron with her teenage daughters and nieces and waited more than two hours in line.

Renacci, who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, said Ohioans are concerned about jobs and the economy, which he said is heading in the right direction. Renacci, who embraces Trump, said “Look around. These people love Donald Trump. There are Democrats and Republicans here, I can guarantee you.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Ohio Politics

Sunny Sunday, rain returns
Sunny Sunday, rain returns

Sunshine emerges today along with comfortable temperatures Rain rolls in from the south by Monday morning Chance for strong storms arrives on Tuesday Today: A chilly start, but overall nice weather. More sunshine is expected (especially towards the north of I-70), along with a high in the lower to mid 70s. Clouds return overnight with the chance...
6-year-old boy with special needs missing from North Carolina park
6-year-old boy with special needs missing from North Carolina park

Emergency responders began a massive search at a North Carolina park Saturday afternoon for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue boats were sent to the lake at the park. Authorities said he was wearing an orange shirt with “I’m the man&rdquo...
Nordstrom selling taped-up, 'distressed' shoes for $530
Nordstrom selling taped-up, 'distressed' shoes for $530

If you're looking to buy a pair of trashed sneakers with duct tape across the toe, Seattle-based Nordstrom has you covered.  For $530, Nordstrom is selling the Superstar Taped Sneaker made by Golden Goose.  "Crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature...
18-month-old found alone in shopping cart in Target parking lot
18-month-old found alone in shopping cart in Target parking lot

Police are investigating after a child was found in a shopping cart alone outside a Target in Massachusetts. Authorities said the boy, who is about 18 months old, was found around 1 p.m. Saturday in Easton. The boy was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for further evaluation, but police said he appeared to be unharmed. Authorities said two...
Student of the Week Graham High School
Student of the Week Graham High School

Name: Chase Adams School: Graham High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Extra-curricular: Basketball, Baseball, Student Senate, Freshman Focus Claim to fame/honors: 2nd team CBC, Falcon Pride Student of the Month, Honor Roll, perfect attendance for all of high school Words you live by: “The true test of a man’s character is how he handles adversity...
More Stories