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: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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