Trump comes to town: wake up Minneapolis

October 10, 2019


Photo courtesy of rally attendee Craig Sanislo.

As part of an early campaigning effort, President Trump visited Minneapolis Thursday at the Target Center. A large attendance was expected, so it was recommended that attendees begin lining up as early as 9 am for the rally.

Even before the rally tensions between the Trump campaign and the City of Minneapolis flared. Trump blasted the city and Mayor Jacob Frey on Twitter for requesting $500,000 upfront to cover the security costs of the event while also taking jabs at Rep. Ilhan Omar. “The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and Omar! Make America Great Again!” the President tweeted two days before the rally.

Mayor Frey tweeted back in response to Trump, “Yawn. Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors.”

Rep. Omar also responded on Twitter, saying, “Minnesota stands for peace, equity, and justice — everything you are against. While you spew hate, we will keep fighting for the America we deserve.”

Minnesota stands for peace, equity, and justice — everything you are against. While you spew hate, we will keep fighting for the America we deserve.

— Rep. Ilhan Omar

Minneapolis police officer and congressional candidate for Rep. Omar’s seat Chris Kelley, jumped into the fray too, criticizing Democrats’ statements as putting officers in danger by “weaponizing citizen safety for political reasons.”

Kelley emphasized on Twitter that “The citizens do not deserve a disruptive environment. Or, the attendees do not. they should be able to come and enjoy the rally, and come and go without being hindered by anybody. So, it’s a concern.”

Minnesota GOP Rep. Tom Emmer was also slated to be in attendance at the rally. Emmer leads the House Republican campaign arm.

Regarding the $500,000 upfront charge the city requested from the Trump campaign, Emmer responded “I think this visceral hatred, the blatant attempt to shut down some people’s point of view and deny thousands of Minnesotans their voice … I think Democrats are going to pay for it at the ballot box next November.”

Students also weighed in on the Trump rally.

When Nicholas Majerus, a senior studying economics, was asked about how he thought students were going to respond to the rally, he said “I think most of them will be going to the protests instead of their classes, and other than that, it’s just going to be a big thing for about a week.”

“I’m not the biggest fan that he’s coming, but it is his right to come because there are people who would like to go,” said Hannah Pichman, a junior studying materials science. When asked about potential protests over the rally, Pichman said “I think this is a nice opportunity for students to speak out… it’s probably going to be a big community of people coming together to speak what they believe.”

The rally comes at a time now where Minnesota, along with Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, are all in play for Republicans after the latter four were pried away from Democrats in 2016. Minnesota has voted for Democratic presidential candidates in every election since Richard Nixon in 1972.

Democrats’ grip on the state has been significantly loosened since 2012, with Hillary Clinton winning the state by only 1.5%. By comparison, President Obama won the state by 7.7% over rival Mitt Romney in 2012.

Having significant manufacturing and mining operations in the state has attracted much Republican attention, which was formerly dismissed as a Democratic stronghold. One way Republicans believe they can sway the outcome in Minnesota is with the Commander in Chief himself.

There is a lot on the line for President Trump right now with the unfolding impeachment inquiry. Already two associates of Rudolph Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer, were arrested the day of the rally.

Along with this, a new Fox News poll released the day of the rally showed that 51% of Americans supported impeachment and removal of the President. This is up from 42% in July.

The poll showed increase support for removal across the political spectrum. The poll showed removal support is up 11 points for Democrats, 5 points for Republicans, and 3 points among independents.

Among Trump’s key constituencies, support for impeachment and removal was also way up. This included white evangelical Christians up 5 points, white men without a college degree up 8 points, and rural whites up 10 points. It will be a new imperative on the campaign trail for Trump to win back the confidence of these groups, as they make up much of the base of the Republican Party.

One major advantage the Trump campaign already has is its major cash stockpile. In the third quarter alone this year, which ended September 30, the Trump campaign recorded $125 million of income from fundraising. This now totals over $300 million taken in so far this year for the campaign.

By comparison, the Obama campaign was at half that level of fundraising by the same point in 2011, which was still successful in keeping Obama in the White House.

It has yet to be seen how Trump will shake the light of scandal stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to investigate presidential race competitor Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter. The Bidens were investigated by the Ukrainian government back in May, in an anti-corruption probe, but the probe found no evidence of wrongdoing.

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