64°F
weather icon Clear

President Trump fires up Nevada faithful

President Donald Trump acknowledged an initially “shaky” relationship with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller during a speech at the Nevada Republican Party State Convention in Las Vegas but urged supporters and delegates to back him and other Republicans on the ballot.

During his Saturday visit, Trump also reiterated his positions on immigration, foreign trade and health care.

The president landed in Las Vegas close to 11 a.m. Saturday, smiling widely as he departed Air Force One and shook hands with a line of senior Nevada elected officials including Heller and Attorney General Adam Laxalt and congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian.

Trump was ushered to the Suncoast casino for the state convention and to headline a private fundraiser for Nevada’s Heller, who is widely considered the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for re-election. Trump delivered a 30-minute keynote address to several hundred supporters.

“It was a little bit shaky at the beginning, but that was when there were a lot of people running,” Trump told the crowd about his relationship with Heller. “But once we got in there, he’s been rock solid and he’s been great.”

Trump blasted Heller’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, calling her “Wacky Jacky” and telling attendees that she will raise taxes and open the borders if she’s elected to the Senate.

He also taunted Rosen for campaigning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas. Do you believe this? In your state. And they don’t know how to say Nevada,” Trump said as the room erupted in cheers and applause. Warren spoke in Reno Saturday at the Nevada Democratic Party’s state convention.

Rosen responded to the president’s name-calling Saturday afternoon.

“The president is attacking me with lies and petty insults because I’m not afraid to stand up to him,” Rosen said. “Dean Heller has been a rubber stamp for Donald Trump in Washington, caving to the president’s divisive agenda at Nevada’s expense. This was Senator Heller’s reward for his loyalty.”

Trump also urged attendees to support Laxalt and Danny Tarkanian, who, at Trump’s request dropped his challenge of Heller to run in the 3rd Congressional District.

The president briefly discussed immigration policies after facing scrutiny over a “zero-tolerance” policy that separated migrant children from their families. Trump blamed Democrats for obstructing immigration reform because it’s a “good issue” for their campaigns and reiterated plans to build a border wall.

“If they see any weakness, they would come by the millions,” Trump said.

Trump told convention attendees that he’s working on renegotiating trade agreements with China, Mexico, the European Union and Canada. He said the United States is losing hundreds of billions of dollars ever year in trade deals with other countries.

“We’re the piggy bank that everybody likes to rob from,” Trump said. “In so many ways our country is taken advantage of, and we’re settling it up.”

On the topic of health care, Trump said he got rid of Obamacare’s “disastrous” individual mandate and that Democrats are to blame if costs go up.

He said 3.4 million new jobs have been created since his election and unemployment claims are at a 44-year-low. Heller credited the Trump’s tax plan for creating thousands of jobs in Nevada.

“I fought for it and I’m so pleased the president signed it,” Heller said. “My opponent is going to reverse everything this president has achieved over the last 17 months. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Earlier in the day, Laxalt fired up supporters by saying Democrats are trying to turn Nevada into California.

“We’re not going to let that happen, are we?” Laxalt asked the crowd, who emphatically shouted “No!” Laxalt then took a few shots at his Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

“Shady Steve is a career politician who has spent decades complaining about problems and little time getting to work on the solutions,” Laxalt said.

Protests outside casino

Hundreds of activists ignored the triple-digit heat to line the sidewalks of South Rampart Boulevard outside the casino to protest Trump, holding signs and chanting hours before the president arrived.

The congressman for Nye and Esmeralda counties, U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nevada, also joined protesters.

“I am here with literally thousands of Nevadans who are here to send a message to Donald Trump that what he’s doing to these innocent families, separating children from their mothers and fathers, is inhumane, it is cruel and it goes against all American values,” Kihuen said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that Trump is not welcome in Nevada “so long as he continues to separate innocent families.”

Excitement at the airport

Among the several dozen guests who were invited to Trump’s arrival was Molly Wood, 33, a military wife from Virginia who moved to Nevada last August. She huddled with her three children inside a warehouse at the airport waiting for the president.

“I’m seeing Donald Trump!” announced 3-year-old Cordelia, donning an American flag dress.

Tax reform roundtable

Following his keynote address, Trump went to the South Point for a roundtable discussion about tax reform and shortly after 3 p.m. he was back on Air Force One to return to Washington.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
New scams target census, virus stimulus package

As the pubic health crisis surrounding the novel coronavirus continues to have an impact on the country and our local communities, new reports of fraudulent activity connecting the 2020 census and a proposed economic stimulus package have surfaced.

Sisolak activates National Guard to help fight COVID-19

Gov. Steve Sisolak joined Major General Ondra L. Berry on Thursday to announce the activation of the Nevada National Guard among other measures the state has taken during the COVID-19 virus.

Sisolak submitted a formal request to President Donald Trump for a major disaster declaration

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday submitted a formal request to President Donald Trump for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Nevada. If approved, this declaration will provide additional federal assistance and emergency protective measures available under the nationwide emergency proclamation.

Sisolak extends ‘Stay at Home’ order through April

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday formally issued a “Stay at Home” directive for Nevadans and extended the nonessential business, gaming and school closures and all other directives issued under the Emergency Declaration to April 30.

April 1 is census day

Today is “Census Day,” and though minds all around America are occupied by concerns regarding the novel coronavirus, the U.S. Census Bureau is continuing its efforts to conduct this constitutionally-mandated decennial process. Census officials are urging everyone residing in the U.S., regardless of citizenship, to make sure they and their families are included in this most important count.

Man accused of making bomb threat arrested

When a Pahrump resident could not get logged on to his home computer, he decided to make a phone call to Valley Electric Association at approximately 9 p.m., on Tuesday, March 24.

Deputy recovering from injuries

A Nye County Sheriff’s Office detective is recovering after being shot while investigating a stabbing.

Fire extinguishes self but claims life of Pahrump man

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews responded to a series of structure fires within the past week, with at least one fatality reported.

Serenity Health partnering with Nye for COVID-19 testing

Testing for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been a point of major contention in recent weeks as states grapple to keep pace with demand and though testing supplies are being stretched thin, Serenity Health, through its lab, has managed to secure enough kits to partner with Nye County to conduct drive-up testing in three local communities.