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Trump embraces 'nationalist' title at Texas rally

President Donald Trump declared himself a "nationalist" during his rally here on Monday night, officially ta...

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 9:50 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 9:50 AM

President Donald Trump declared himself a "nationalist" during his rally here on Monday night, officially tagging himself with the label that has long defined his populist rhetoric and protectionist policies.

"A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about the country so much. You know, we can't have that," Trump said, prompting boos from the crowd.

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"You know what I am, I'm a nationalist," he added, as the crowd erupted in "USA! USA!" chants. "Use that word."

The comment marked the first time Trump has directly associated himself with the political ideology, which has long defined his outlook and the protectionist trade policies he has implemented in an effort to boost domestic manufacturing.

The remark came during a nearly hour-and-a-half-long rally in the arena that is home to the Houston Rockets, where the President rallied his base in this deeply red state 15 days before the midterms, stoking fears about illegal immigration, painting Democrats as criminal accomplices and basking in the glory of his accomplishments.

With his visit ostensibly aimed at boosting Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election bid, the President took the stage after an introduction from his former political nemesis by addressing the elephant in the room.

"You know, we had our little difficulties," Trump said to laughter from the nearly full house at the 18,000-capacity Toyota Center in downtown Houston.

He and Cruz, Trump said, had begun the 2016 presidential campaign as allies, rallying conservatives together in Washington early in the campaign. But eventually, Trump said, the two men decided it was "time" to begin hitting each other.

"And it got nasty," Trump said.

But since he was elected, Trump said, Cruz has been one of his top allies in Congress.

"And then it ended and I'll tell you what, nobody has helped me more with your tax cuts, with your regulation, with all of the things ... including military and our vets, than Sen. Ted Cruz," Trump said as he predicted that "in just 15 days the people of Texas are going to re-elect a man who has become a really good friend of mine."

It was a stark change from the spring of 2016, when Trump was whipping that same base of support into a frenzy against "Lyin' Ted."

Earlier Monday the President had given the senator from Texas a pair of much kinder monikers.

"To me, he's not Lyin' Ted anymore. He's Beautiful Ted. He's Texas -- I call him Texas Ted," Trump said as he left the White House en route to Houston.

RELATED: Texas Democrats need a big turnout to win. Polls suggest they won't get it.

"No, Ted Cruz and I had a very, very nasty and tough campaign. It was a very competitive -- it was a very tough campaign. Once it ended and we got together -- and, by the way, very late into the campaign we lasted. People were shocked. I said, 'Don't worry, it's only a question of time,' " Trump said.

To the dismay of some Republicans in tighter races, Trump was stumping in Texas to help ensure Cruz fends off a challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, whose energized campaign has unnerved some Republicans.

Trump's Texas rally is just the latest stop in the President's blitz of campaign appearances leading up to the midterm elections November 6, coming on the heels of a swing through Western states late last week.

And the President largely stuck to the closing argument he has developed over the last week to galvanize his supporters into supporting down-ballot Republicans, with illegal immigration at the heart of his message.

With a caravan of several thousand migrants making its way from Central America toward the US border, the President has upped his rhetoric, warning voters -- without evidence -- about criminal elements embedded in the caravan and saying earlier on Monday (also without evidence) that "Middle Eastern" people were among them.

Delivering his latest screed against Democrats and the immigration policies for which he holds them responsible, Trump repeatedly tied the Democrats to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

"The Democrats have launched an assault on the sovereignty of our country, the security of our nation and the safety of every American," Trump said, blaming them entirely for "the crisis on our border."

After falsely accusing Democrats of wanting to "give aliens free welfare and the right to vote" and of wanting "open borders," the President stressed the importance of expanding Republican majorities in Congress in order to change immigration laws.

"We don't have enough votes. As an example, with the Senate we need 60 votes. We have 51. We need 60 votes. So they don't allow us to do it. They're killing and hurting innocent Americans," Trump said, before diving back into MS-13 crimes, accusing "Democrat immigration policies" of allowing members of the gang and drugs to illegally enter the US.

At one point, Trump graphically detailed MS-13's brutality, saying the gang preferred to use knives instead of guns.

"They like cutting people up, slicing them," the President said. "Killing them, slicing them."

Trump next will rally supporters in Wisconsin and North Carolina and then round out the week in Illinois.

Monday's rally came as he continues to grapple with one of the most consequential diplomatic crises of his presidency, the fallout from the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time on Friday that Saudi officials had killed Khashoggi, but claimed it was an accidental death resulting from a fistfight -- an explanation at odds with the Turkish government's account and other key facts.

Trump has turned away from that issue during rallies, however, instead focusing on his accomplishments as President and warning his supporters that Democratic gains in Congress would spell disaster for the country.

He did not address the Khashoggi issue during his rally on Monday night.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
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Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
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Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
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Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107047

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284921459
Cuyahoga1155972204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524821040
Summit48339999
Lucas43303817
Butler38901603
Stark33286929
Lorain25641502
Warren24557303
Mahoning22330601
Lake21135385
Clermont20097252
Delaware18817135
Licking16645222
Fairfield16561204
Trumbull16522479
Medina15593270
Greene15252246
Clark14219306
Wood13280197
Portage13226214
Allen11905239
Richland11598211
Miami10835223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9020230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8649122
Marion8635138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7137179
Hancock6996131
Ross6933161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6528104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5436125
Darke5415129
Seneca5343126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387277
Preble3847103
Clinton378466
Ottawa372681
Highland359265
Williams347578
Champaign343658
Guernsey324153
Jackson317354
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2698101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196748
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
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Tuesday is another mostly sunny and comfortable day with a small chance of a stray afternoon shower or sprinkle.
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