Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Trump holds rally to support Josh Hawley and ask for votes in upcoming election

Friday, September 21, 2018

President Donald Trump held a Make America Great Again rally in Springfield, Missouri, at the JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University on Friday, Sept. 21. The rally was his third in Missouri since his 2015 election campaign.

It was originally planned to be held in Cape Girardeau at the Show Me Center on Sept. 13, but that event was cancelled in response to Hurricane Florence. U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, Missouri, who spoke prior to the president’s public appearance, said the visit was Trump’s fifth to the state in the past 14 months.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and President Trump speak to the audience at the MAGA rally at the JQH arena on Missouri State's campus Sept. 21.
Joshua Dodge ~Photo Editor

Trump said the reason for the rally was to grow support for Josh Hawley — Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and current Missouri attorney general. Hawley was brought on stage 10 minutes into the speech, which lasted more than an hour. Hawley took the opportunity to commend the president’s abilities as a leader and critique his opponent — two-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“I don’t know who [McCaskill is] with, but she’s not with the state of Missouri,” Hawley said.

The JQH Arena, which seats 11,000, was nearly full and Hawley said 20,000 people had to be turned away.

Although he still has two years left in his term, Trump indicated the November general election is crucial to his administration.

“Get out in 2018 because you’re voting for me in 2018,” Trump said.

Trump called Hawley a “star” and said he is “100 percent pro-Second Amendment rights.”

He went on to speak on a multitude of issues regarding his administration including the FY19 military budget he signed into law earlier in the day — it gives a 6 percent boost in funding and more than $1 billion dollars toward overhauling Veteran Affairs, according to the Military Times.

“Our military will soon be more powerful than ever before,” he said.

President Donald Trump speaks at the JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. Sept. 21.
Photo by Joshua Dodge ~Photo Editor

As for foreign policy, Trump mentioned the abolishment of NAFTA and said a separate treaty had been established for trade with Mexico. A similar one with Canada, he said, is being worked on but will have to wait. He also said he is doing away with unfair trade agreements with China.

He spoke about his relationship with North Korea, mentioning the letter sent to him by Kim Jong Un.

Trump made no mention of the ongoing Special Counsel Investigation of his campaign, or the recent New York Times story that indicated a secret recording of him intended to be used to remove him from office, however, he did reference a “lingering stench” in the FBI.

“You seen what happened in the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone,” Trump said. “But there's a lingering stench, and we're gonna get rid of that, too.”

He told the crowd the border wall will still be built, which received a thunderous response. He said the Democratic Party’s “new platform is radical socialism and open borders.”

An attendee of President Trump's MAGA rally holds a "Make America Great Again" poster, distributed by Donald J. Trump for President, inc., before the rally started in JQH Arena on Sept. 21.
Joshua Dodge ~Photo Editor

He called ICE “incredible” and scorned sanctuary cities.

“Everyday, our heroic ICE officers are tracking down gang members, predators, thieves and killers, and we are either throwing them the hell in jail or throwing them the hell out of our country,” Trump said.

The Springfield rally was Trump’s second in two days. He spoke in Las Vegas the night before. Air Force One will be headed to New Jersey for the President’s next appearance.