At a campaign rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, where he is stumping for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, Trump spent the large majority of his speech bouncing between self-congratulatory praise, defending his own missteps in office, and spewing unscripted – and misguided – remarks.
Amid his ramblings, Trump opted to relitigate the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, in which Republican Karen Handel defeated her Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, in what had become the most expensive House race in American history.
Trump, in characteristic fashion, took credit for the win, explaining, “I hope I don’t have to make speeches all over like I did last time,” referencing the upcoming PA 18 special election.
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Trump takes credit for Karen Handel's win over Jon Ossoff, says "I hope I don't have to make speeches all over like I did last time." pic.twitter.com/D05mgjbz8S
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 11, 2018
Jon Ossoff saw Trump’s self-important rant and immediately set him straight, calling attention to the fact that he even has to defend what were otherwise “safe” Republican seats to begin with– a byproduct of his own staggering unpopularity.
—@realDonaldTrump, it must be tiring having to work so hard to defend all these “safe” GOP seats. Have your remaining staff explained why you’re having to do that? Also, while you’re on the line, how much $$$ has your family made off your presidency so far? https://t.co/oxkm2Gj84t
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) March 11, 2018
It is widely believed that Trump’s own dismal approval rating – the lowest of any president at this point in his presidency in modern history – is dragging the rest of his party down. Seats that have been safely red for decades are now falling to Democrats en masse, such as Alabama’s Senate seat.
The desperate pandering comes amid a tightening special election race in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. Whereas Trump won this district by a 20-point margin in 2016, polls have shown Democrat Conor Lamb his Republican counterpart in what may be the latest in a string of humiliating lost seats for the GOP leading up to midterms.
Trump may use these events to stroke his ego in front of his base, but Americans are fed up with such inept leadership. No amount of campaign-style rallies are going to change what is certain to be a devastating midterm election cycle for the GOP.