ROCHESTER — Never one to follow conventional thinking, Donald Trump took the stage at the Mayo Civic Center Arena on Thursday night with a question.

“So this is supposed to be a Democratic state?” