On Thursday night, just hours after giving what amounted to a campaign speech on immigration in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, President Donald Trump jetted to Missouri to rally support for Republican Josh Hawley's challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
As has been the case of late, Trump's speech was peppered with a series of false claims -- primarily focused on the group of migrants making their way across Mexico at the moment -- and reliable applause lines about Democrats pushing for open border and socialism. Below, the 46 lines that stood out to me.
1. "I see these signs all over place, 'Tigers for Trump.' I like that."
And away we go!
2. "She'll never vote. She'll never vote. She never has, and she didn't even vote for Justice Kavanaugh."
Trump's not wrong about this. McCaskill did vote against Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. Of course, so did every other Senate Democrat other than Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
3. "More Americans are working now than any time in history."
This is also true! But as I've noted many, many times before, there are simply more Americans than at any previous time in American history. So it makes sense that there are also more Americans working.
4. "So today, right now, we have more Americans working than at any time, any time in the history of our country. That's pretty good. That's pretty good."
It is good. But Trump taking credit for it is sort of like taking credit for the sun rising. Like, it's good that it happened, but he didn't, you know, do it.
5. "That'll be a very good sound bite in the debate when we face one of those Democrats, whoever it may be."
What's remarkable about Trump is not that he's always making political calculations, but how willing he is to air those calculations publicly. More people than ever before is good because it will make a good sound bite against a Democrat in the 2020 presidential race.
6. "So we've done in less than two years what any other president or administration did in four years, in eight years, or, in one case, in more than eight years."
It's very, very hard to quantify Trump's claim here for the sake of comparison to past presidents. Even if you isolate just Trump's oft-repeated boast that he has cut more regulations than any past president, The Washington Post Fact Checker noted that it's virtually impossible to decide whether that's true or not.
7. "Republicans passed a massive tax cut for working families, and we will soon follow it up with another 10% tax cut for the middle class."
Trump initially suggested that the 10% tax cut was coming before the election, which was always ridiculous. (Trump admitted as much earlier this week.) And the only way another tax cut is coming is if Republicans hold the House in four days' time, which doesn't seem terribly likely.
8. "The Democrat agenda is the agenda of the extreme far left. They've gone crazy, folks. They've gone totally loco."
Not just crazy. Totally loco!!!
9. "You can't have dinner. You can't have dinner. Do you see what they're doing to our people?"
It took me a few reads but I realized that Trump is referencing to liberal activists harassing people like Mitch McConnell or Sarah Sanders when they are out to dinner. Which is, without question, something that has conservatives up in arms.
10. "And we're being so nice. We're being so nice. And let's stay being nice, right? We'll stay being nice. Because we are tough as hell. We -- we're going to stay nice."
So, wait. Are we being nice? Or tough as hell? Can we be both?
11. "Don't forget: We've got the police. Law enforcement loves us."
12. "I said to the police the other day, we're so high in the polls, we're trying to figure out who is representing the other side? We don't even know. We want to figure it out."
I genuinely have no idea what he is talking about here. Truly.
13. "The vets are for us. The veterans are all for us."
All veterans? This feels like it might not be entirely true.
14. "We don't run around like Antifa with their little arms and then go home back home into mommy's basement and put on the black uniform and the black helmet. Oh, it's so disappointing when those helmets fall off and you look at this weak little face, isn't it?"
... said the President of the United States.
15. "The Democrats lie."
In his first 649 days in office, Trump said 6,420 things that were either totally false or misleading, according to The Washington Post's Fact Checker.
16. "They all want to do it. We're going to the make -- lots of great things are going to happen over the next short period of time."
Well, I'm convinced! And apparently, so are "they."
17. "Let me tell you, we would be in a nuclear war right now if the right person didn't come along."
In which Trump claims that had he not been elected, there was a 100% chance that America would be in the midst of a nuclear war with North Korea.
18. "We're doing great. As a country, we're doing great. We've never done better. We are doing really well."
Point of clarification: Are we doing well?
19. "We just have to go around 'em, and we have gone around them like nobody in history has ever gone around them."
Trump's talking about the media here. And there are two things worth noting: 1) He's "gone around" the media by telling his supporters his own version of the truth, which doesn't comport with established facts and 2) Even in this, Trump has to always have done it the best or more than anyone else.
20. "I want the cleanest water on the planet. We want the cleanest air on the planet. And we've got it."
[narrator voice] No, we don't.
21. "The only time I've seen them, they underestimate the crowd. They want to underestimate that crowd, which is easy for them, actually, to do. But that's a lot of people."
It's not clear who the "they" is that Trump is accusing of underestimating the size of the caravan, which has been estimated at more than 7,000 people. It's also not clear why Trump knows there are more people in the caravan than people are estimating.
22. "You know, I think what happened -- I really believe somebody was involved that's not on our side of the ledger. Somebody was involved."
The President is playing conspiracy theorist in chief here: Suggesting that the caravan was organized by Democrats despite zero available evidence to back up that claim.
23. "Look what we got, Foxconn, one of the great companies of the world, what they did in Wisconsin for Gov. Walker."
According to the Real Clear Politics, Walker is losing in seven out of the last 10 polls done in his race.
24. "I want to give him full credit, because, I'll tell you what, I gave him that one, and he took it, and got it done."
This is amazing. Trump wants to make sure Walker gets full credit for bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin even though "I gave him that one." Riiiiight.
25. "You have to see what they built in Wisconsin. Scott Walker."
"Hansel. So hot right now. Hansel." -- Jacobim Mugatu
26. "We defeated the Democrat mob and proudly swore in the newest member of the United States Supreme Court, who was treated very, very unfairly, by the way, Justice Brett Kavanaugh."
This is an interesting way to frame the Kavanaugh confirmation fight which was primarily focused on the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.
27. "This will be the election of Kavanaugh, the caravans, law and order, tax cuts, and common sense. Common sense."
This is a regular Trump line in these closing days -- and evidence, not that you needed it, that Trump's closing message is entirely focused on motivating his base.
28. "It's happening faster than anybody can believe. You know, it's all happening much faster than anybody could believe."
Did he say "it's all happening"?????
29. "Even one of them recently said that President Trump made promises, but he's kept many more promises. I mean, far more than I made."
[gets out scratch paper] So, you say you've kept more promises than you've made, eh? OK, let me just calculate that out.... [head explodes]
30. "It's true. It's true."
[narrator voice] It's not. You can't keep more promises than you've made. Everyone knows that. OK, not everyone.
31. "And nobody in this room -- I see a couple of guys that wouldn't mind, I see a couple of people. I see one woman there that wouldn't mind, too. But nobody here wants to do that. And they do it."
Trump -- I think -- is talking about how tough ICE agents are. I think. But what I know is that they "do that." And they don't mind doing that. (No, I don't know what "that" is.)
32. "These people, they call them nests. You go into a nest. They are bad. Everyone needs to show up and vote for Josh Hawley. Please do it."
Holy non sequitor, Batman!
33. "Democrats are the party of open borders, socialism, and crime, whether you like it or not."
Maybe it's just me, but this feels like a bit of an oversimplification?
34. "Hundreds of thousands of children born to illegal immigrants are made automatic citizens of the United States every year because of this crazy, lunatic policy that we can end."
The "crazy, lunatic" policy that Trump is referring to is also known as the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
35. "If you want your children to have a country, vote Republican."
So, if you vote Democratic, the US will cease to exist?
36. "If you don't want America to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans, you'd better vote Republican."
To be clear: The caravan that Trump spends so much time talking about is still hundreds of miles from the US border. And the idea that this group will "overrun" America is fear-mongering, plain and simple.
37. "We're the hot country. Can you believe it?"
"Hansel. So hot right now. Hansel." -- Jacobim Mugatu
38. "You know, I meet a lot of leaders. They're great, you know, some of them. Some I like, some I don't like. What the hell."
39. "And then when the election was over, they said, you know, it's an amazing thing. He did great with women. What the hell."
Trump got 41% of the women's vote in 2016. No one said that was "an amazing thing."
40. "That's why we're doing great with women, and we always have done well with women."
[narrator voice] He hasn't.
41. "And at my direction, the Pentagon is now working to create the sixth branch of the American armed forces. It's called the Space Force."
42. "These are the midterms. Nobody thought of the midterms as being that big a deal for years. For years. Nobody thought of the midterms."
43. "Now, we did have two maniacs stop our momentum that was incredible, because for seven days, nobody talked about the election to stop the tremendous momentum."
So, Trump sees the mail bomber and the synagogue shooter as "maniacs" who stopped his campaign momentum. OK! This is fine! Nothing to see here folks!
44. "You must reject the Democrat politics of anger and hatred and division and fear."
Reminder: Donald Trump's closing message in this campaign is that horde of illegal immigrants is about to surge across the border and take everything you love and care about. So.....
45. "It was right here in Missouri that the great explorers, Lewis and Clark -- that's very impressive -- that's very impressive, Lewis and Clark -- that's big time -- began their epic journey across the American West."
"That's big time." -- The President of the United States on Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
46. "We will never surrender, ever, ever, ever."
Ever? This feels like a good place to end.
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