President Trump at Lebanon Rally: ‘We Are Witnessing A Phenomenon Called America First’

It was his third rally this week but you wouldn’t have known it.

Appearing energized by the big and boisterous crowd, President Donald Trump took the podium Friday night in Lebanon, Ohio  to thunderous chants of “USA! USA! USA!” and never backed off, pummeling Sen. Sherrod Brown and Senate Democrats for the way they treated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and for voting against his policies in knee-jerk fashion.

AFP White House correspondent Sebastian Smith captured the energy of the event in this tweet as President Trump stepped to the podium:

President Trump said a vote for the Democrats running in Ohio during the 2018 midterm elections Nov. 6 was a vote for “the party of the mob” while a vote for Republicans was “a vote for the rule of law.”

Trump had a lot to say about Democrat gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, who worked six years in Washington as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Cordray is “a very bad guy,” Trump said, describing him as the protégé of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the most radical leftist members of the Senate.

Trump said he could not believe Cordray and Mike DeWine are running neck and neck in the polls.

“You’re up a little bit in the polls,” he said to DeWine. “But we gotta get that up because he’s up against a very bad guy. Jon Husted is running with your next Governor, Mike DeWine. And they’re running against Elizabeth Warren’s far-left disciple, Richard Cordray.”

As the director of the CFPB, Cordray “was hurting people and I think he was enjoying it,” Trump said. “He was putting people out of business. He spent $250 million trying to renovate a headquarters that they didn’t even own, more than twice what the building was worth! But because it was a Democrat the fake news media didn’t want to write about it. And after spending thousands on elevators, they didn’t even work.”

Trump said Cordray would be “a Pocahontas dream come true if we get this guy elected. This guy does not belong in this state folks. First of all he’s a super liberal. Why do you do that? OK, go with DeWine, please, and Jon Husted. Cordray would be an absolute disaster for Ohio. I tried so hard to get him out, and they’ve done such a great job [at CFPB] since we got him out. He was so bad. You don’t need him here in Ohio.”

Trump pilloried the media as the “fake news,” chiding them for refusing to turn the cameras around and show the many thousands of Trump supporters at the rally in Lebanon. There was not enough room under the shelter at the fairgrounds to contain all the people. Some stood outside in the rain.

“There are thousands of people who can’t see a thing. They’re getting very wet,” Trump said.

Trump touted his America-first agenda and the accomplishments of his less than two years in office and said a vote for Democrats like Brown would reverse everything. The economy, immigration, trade, the disastrous foreign policy of appeasing Iran, everything would revert instantly to the way it was under Obama.

“For years and years you’ve watched your leaders apologize for America,” Trump said. “Now you finally have a president who is standing up for America.”

He gave a shout out to Pastor Andrew Brunson, a North Carolina pastor who has been held prisoner in Turkey for more than two years on false charges of espionage.

“I’m really proud to report that earlier today we secured the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey,” Trump said. “He is free from jail and is in the air heading to Germany. He will get off for a brief check, then fly home to Washington, D.C., tomorrow [Saturday]. He went through a lot, but he’s on his way back.”

He also acknowledged the victims of Hurricane Michael. “That was a vicious hurricane, whether in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina or North Carolina. We we just want to give everyone our love. That was a devastating hurricane this week.”

America first, for a change

But the purpose of the rally was to highlight Republican achievements under nearly two years of Trump.

“We are witnessing a phenomenon called America first, and it’s about time,” Trump said. “The unemployment rate has just fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. Manufacturing confidence has just reached an all-time high. Think what that means. The people of Ohio have confidence.”

To resounding “boos” from the crowd, Trump recalled the previous administration of Barack Obama, which he said did not fight for America and American jobs first. Rather, it apologized for America.

“If you remember the previous administration said manufacturing jobs, they’re gone, they’re dead. You’d need a magic wand to bring them back. I guess we have the magic wand. They’re coming back.”

He said they were coming back from Mexico, from Canada from other countries. “Because they all wanna be where the action is. It’s where the jobs are. We are now the hottest country in the world.”

Trump said Ohio’s steel mills, which had been severely hampered by cheap foreign imports under the Obama administration, are churning again.

“All over Ohio steel mills are reopening and we’ve put our coal miners back to work,” he said.

