Donald Trump Monday urged Nevada Republicans to vote early and vote by mail.
Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party have sued Nevada, targeting the state’s expanded vote-by-mail process for the November 2020 election.
When Nevada legislation was passed to send ballots to all registered active voters, Trump blasted the measure as “a late night coup,” that “made it impossible for Republicans to win the state,” and accused Nevada Democrats of “Using Covid to steal the state.”
Monday, he urged Nevada Republicans to mail it in.
“Vote as early as possible, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. You get out there and just vote as early as possible, and in order to have the confidence that your vote is going to count you can mail in your unsolicited ballot very early,” Trump said over the phone during a “telerally.”
Nevada Democratic spokeswoman Madison Mundy responded by accusing Trump of “hypocrisy.”
“He has led a national assault on the legitimacy of vote-by-mail through false rhetoric and legal retaliation. Yet on today’s call, his hypocrisy was on full display as he urged supporters to vote as early as possible and vote by mail; an option he has chosen himself numerous times. Trump’s words tonight prove his lawsuit is a sham. It seems Trump only has an issue with voting by mail when it’s Democrats who are voting,” Mundy wrote in a statement.
‘Fan the flames’
In speeches and on social media in recent days, Trump has made the civil unrest that has arisen in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of Jacob Blake a centerpiece of his campaign. Blake, who was not armed, was shot seven times in the back by police.
Trump touched on his “law and order” campaign rhetoric during the Nevada call, saying his administration is “going to fully fund law enforcement and hire more police as opposed to defunding police. They want to defund the police, we want to hire the police.”
In remarks in Pittsburgh Monday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who supports a plan to increase police funding in order to fund reform efforts, blasted Trump’s heightened focus on protests and violence.
“Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames, rather than fighting the flames,” said Biden, who accused Trump of being weak for not calling on his supporters to stop acting as armed militias.
“Does anybody believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”
“I would lower the temperature of this country, not raise it,” Biden said.
‘The low-skilled immigration’
Trump spent much of his Nevada call talking about the issue he attempted to make the focus of the 2018 midterm campaigns, immigration. He decried attempts by Democrats to expand asylum and increase refugee admissions. Trump criticized calls by Democrats and activists to end travel bans on Muslim majority countries implemented more than two years ago, which he referred to as “jihadist regions.” He also called for the elimination of “sanctuary cities” and temporary worker visas typically used by the agricultural sector.
“They want to vastly expand the low-skilled immigration within the United States,” Trump said.
Trump also touted progress on the construction of the border wall spanning the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We’re up to over 300 miles of wall already again and it’ll be completed very shortly,” Trump said.
Trump also falsely claimed the Biden-Sanders unity task force details plans to “abolish borders.” While the Biden-Sanders unity task forces released some proposals to update immigration policies, none include any changes to the border.
Obamacare ‘obliterated,’ suburbs ‘destroyed’
On healthcare Trump vowed to lower prescription drug costs and secure protections for pre-existing conditions, a popular component of the Affordable Care Act passed by former president Barack Obama. However, Trump claimed to have “obliterated Obamacare” by eliminating the individual mandate penalty which handicapped the program.
Mirroring talking points made by moderate Democrats during the primary, Trump told listeners his opponents wanted to eliminate “union healthcare”” and private health insurance.
“They want to take away your union health care and replace it with socialized medicine,” Trump said. “They also want to take away private healthcare from 180 million people.”
Trump also attempted to alarm Nevada suburban voters.
Democrats “want to build low-income housing in the suburbs,” Trump told Nevadans on the call. Trump is referring to an Obama-era rule on low-income housing intended to lessen segregation. The Trump administration ended the rule and Trump called it “a disaster that was a disaster from day one” during the speech Monday.
“The suburbs will be destroyed. You won’t have suburbs as you know because they want to continue with a policy that I ended totally,” Trump warned.
Housing policy experts have described the anti-segregation rule the Trump administration eliminated as a “very mild” measure that mostly gave flexibility to local governments.
The president also took the opportunity to praise his administration’s response to coronavirus, telling supporters on the line, “We saved millions of lives by the way we’ve done it and now soon we’re going to have a vaccine very very soon.” However, the U.S. remains one of the countries with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 and related deaths. A staggering 183,000 have died from the virus in the United States.
In anticipation of the president’s speech Nevada Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy released a statement condemning Trump for “broken promises.”
“Nevada families need a president with a strategy to contain the virus and to give relief to working families — not more broken promises from so-called leaders phoning it in. Nothing Trump says tonight will change the fact that his failed pandemic response has cost Nevadans their lives and their livelihoods,” wrote McCurdy in a statement.
Trump went on to heap praise on his economic success, saying the U.S. had the “greatest economy in history of our country” before COVID hit.
Trump began his phone call with Nevadans by praising local Republicans, including Dan Rodimer and Jim Marchant, the Republican nominees for Nevada’s 3rd and 4th congressional districts, respectively. Trump predicted both candidates would see “great great success” over their Democratic opponents Rep. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford.
“We’re going to take back the House,” Trump said.
Trump also gave shout outs to Nevada’s only Republican in Congress, Rep. Mark Amodei, who Trump called “a warrior,” and Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald.