Expressing confidence in recent days about the impact of his work for GOP candidates in the 2018 mid-term elections for Congress, President Donald Trump starts a swing out west on Thursday to help Republican efforts to maintain control of the U.S. Senate, as he tries to make the issue of illegal immigration more central to the final days of the 2018 campaign, as the President threatened to use U.S. military forces to closed down the southern border with Mexico.
“Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!” the President tweeted on Wednesday, as he again blamed Democrats for a stalemate in Congress on immigration law changes.
“Our laws are terrible,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “They’re a laughingstock all over the world.”
Hours before leaving on a campaign swing which will take him to rallies in Montana, Arizona, and Nevada over the next three days, the President amplified his comments on immigration with a series of breakfast-time tweets on the subject on Thursday morning.
“All Democrats fault for weak laws!” he concluded.
Both the President and Vice President have also publicly called for efforts by the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico to stop what the Trump Administration describes as a ‘caravan’ of illegal immigrants reportedly heading for the southern U.S. border.
“When you look at the border, how bad it is, that’s because the Democrats want it to be bad,” the President told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
“Back to one of his core wedge issues,” political expert Stuart Rothenberg said of the President and immigration.
The President’s first stop will be a campaign rally on Thursday evening in Montana, where Republican Matt Rosendale is trying to knock off Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who is trying to win election to a third term in the Senate.
As the Billings Gazette newspaper noted, this is the third trip to Montana for President Trump, an unusual amount of political attention for the state.
On Friday the President will hold a rally in Mesa, Arizona, trying to boost the Senate bid of Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ).
Mr. Trump will go to Elko, Nevada for a rally on Saturday night to help Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV).
Next Monday, the President will stop in Houston, Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is in a hotly-contested race for re-election.
Most of the President’s campaign rallies since Labor Day have been in areas where he won in 2016.
The latest polls seem to give Republicans a good chance to hold on to their slim majority in the Senate – or even expand it – a bit different from the House, where Democrats seem to have an edge.
“I think I’m helping people,” the President told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday, making the case that his campaign rallies and support will turn the tide for GOP candidates in a number of states.
“I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of impact,” Mr. Trump added, with Election Day now 19 days away.