Trump urges Kentucky ahead of state vote: Send impeachment Democrats a
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[November 05, 2019]
By Steve Holland
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Reuters) - Under siege in
an impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump urged voters in Kentucky
on Monday to send Democrats arrayed against him in Washington a message
by voting for the re-election on Tuesday of the state's Republican
Trump's speech to thousands of supporters was an explicit attempt to
make the governor's election in Kentucky a referendum on his presidency
as he tries to survive an impeachment probe in the Democratic-led U.S.
House of Representatives.
"Tomorrow, Kentucky has a chance to send the radical Democrats a
message," Trump said.
Kentuckians need to re-elect Bevin, said Trump, or else pundits will
say: "Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world.
... You can't let that happen to me."
With hours to go before Kentuckians head to the polls, Trump's
last-minute trip was aimed at tilting the state to Bevin over his
Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Bevin is perhaps the country's least popular governor, according to
opinion polls, after damaging battles with labor unions and teachers.
But he has taken a narrow lead over Beshear in recent weeks after
staunchly defending Trump against the impeachment inquiry.
Invited on stage by Trump, Bevin said Kentuckians should make clear on
Tuesday that Kentucky is a Republican state and that "we support the
president of the United States, Donald Trump."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, was
noticeably silent on the crisis around Trump. If the House votes to
approve articles of impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would
then hold a trial on whether to remove the president from office.
McConnell talked up the conservative judges confirmed by the Senate
during Trump's presidency and said: "Mr. President, thank you for making
America great again."
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President Donald Trump delivers a remark at a Keep America
Great Rally at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.,
November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Trump is in the midst of a week-long blitz trying to help Republican
candidates in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana in elections.
Victories could help boost his political standing and his
re-election prospects in 2020 as the impeachment probe intensifies.
Losses could be seen as a sign of weakness for the Republican
Last Friday, he campaigned in Tupelo, Mississippi, for Republican
Tate Reeves in that state's governor's race against Democrat Jim
Hood. On Wednesday, he will be in Monroe, Louisiana, to rally
support for Republican Eddie Rispone in his campaign to unseat
Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
Trump's fight against impeachment was much in evidence at his rally
at a Lexington arena. Staged behind Trump were dozens of supporters
wearing white T-shirts bearing the slogan: "Read the transcript."
Trump believes the transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukraine
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy absolves him of any guilt in the
impeachment probe, which is focused on his request that Ukraine
investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic
U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky urged Republicans at the rally to
battle to force Democrats to subpoena the whistleblower whose
complaint about Trump's call with Zelenskiy led to the impeachment
Paul also urged U.S. news organizations to print the whistleblower's
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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