“When I came into office steel was a dead business. Now Nucor, U.S. Steel, they’re opening mills all over the country. We’re taxing the dumpers, you know they dump steel on our country. So we’re going to have beautiful, new, American-made steel. It’s not going to be mud or sand steel, they put garbage in it, we don’t even know what is in it [overseas]. We’re going to have American-made steel with iron ore from America. We don’t need outsiders telling us about our steel industries. It’s incredible what’s happening. Steel is hot as a pistol. After decades of rebuilding others we are finally rebuilding our nation.”

Ohioans at the rally gave a huge cheer when Trump mentioned that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in earlier this week at the White House.

“Did he get treated badly and unfairly or what? Horrible!” the president said. “And I’ll tell you what, he has done us a great service, because we are more energized as Republicans than I think ever before.”

“So the Supreme Court is very important, and we could get three, maybe four more justices, but you need the votes to get them in,” Trump said, urging Ohioans to vote for Republicans running for the House and Senate.

“An angry Democrat mob was on a mission to delay obstruct and destroy [Kavanaugh],” Trump said. “Before they knew his name they were saying horrible things. They didn’t even know he was going to be the pick, I didn’t even know, and they were saying horrible things. These are bad, bad people. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob. That’s what it is, this is the mob. They’ve become radicalized. Pocahontas, Elizabeth Warren, she’s becoming mainstream, you believe that one?”

Trump talked about the important role played by Ohio in every election, including the upcoming midterms.

He said not to pay much attention to “phony polls” that show Sherrod Brown up by a wide margin. The pollsters called for him to lose to Hillary Clinton two years ago in Ohio.

He said if the Democrats win, Nancy Pelosi will take control as Speaker of the House and Democrats “will try to raise your taxes, impose socialism in this country and take away your jobs. The Democrats want to erase America’s borders and let drugs, gangs and crime pour into our country.”

He said he has been going around the country at rallies saying Democrats have become the “party of crime, and they don’t even challenge me. Not even the fake news media. And the Republicans are the party of jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Jim Renacci speaks

Trump then introduced U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH-16), who spoke briefly to the crowd..

We need you to change Washington, and you haven’t let me down,” Renacci said of Trump. “This crowd loves you. Ohio loves you. And we love what you’re doing! You’ve got Ohio growing, unemployment is down, wages are up, the tax cut and jobs bill is working in Ohio, and you’ve gotten more conservative judges approved than any other president. You renegotiated NAFTA, helping Ohio businesses, ISIS is on the run, and you have given our coal miners here hope by reversing those devastating policies of the previous administration that had bankrupted that industry. Promises made, promises kept.

“And Mr. President, we are not tired of winning yet here in Ohio,” Renacci added. “And yet you have been able to do all this without the help of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, as we saw him voting against the tax bill, against the coal miners, against your justice nominations. And I am here to help, just like everyone here is here to help.”

Renacci pointed out that Brown votes 97 percent of the time with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democrat from New York, and 94 percent of the time with Elizabeth Warren. He voted 100 percent of the time for Obama’s federal judges and he supported Hillary Clinton for president.

“And even though you are ripping up those trade agreements that aren’t working for Ohio, Sen. Brown had the gall to say just a couple of months ago that all the president has done is run his mouth and line his pockets,” Renacci said. “He voted like a Hollywood liberal, and he has received the most lobbyist dollars, more than any other senator. Look, it’s time we send Sherrod brown packing, and it’s time we send me to Washington, someone that’s willing to help this president.”

Renacci’s speech elicited chants of “Drain the Swamp!”

“In just 25 days we need to retire Sherrod Brown,” Renacci said. “We need a red wave, not only a red wave but I said this earlier, Mr. President, Ohio is going to deliver a red tsunami!”

Sherrod Brown “will never vote for us,” Trump said. Even if he likes a particular Trump policy, he will vote against it simply to obstruct.

“He voted yes on deadly sanctuary cities, voted against the wall. So illegal immigration takes American lives, American jobs and American taxpayer dollars, but a border wall is truly a live-saving barrier against smugglers, traffickers, gang members, and our brave border patrol need a wall. If you want more jobs and less crime, if you wanna stop Schumer from running the Senate, we need the vote of Jim Renacci. We need his vote. We gotta get some republicans. More Republicans.”

Steve Chabot speaks

Trump introduced Rep Steve Chabot (R-OH-1), as a “true fighter for this country.”

Chabot said he had prepared a six-page speech but decide “the more Steve Chabot you get the less President Trump so I’m not gonna give this speech.”

