Trump visits Baton Rouge, urges voters to support John Kennedy

Trump visits Baton Rouge, urges voters to support John Kennedy
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - President-elect Donald Trump headlined a rally Friday in Baton Rouge aimed at getting Republican voters to the polls in the runoff election.

Despite riding high after his election night victory, Trump suggested he was not taking anything for gr anted and encouraged Louisianans to vote for Republicans Saturday to make it easier for him to get work done in Washington.

"Tomorrow, we need you to go to the polls and send John Kennedy to the United States Senate, and that's why I'm down here," Trump told a crowd of thousands gathered in an airline hangar near the Baton Rouge Airport. "He's a tax cutter and he will be a true fighter for Louisiana in Washington. He will be a fighter for you."

Because of Louisiana's different election system, the state is the last nationwide to pick a senator. Kennedy, the Republican state treasurer, is currently in a runoff against Democrat Foster Campbell.

"We have to get the people to go to the polls. If you got to the polls, he's going to win. If you don't go to the polls, he's not going to win. If he doesn't win, I've got myself a problem in Washington," Trump said.

Republicans already hold a majority of the seats in the U.S. Senate starting next year. Fifty-one seats are occupied by Republicans, while 48 are held by Democrats and Independents that tend to vote liberally. Adding Kennedy, thereby giving Republicans a 52-48 advantage, would create a sort-of security blanket, making it easier for Trump to get his priorities through Congress.

During his speech, Kennedy tried to separate himself from his democratic rival, despite his own past as a Democrat.

"He's a liberal, I'm a conservative. He supported Secretary Hillary Clinton," Kennedy told to the crowd. The mention of Clinton's name drew 'boos' from Trump supporters.

Before Kennedy and Trump took the stage, a lineup of other Louisiana Republicans officials urged voters to head to the polls, including Congressman Garret Graves and outgoing Senator David Vitter.

"Let the rest of the country know this momentum is not going to stop. We cannot wait. This moment is too important," said Congressman Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana.

Before his speech, Trump met one-on-one with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The two discussed Louisiana's ongoing flood recovery. After the meeting, the governor released the following statement:

I appreciate President-elect Trump taking the time to briefly visit with me during his trip to Louisiana today. During our visit, I had the opportunity to again congratulate him on his victory and update him on our disaster recovery efforts since his visit in August. We had a brief, but positive, conversation about our state's needs in order to complete the rebuilding process, and he expressed his love for our great state. President-elect Trump and his administration will play a vital role in securing additional assistance for recovery from the March and August floods. I reiterated my enthusiasm to partner with him, and the President-elect and I agreed to meet again after the inauguration to discuss issues important to Louisiana in more detail.

Election day is Saturday, December 10.

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