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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.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
Etowah426551
Houston414834
Morgan412035
DeKalb338829
Elmore320053
St. Clair292542
Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
Fayette57413
Wilcox56712
Conecuh56113
Cleburne5568
Macon53420
Lamar4905
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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