Trump to visit Cape next week

Thursday, September 6, 2018
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump will hold a rally at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley, the first such presidential visit to the city in 22 years.

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. announced the rally Thursday.

This will mark the third rally Trump has held in Missouri, the campaign office said.

Information can be found at www.donaldjtrump.com/rallies/ on how to obtain tickets to the event.

The president will use the rally as an opportunity to urge Missourians to defeat Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and replace her with Hawley in the U.S. Senate race, and help protect and expand the GOP majorities in the House and Senate, according to a news release.

Trump is expected to discuss the latest indicators of the "booming Trump economy," his plans to secure the U.S. border and the Kavanagh confirmation hearings, the release said.

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the Trump campaign, said, "The president loves the great state of Missouri and looks forward to celebrating our huge successes with his fellow patriots in Cape Girardeau next Thursday."

Trump will speak at the Show Me Center amid a growing controversy involving his own administration.

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, Missouri, vowed that Trump supporters will "fill up the Show Me Center."

It will mark only the fourth time that a sitting president has visited the city in its history. The last president to visit the city was Bill Clinton in 1996.

Smith told the Southeast Missourian that "we are pretty excited" about the president's visit.

"I have said for a long time I was going to get the president to Southeast Missouri," the 8th District Republican congressman said.

Smith said he will accompany Trump on Air Force One.

The Southeast Missouri lawmaker said Trump's visit comes as Hawley, Missouri's attorney general, seeks to unseat McCaskill in November.

"Missouri is a very important state in the upcoming election, but I also reminded the president almost every time I saw him that this is Trump country. The people of Southeast Missouri support his policies and what he's done," Smith said.

This will be Trump's sixth visit to the state since his election two years ago.

"This is the first event in Missouri where we are attempting to fill an arena, and I think we can do it," Smith said. The Show Me Center has a capacity of about 7,000, depending on how the seating is set up.

"The president when it is a campaign visit can say whatever he wants, and you know President Trump doesn't like to be held back by anyone," the congressman said.

"I want him to see how God's country looks first hand," Smith said.

A staunch backer of Trump, Smith said the president's policies on deregulation and tax cuts have benefited the nation and Southeast Missouri. "The economy is booming," he said.

"I am very grateful for the president that we have," he said.

President William Howard Taft visited Cape Girardeau on Oct. 26, 1909, the only time a siting president has been here on an official visit as opposed to a campaign appearance, according to Southeast Missourian archives.

He arrived by steamboat and later spoke on the steps of Academic Hall before a crowd estimated at more than 25,000 people, according to news accounts.

President Ronald Reagan campaigned here on Sept. 14, 1988 in support of the Republican Party. He spoke to a packed house at the Show Me Center.

Clinton held a rally before thousands of supporters at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau on Aug. 30, 1996 to kick off his re-election bus tour. Vice President Al Gore also attended the rally.

Gerald Ford campaigned here for the GOP in September 1980 as a former president.

In addition to Gore, the city has been visited by six other vice presidents. Various presidential candidates have made stops here too, including then Sens. Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Pushing back against explosive reports his own administration is conspiring against him, Trump lashed out Thursday against the anonymous senior official who wrote a New York Times opinion piece claiming to be part of a "resistance" working "from within" to thwart his most dangerous impulses.

Perhaps as striking as the essay was the recognition of the long list of administration officials who plausibly could have been its author. Many have privately shared some of the same concerns expressed about the president with colleagues, friends and reporters, The Associated Press reported.

Washington was consumed by a wild guessing game as to the identity of the writer, and swift denials of involvement in the Op-Ed came Thursday from top administration officials, including from Vice President Mike Pence's office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, and other Cabinet members.

Trump was furious, tweeting Thursday morning that "The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy - & they don't know what to do."

The controversy comes after an incendiary tell-all book by a reporter who helped bring down President Richard Nixon set off a firestorm in the White House on Tuesday. The Associated Press said the book contained descriptions of current and former aides calling Trump an "idiot" and a "liar," disparaging his judgment and claiming they plucked papers off his desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a pair of trade agreements.

The book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward is the latest to throw the Trump administration into damage-control mode with explosive anecdotes and concerns about the commander in chief, the wire service said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

(573) 388-3641

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Mark Bliss
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