President Trump visits Tupelo

His stop in the All America City was the first of two stops in support of interim U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Posted: Nov 25, 2018 8:40 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2019 10:18 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — President Donald Trump was back to the same playbook he used for the midterm elections as he returned to the campaign trail Monday to try to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in GOP hands.

While Trump has stressed his desire for bipartisan cooperation in the days since Republicans lost control of the House, the president unleashed his usual rhetoric as he stumped for Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith against Democrat Mike Espy ahead of Tuesday's runoff election.

President Trump speaking in Tupelo during a rally for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Alvin Ivy)

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and President Trump arriving in Tupelo (Alvin Ivy)

President Trump speaking in Tupelo with Air Force One in the background (Alvin Ivy)

He told a crowd in Tupelo on Monday that the runoff would "decide whether we build on our extraordinary achievements or whether we empower the radical Democrats to obstruct our progress." He claimed Espy would "vote in total lockstep" with Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and "the legendary Maxine Waters," drawing resounding boos — even though Trump has said that Pelosi deserves to become the next House speaker and that he could even find Republican members to vote for her.

The comments underscore the president's willingness to cycle between insults and flattery depending on his purpose. And they foreshadow the messaging dissonance that could mark the next two years of his presidency as Trump faces a divided Congress after two years of Republican control. Trump has said he hopes to work with Democrats on bipartisan issues, such as infrastructure and prison reform, but has also warned he'll refuse to collaborate with them if they launch a flurry of investigations against him and his administration, as they have discussed.

Trump was in Mississippi holding a pair of campaign rallies for Hyde-Smith in an eleventh-hour effort to keep the seat in GOP hands. Hyde-Smith's runoff election against Espy, a former congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary, has been far closer than expected thanks to a series of racial controversies, including a photo that emerged of Hyde-Smith wearing a replica hat of a Confederate soldier, and a video in which she said she'd be "on the front row" if invited to a public hanging.

Before he left the White House on Monday, Trump said Hyde-Smith had "apologized" and "misspoke" and "felt very badly" about her comment.

If victorious, Espy would become Mississippi's first black senator since Reconstruction and its first Democrat elected to the Senate since 1982. Trump won 58 percent of the state's vote in 2016, and Hyde-Smith has tied herself closely to his presidency.

"I am honored to have President Trump's endorsement," she said Monday as the two appeared at a chilly outdoor rally at the airport in the northeastern city of Tupelo, best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

Trump gave a shout-out to the "king of rock 'n' roll" after taking the stage and said that, when he was young, "other than the blond hair, they said I looked like Elvis."

Trump and Hyde-Smith were later flying to the Gulf Coast for a larger evening rally in Biloxi. Trump will also be participating in a discussion about prison and sentencing reform legislation while he's in the state.

Tuesday's winner will finish the final two years of the term begun by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who resigned in April because of health problems.

It's the last U.S. Senate race of the 2018 election season. Republicans held onto their slim majority in the Senate but lost control of the House. If Hyde-Smith emerges as the winner of Tuesday's runoff, the GOP would hold a 53-47 advantage in the Senate.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 82°
The combo of a no named front and former tropical system Nicholas' leftovers will continue leave us with some pretty decent chances for some showers and thunderstorms over the next several days.
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