Trump said a vote for Chabot and against his Democrat opponent, Aftab Pureval, “is a vote for your jobs and your country. You have to get out and vote for Steve if you don’t want Nancy Pelosi to become speaker.

He said Democrats like Pureval want to transform America into a land of “radical socialism and they want open borders where everyone pours into our country. I don’t get it but that’s what they want. The new platform is to abolish ICE, think of that. They do an incredible job and are not treated right. They want to turn America into a giant sanctuary city for criminal aliens and we’re not going to have it. Republicans want an America that is for jobs for Americans and safety for Americans.”

Since the election Trump said his administration has created over 4.2 million new jobs and lifted over 4 million Americans off of food stamps. A total of 600,000 “brand new beautiful manufacturing jobs,” have been added, Trump said.

He said African-Americans, for decades a pillar of the Democrat Party, are starting to realize the Democrats have nothing to offer them.

“African American unemployment has reached its  lowest level in history. African-Americans, remember my statement? What do you have to lose? We are doing great as a country. I am so proud. My administration is fighting for safety and opportunity for everybody. We are asking all African-Americans to honor us this November with their support. Get away from the Democrats, they’ve done nothing. We have the best numbers on employment on median income, everything, and I think we’re going to get the African-American vote.”

Trump lauded Kanye West, the music artist who became a Trump supporter and spoke at the White House Thursday.

“What he did yesterday was pretty incredible,” Trump said. “And the guy with him was Big Jim Brown, a guy you know well in Ohio. Unstoppable football player and even greater man.”

He predicted Hispanic Americans will also start to vote in greater numbers for Republicans. That’s because Hispanics have the lowest unemployment in U.S. history.

Women’s unemployment has fallen to 3.6 percent, a 65 year low.

“The only reason to vote Democrat is if you’re tired of winning,” he said.

That led him to talk about NAFTA, the failed trade agreement signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993. It has cost the U.S. nearly 800,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing. Now it’s gone.

“Last week we announced a brand-new trade agreement,” Trump said. “NAFTA was a disaster. It’s opening up Canada, opening up Mexico for our farmers, everybody. And thanks to our tariff, especially on steel, the Ohio steel industry is roaring back to life and soon will be hitting its best years ever. You see it all over this state. Under Republican leadership we passed the biggest series of tax reforms, and by the way, Sherrod Brown voted against it.”

“We are rebuilding the American military. I withdraw the United States from the horrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal. They were taking over everything, Syria, Yemen. I said this was going to be a problem, and about four months ago we withdrew from that horrible, horrendous deal. And now it’s a whole different country.”

A crowd roared when Trump said, “And we have recognized the American embassy in Jerusalem.”

“If you continue to vote Republican we will continue to cut your taxes, raise your incomes, protect your Medicare and your Social Security. Democrats cant’ do it. We will continue to name constitutional judges. We will fully secure the border, end the visa lottery and chain migration, pass Kate’s law, and throw vicious M13 gangs the hell out of here! We’re throwing them out of here by the thousands. And I want to tell you there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure.”

Trump said the U.S. is moving to a merit-based immigration system, rather than one built on chain migration.

“And for all of the companies finally moving back into the U.S. we will have a merit-based immigration, not just a lottery, pick them out of a hat, but they’ll come on merit that can help these companies grow.

“We’re lifting millions of people from welfare to work, and from poverty to prosperity. But to achieve this you need to get out and vote. We need those votes.

“We’re standing up for your values,” Trump added. “For Ohio, and we are proudly standing up for our national anthem. But to continue our momentum, I need you to get your friends, your family, get your co-workers and vote Republican, vote for Steve Chabot, Jim Renacci, vote for DeWine, we’ve got to have DeWine. We need a governor here. You cannot let this happen to Ohio. This Democrat is a disaster, a proven disaster.”

Mandi Merritt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, released the following statement Friday night:

Tonight, President Trump laid out what is at stake in November. Ohio can either continue the remarkable economic success under strong Republican leadership, or elect Democrats like Sherrod Brown, Richard Cordray and Aftab Pureval that are determined to roll back the tax cuts that have helped families across the Buckeye State. Voters have a clear choice between Republicans’ resume of results, or Democrats’ continued resist-and-obstruct message – and that is exactly why Republicans will be successful in November.”

Watch the full event:


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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.






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