Recap: President Donald Trump, others speak at Columbia rally Nov. 1
Trump spoke about the economy, upcoming midterm elections and encouraged attendees to elect Attorney General Josh Hawley to the U.S Senate.
Nov. 02, 2018
The musings of Céline Dion, Rihanna, Elton John and the Tony award-winning musical “Cats” pumped through the speakers of hangar 350 at Columbia Regional Airport.
This wasn’t at a mixer for middle-aged singles, it was amongst a sea of red “Make America Great Again” hats at President Donald Trump’s rally Nov. 1.
The blend of pop ballads, John’s “Tiny Dancer,” and anxious soliloquies, “Memory” from the aforementioned Broadway musical, reflected what some attendees said they were feeling in the week before Election Day.
They described it as a mix of elation from two years of Republican control and anxiety over the possibility of Democrats taking the U.S. House or Senate.
MU sophomore Joe Kirsch, clad in his Mizzou Drumline jacket, said he attended the rally to support Trump’s economic policies, which he worries may be slowed if Democrats flip either of the chambers.
“I plan on getting somewhere around the finance area,” Kirsch said. “Trump is creating a lot of jobs, which is very important for getting out of college.”
Much of the rally was focused on showing support for U.S. Senate candidate and Attorney General Josh Hawley and rallying against his opponent, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Jobs and the economy were also an important topic to the president, as it was the rally’s first topic.
“We have more Americans working than any time in the history of our country,” Trump said to the crowd. “That’s pretty good.”
This claim came a day before the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest employment summary, in which it reported a rise in employment by 250,000 people and an unchanged unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in October 2018.
Local business owner Chris Force said Trump handles the economy well, and while he thinks Democrats would impede on the president’s agenda, he remains confident regardless of the midterms’ outcome.
“He’s scoring on the economy, unemployment, income,” Force said. “It’s nice to be in a good economy for a change.”
Prior to Trump’s speech, a slew of Missouri’s Republican representatives vocalized their support for Trump and Hawley.
Some of these representatives included Gov. Mike Parson, former Gov. John Ashcroft, Rep. Vicky Hartzler and Hawley himself. They spoke critically of Democrats, voiced concern about potential tax raises and encouraged attendees to vote for Hawley.
Many said the Democrats and their policies were too liberal. Attendee Linda Waller said she felt that the Democrats’ policies were unrealistic.
“I used to always vote Democrat,” Waller said. “My parents were Democrats. My dad was a union worker, but [the Democrats] just totally lost it. They're not realistic anymore, it’s like they've lost their minds.”
Despite the worries Republican rally attendees and speakers raised about regressions from their accomplishments, they maintained hope.
“On November the sixth, because of the leadership of Donald Trump, we’re going to call Claire McCaskill fired,” Hawley said before he walked away from the podium.
Edited by Anne Clinkenbeard | firstname.lastname@example.org