President Donald Trump brought an all-star parade of conservative stars and GOP celebrities to his final rally here as he made his last plea to voters before they head to the polls in a midterm election seen as a referendum on his presidency.
First daughter Ivanka Trump, Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanne Pirro, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway were called to the stage as Republicans attempt to stop a blue wave from giving Democrats power on Capitol Hill.
‘In less than two years time we have accomplished so much more than we could imagine, we are so ahead of schedule,’ Trump said of his record as president.
President Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh, look to Lee Greenwood as he sings
Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Fox News’ Jeanne Pirro clap as Sean Hannity from Fox News takes the stage
Trump’s rally was a mash up of his greatest campaign hits: he attacked the media, slammed the ‘elites,’ reminded the crowd of Hillary Clinton’s infamous 2016 ‘deplorables’ speech, hammered at Democrats, praised Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and invoked fears of the migrant caravan.
Shouts of ‘lock her up’ filled the arena as the crowd waved ‘Make America Great Again’ signs and ‘Keep America Great’ slogans.
But there was a quieter moment here too, an almost 10 minute pause for a medical emergency, an elderly woman was taken away on a stretcher and a man in a suit signaled the president she was OK.
While medics were helping her, the president told the crowd to be patience and advised them to pray.
With that the arena burst into a rendition of Amazing Grace while others recited the Lord’s Prayer.
‘That was beautiful,’ Trump said.
The president sounded a positive note on the election even as Republicans are starting to concede that Democrats will take control of the House.
‘There’s something happening out there folks,’ he told the crowd.
He also had warnings of what could come under Democratic power: ‘Your taxes are going to triple,’ he warned the crowd.
It was Hannity who garnered some of the biggest applause as he took the stage and echoed one of Trump’s favorite attack lines.
‘By the way all those people in the back are fake news,’ he said as the crowd roared.
Sean Hannity said earlier Monday he would not take the stage with Trump
Fox News host Jeanne Pirro also appeared on stage with Trump
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel rallied the crowd
Hannity had said earlier Monday he would not be taking the stage at the rally but merely interviewing the president.
He and Pirro both spoke for a few moments with Pirro – who Trump called ‘Justice Jeanne’ in his introduction – urged people to get out and vote.
‘If you like the America that he’s making now you gotta make sure you get out there tomorrow,’ she said.
McDaniel rallied the crowd, following a crowd of female surrogates that joined Trump on the campaign, first daughter Ivanka Trump, press secretary Sarah Sanders and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
‘The president was in Michigan the night before we won in 2016. He’s in Missouri tonight,’ she said.
Sanders and Conway, who spoke at Trump’s rally in Fort Wayne earlier in the day, didn’t address the crowd, but flanked the president as he spoke to his supporters here.
Their silence follows criticism of their speaking at the president’s previous rally.
They joined Trump on stage at his raucous Indiana campaign rally – but said they were there in their ‘personal capacity.’
However, Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told DailyMail.com: ‘This event raises serious questions about their compliance with the Hatch Act, not the least because of the fact that the remarks were delivered in front of the Presidential seal. We will be taking a closer look at this rally and the Office of Special Counsel’s precedents.’
The Hatch Act limits official actions that government employees may take in politics, while also protecting personal political activity that government officials, like other Americans, are entitled to exercise.
Ivanka Trump, who spoke at the president’s other two rallies on Monday, gave a short version of he same remarks she gave earlier in the day, telling Missouri ‘we love you.’
‘The economy is strong and tomorrow is about ensuring it stays that way,’ she said.
The Show Me Center was filled to the rafters with supporters who did the wave while waiting on Trump to take the stage.
They pounded their feet on the bleachers and yelled ‘USA, USA, USA’ when Trump took the stage as Lee Greenwood gave a live performance of his famous song ‘God Bless the USA.’
