In the second day of a campaign swing through Arizona, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, talked up his father’s record to voters at a “Latter-day Saints for Trump” event in Mesa.
Trump Jr. praised his father’s first White House term for its results and the promises he’s kept.
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He continued by referring to his father as the coach of a Super Bowl-winning team, while disparaging former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“(President) Donald Trump has delivered on more promises than he’s made,” Trump Jr. told the crowd of 480 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix/Mesa. “You certainly don’t replace a Super Bowl-winning coach with a coach who hasn’t won a game in half a century.”
Trump Jr., who appeared earlier in the day in Williams and on Wednesday in Tucson, is part of an all-out effort by Trump’s reelection campaign to hold onto Arizona, a state he carried in 2016 but is in peril of losing on Nov. 3.
The elder Trump, who announced Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, is returning to Arizona on Monday for campaign stops in Prescott and Tucson.
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Trump children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric have become frequent Arizona visitors as the race has heated up. Despite the in-person appearances, Trump continues to trail in the polls to Biden, who is poised to become the first Democrat to carry Arizona since President Bill Clinton in 1996 and only the second since President Harry Truman in 1948.
The Trump-Pence campaign is especially focused on making sure that voters who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints keep voting Republican.
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Church members generally are a reliable GOP voting bloc, but Trump’s character and morality issues have turned many off.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., are two of Trump’s highest-profile GOP critics; both are members of the LDS church.
In August, Pence headlined a “Latter-day Saints for Trump” event in Mesa. The “Latter-day Saints for Trump” coalition website promises “continued victories in school-choice reform, pro-life issues, judicial appointments, and religious freedom” if Trump is reelected.
Yasser Sanchez, a member of the church and the organization “Arizona Republicans for Biden,” said Trump’s “broken promises” are causing seniors, religious voters and Republicans to relinquish their support for the president.
“The Trump campaign knows they’re in trouble if they need to send in high-profile surrogates like Donald Trump Jr. to court Arizona’s Latter-day Saint voters, many of whom continue to make clear they reject Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and corrupt, failed leadership,” Sanchez said in a written statement. “Nothing Trump or his campaign says in these final three weeks can erase the pain and suffering Trump has inflicted on families in Arizona and across the country.”
At the Mesa event, Trump Jr. declared himself a “honorary Mormon” because he has five kids.
In addition to retelling several anecdotes about his father, he highlighted Biden’s 47 years in politics and his eight years as vice president and claimed Biden didn’t get anything done.
“(President) Donald Trump in 47 months has done more than Joe Biden has in 47 years,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump Jr. scorned what he called the attempted “canceling” of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student who was filmed last year in a tense confrontation with Native American elder Nathan Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last year.
“That kid showed much more restraint in that situation than I would have,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump Jr. urged everyone to vote and to register voters, because Thursday was the last day to do so in Arizona. He also emphasized the importance of not only the presidential election but also Arizona’s closely watched U.S. Senate election.
He also brought up a story that broke earlier in the day about a staff member on Democrat Mark Kelly’s Senate campaign who apologized Thursday for tweeting a profane insult at police. Trump Jr. said “he couldn’t say it up there,” but told people to just look at his recent tweet about it. The Kelly campaign said that the staffer had been disciplined.
“You’re not a moderate if you’re surrounding yourself with people who say what they said about the police,” Trump Jr. said of Kelly, who is running as a centrist Democrat.
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who is trailing Kelly in statewide Senate polls, spoke in Mesa ahead of Trump Jr.
McSally lauded Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, as an “amazing” woman. McSally emphasized the importance of Arizona in both the Senate and presidential races.
“It is all up to us,” she said. “This is ground zero to make sure that (President Trump) gets four more years in the White House.”
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., also was on hand to help rally supporters for Trump. He encouraged the crowd to vote for Republican representatives in the congressional districts that have Democratic incumbents.
Biggs’ remarks were met with a strong “U.S.A.” chant from the growing crowd. Cindy Biggs, his wife and co-chair of the “Latter-day Saints for Trump” coalition, began the event with a prayer for veterans and Trump.
Before speaking to church members in Mesa, Trump Jr. attended a “Native Americans for Trump” event in Williams. That event served to officially launch the Native American Coalition as part of the president’s reelection campaign.
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