Former President Trump used his rally in Waukesha, Wis., on Friday night to criticize Democrats’ sweeping climate, tax and health care package while highlighting his track record of recent endorsements.
While Trump was in the Badger State to boost several of his endorsed candidates ahead of the Aug. 9 primary, including gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels (R) and Adam Steen, who ran in the 63rd Assembly District race against Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R), the former president used the rally to take jabs at his opponents.
“The radical Democrats now intend to introduce the largest tax increase in American history, the exact opposite of what I did,” Trump claimed, referring to the reconciliation agreement. “And they’re working feverishly to assemble more rules at levels never seen before. You’re going to have rules that no one has ever seen before.”
He named Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and claimed he was “taken for a ride” by Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), who made a surprise announcement with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN). .Y.) last week that they had reached an agreement on climate, health and tax reforms.
“Joe Manchin has totally sold out West Virginia, what he’s done to that state is disgraceful. And I told that old crook, Mitch McConnell, this was going to happen,” Trump said.
Manchin had earlier in July appeared to pour cold water on the prospects for a deal after data was released showing inflation at 9 percent annually.
When the deal was announced after the GOP-backed Senate passed a bill to boost domestic semiconductor production and fund scientific research, some Republicans expressed frustration with the deal, saying they would have blocked the Chips and Science Act if they had known that Democrats pressed on. with provisions on taxes and climate in a voting package.
Manchin maintained that he and Schumer had not misled their colleagues.
The former president touted the recent successes of Arizona candidates Kari Lake (R) in the GOP gubernatorial primary and Blake Masters in the Republican Senate primary.
He also mentioned Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon (R) and former Department of Housing and Urban Development official John Gibbs (R), who defeated Rep. Peter Meijjer (R-Mich.), one of 10 House Republicans who voted for a impeach Trump.
Trump called Michels, who is running against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) in the gubernatorial primary next Tuesday, an “incredible success story” and touted his construction company.
He called Steen — a candidate he endorsed as part of a larger revenge tour against Republicans he believes crossed him after the election and the Capitol riot — a “true patriot”. Vos, Steen’s opponent, drew Trump’s ire after he refused to overturn the 2020 election.
As Trump took a few jabs at Kleefisch, he also appeared to hit back at those who supported her, including former Vice President Pence.
“Tim’s primary opponent is Rebecca Kleesfisch, a career politician and political insider. Have known her for a long time. She’s the hand-picked candidate of the failed establishment, the RINOs … the Washington swamp, and she’s running a campaign of lies and lies,” he alleged, using the acronym for “Republican in name only.”
The former president even waded into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip to Taiwan, one of several stops she made on her trip to East Asia amid heightened tensions between China and the self-ruled island, asking why she wanted to travel to Taiwan.