Sean Hannity garnered some of the biggest applause as he took the stage and echoed one of Trump’s favorite attack lines. ‘By the way all those people in the back are fake news,’ he said as the crowd roared
Ivanka Trump spoke at her third rally of the day when she joined the president on stage in Missouri
Rush Limbaugh fired up the crowd with the kind of rhetorical red meat Trump’s base eats up, getting the arena filled with shots of ‘lock her up’ when he mentioned Hillary Clinton and praising the president to his adoring fans.
‘These rallies, I have to tell you, are the envy of official Washington,’ he said. ‘You realize there isn’t a single elected official who could do’ what Trump does.
Limbaugh, a native of Cape Girardeau, said it was ‘the night of a lifetime.’
‘Donald Trump wants America to be great again. It’s not a slogan, it’s an objective,’ the conservative talk radio show host said. ‘I could not be more honored to be a part of one of these rallies.’
It was Trump’s third stop in one day, coming after rallies in Cleveland, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
All three states feature competitive Senate contests in states Trump won in 2016.
The Trump campaign had announced on Sunday that his final event would feature conservative stars Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and have Lee Greenwood singshis famous tune ‘God Bless the USA.’
But Hannity denied on Monday he would campaign on stage for Trump in Missouri even though the campaign said he was a ‘special guest.’
But when he took to the Fox News set inside the Show Me Center the crowd went crazy, cheering and applauding. They rushed up to set, waving at Hannity, who paused to shake a few hands.
‘USA, USA, USA,’ they shouted as the bright TV cameras flashed on to signal Hannity’s arrival. They waved their ‘Make America Great Again’ signs and some even danced along to ‘YMCA,’ which was blaring on the speakers.
Hannity tweeted a statement saying he was simply going to interview the president and cover his rally, saying it was ‘something I have done in ever election past.’
Hannity took almost 24 hours to deny that he was campaigning for the president and tweeted about it shortly before Fox News also said they had banned a Trump campaign ad accused of racism for linking the immigrant caravan to an illegal immigrant cop-killer.
Hannity tweeted: ‘In spite of reports, I will be doing a live show from Cape Girardeau and interviewing President Trump before the rally.
‘To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President. I am covering final rally for my show. Something I have done in every election in the past.’
Limbaugh is a native of Cape Girardeau, and a rock star among conservatives, who are devoted to his radio show.
President Trump is bringing in conservative star power to Missouri on Monday for his final campaign rally
Fox News host Sean Hannity and conservative talk radio star Rush Limbaugh were at the rally
Singer Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’ blares on the loud speakers as the president takes the stage at all his campaign rallies
‘President Trump’s unprecedented national midterm campaign tour will reach a patriotic crescendo in Cape Girardeau on Monday night,’ said Michael Glassner, Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
‘We’re glad to welcome Cape Girardeau native Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as special guests to this final stop on the tour where President Trump will make his case to the American people to support GOP candidates on Election Day in order to continue our great American comeback under his leadership,’ he said in a statement.
The stop will be the 11th rally in six days Trump is holding as he tries to stop a blue wave from giving Democrats power on Capitol Hill.
With independent political prognosticators and most Republicans alike conceding Democrats are likely to win control of the House of Representatives, the battle has become focused on the Senate.
And Missouri is also the battleground of one of the closest Senate races in the country where Republican favorite Josh Hawley is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in a grudge match campaign the GOP has been trying to win for years.
Trump won the state won by 18 points in the 2016 election.
McCaskill has long been in GOP’s sights, given she’s a Democrat in a ruby red state. Republicans failed to unseat her six years ago when Republican candidate Todd Akin’s campaign imploded after he said women who are ‘legitimately raped’ rarely get pregnant.
In this year’s contest she has touted her moderate credentials, even airing a radio ad where she insists she’s ‘not one of those crazy Democrats.’
And she points out that’s she voted with President Trump on about 48 percent of legislation on which he has expressed an opinion.
Republicans have been determined to knock her off and cleared the field for Hawley, plus brought in their big gun: President Trump.
