President Donald Trump is heading to Nashville, Tennessee on Tuedsay, hoping to rally his faithful ‘deplorables’ in the Music City to support a conservative Republican running in a November U.S. Senate race.
Trump, a White House official said Tuesday, will reprise popular rally themes like Democratic ‘obstrutionism’ on Capitol Hill and the impact of tax cuts – while reassuring the public that his high-stakes negotiations with North Korea’s dictator will take place despite hiccups in the planning stages.
His larger aim, the official said, is to send a message that ‘electing another Senate Democrat means nothing they voted for in 2016 gets done.’ Tennesseeans haven’t sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Al Gore won there in 1990.
The GOP, now clinging to a 51-49 Senate majority, is trying to avoid committing unforced errors a year after handing Democrats an Alabama seat by choosing conservative Roy Moore in a statewide primary election.
President Donald Trump, pictured Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, will travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday to rally his ‘deplorables’
Trump’s larger purpose is to back conservative Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by moderae Republican Bob Corker
Corker, the retiring chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has crossed swords with Trump and turned down his offer to be the U.S. ambassador to Australia
That debacle hangs heavy over the Republican Party this year. And while Rep. Marsha Blackburn isn’t scandal-plagued like Moore, she could have similar trouble as a rock-ribbed right-winger.
Blackburn aims to succeed the retiring Sen. Bob Corker, a GOP moderate who once questioned the president’s ‘stability’ and called his White House an ‘adult day care center.’
Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, amplifying his objections to Trump’s moves in North Korea and Iran.
The president wants a reliable vote in his corner after Corker rides off into the sunset, preferring Blackburn equally to other Republicans and any Democrat.
Blackburn supports Trump’s emphasis on border security and slowing illegal immigration. The president was privately incensed last year when Twitter banned an ad her campaign produced that accused abortion providers of profiting from the ‘sale of baby body parts.’
She has also worked closely with Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, on child care reform issues. And she raised eyebrows in April when she grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his conservatives’ complaints that his company had shadow-banned’ them by quietly limiting the reach of their messages.
Trump held a similar campaign rally on May 10 in Elkhart, Indiana, urging voters to turn out in droves in November to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly
Trump wants to see a wider Republican majority in the Senate than the GOP’s current 51-49 edge, hoping for more wiggle room as he pushes policy through in 2019 and 2020
Trump tweeted last month that the congresswoman is a ‘wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her.’
Phil Bredesen, a popular former Democratic governor, put the Senate race in play by entering the race in December. He and Blackburn are likely to romp over their primary competitors on August 2, setting the stage for a battle that pollsters say the Democrat could win by a nose.
Every nonpartisan poll taken in April showed Bredesen narrowly ahead, with each survey’s result within its margin of error.
But the Rothenberg Political Report and political scientist Larry Sabato’s ‘Crystal Ball’ report both rate the contest as ‘leaning’ toward Blackburn.
Blackburn has been tweeting up a storm in anticipation of her spotligt moment with the president, telling Tennesseans that coutry music star Trace Adkins will be his opening act
Some Republicans fear pitting a conservative Republican against a moderate Democrat like Bredesen could result in another shocker like the Alabama special election where far-right GOP nominee Roy Moore lost decidedly in a deep-red state
Trump endorsed Blackburn a month ago, tweeting that she is ‘a wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her. Great on the Military, Border Security and Crime.’
Blackburn, a self-described ‘hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative,’ served on Trump’s transition team. She has been pointedly counting down the days on Twitter until Trump comes to town.
Trump won Tennessee decidedly in 2016 and remains popular there.
He will say Tuesday night that Bredesen, while considered a moderate, would serve as a rubber-stamp for Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
He made a similar claim this month in Indiana, branding Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly a ‘swamp person.’
‘If we elect more Republicans,’ the president said in the town of Elkhart, ‘we can truly deliver for all of our citizens.’
Blackburn has been literally counting down the days on Twitter until Trump’s visit
Trump is not expected to blast Corker on Tuesday, despite calling the diminutive lawmaker ‘liddle Bob’ last year and saying he ‘couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.’
Complaining too loudly about Corker could produce another odd twist since the White House asked him last month to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Australia.
Corker turned down the offer.
He has also promised not to actively campaign against Bredesen in the fall, calling him a longtime ‘friend’
The president is scheduled to speak at a Blackburn fundraising event before his rally, where country music headliner Trace Adkins will warm up his Nashville Municipal Auditorium crowd.
Corker, 65, has had an up-and-down relationship with Trump.
He campaigned with the then-Republican nominee in 2016 and was considered a potential vice president or secretary of state.
Corker’s anti-Trump bluster reached its zenith last year when he mocked the White House as ‘an adult day care center’
The president has mad eit clear that he holds little respect for Corker
The former Chattanooga mayor slammed Trump last August following the president’s divisive comments in the wake of a race riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He said then that the commander-in-chief had ‘not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.’
By October the president was claiming Corker ‘begged’ for a re-election endorsement and had wanted to be secretary of state, but that his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Weeks later, when Corker suggested he might vote against a broad tax cut package favored by the White House, Trump branded him ‘Liddle Bob’ and called him ‘incompetent.’
Corker didn’t take it lying down.
‘It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning,’ he tweeted.