This will be the president’s second appearance in four days for Hawley – Trump was in Columbia, Missouri, for him on Thursday. And it’s his seventh appearance for Hawley this election cycle.
Missouri does not allow early voting so it will all come down to who turns up at the polls on Tuesday.
Trump is helping Senate candidates like Josh Hawley (left) who is trying to defeat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (right)
President Donald Trump listens as Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley speaks during a campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday
And he’s bringing the star power of Hannity and Limbaugh with him.
Additionally he’s bringing in Greenwood, whose ‘God Bless the USA’ blares on the loud speakers as the president takes the stage at all his campaign rallies, clapping and waving to the crowd as they cheer and wave ‘Make America Great Again’ signs at him.
‘Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’ has been a fixture of our iconic Trump rallies and is beloved by millions of patriotic Americans. President Trump will be pleased to have Lee perform in person to end his historic, national midterm campaign tour on a red, white, and blue high note,’ Glassner said in a statement.
The song is part of the pageantry the president loves at his campaign rallies: American Flags decorate the arena; red, white and blue signs are waved by the crowd, most of whom are wearing the distinctive red ‘Make America Great Again’ caps; and, if the rally takes place at airport hanger, Air Force One sitting as the back drop.
Cape Girardeau sits in the southern part of the state – where locals often call it Missour-a – and is a GOP stronghold.
Hawley will need every Republican voter there to come out and check his name on the ballot Tuesday as polls show the contest is neck-and-neck.
The RealClearPolitics polling average of the race has it at a tie.
In Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night, Trump’s speech focused heavily on the Senate contest.
He attacked McCaskill straight off the bat.
‘She’ll say nice things about me but she won’t vote with me,’ he said.
And he asked people to go vote for Hawley.
‘I need everyone to show up and vote. You gotta vote for Josh,’ he said.
Hawley, in his remarks on Thursday, sought to link McCaskill to Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, who lost the state in 2016 by nearly 19 points.
‘When I look at Sen. McCaskill’s record, I have to say it reminds me of another career politician that you recently defeated,’ Hawley said. ‘It reminds me of the person Claire thinks should be president — Hillary Clinton.’
‘Claire McCaskill has spent her lifetime in politics just like Hillary,’ Hawley said. ‘Claire McCaskill wanted us to call Hillary Clinton ‘Madam President.’ On Nov. 6, we’re going to call Claire McCaskill ‘fired.”
McCaskill has dismissed Hawley’s attempt to tie her to the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
‘I think the people of this state know that I’m not Hillary Clinton and I think he’s just being told to say that because it polls well,’ McCaskill said. ‘I think Missourians know better.’
Trump has a serious stake in keeping the Senate in his party’s control.
The upper chamber can act a firewall against a Democratic-controlled House, which will give Republicans a trifecta of problems: investigations into the Trump administration, subpoenas of officials, and stifling the GOP agenda.
The president’s final six-day, 11 rally push has focused on states he won with tight Senate contests: Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, Indiana and Ohio.
Sean Hannity is a longtime friend of President Trump’s
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has long been in GOP’s sights, given she’s a Democrat in a ruby red state
GOP candidate Josh Hawley is running neck-and-neck with McCaskill
‘The map looks very good to us,’ said Republican Sen. Tom Thills on ‘Fox News Sunday’ of his party’s chances of hanging on to control of the upper chamber.
And Democrats concede their odds of taking the Senate – where nine members of their party are running for reelection in states won in 2016 – are tough.
‘We have too many close races,’ said Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who’s in charge of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
‘This is the toughest political map any one party has faced in 60 years,’ Van Hollen said, adding ‘we do have a path, it is a very narrow path.’
Trump admitted on Sunday the Senate is where his focus is.
‘I can’t campaign for all of those House members, there are so many of them,’ he told reporters before he left on a campaign swing through Georgia and Tennessee.
But, he noted of Senate contests: ‘I think I’ve made a difference in five or six or seven.’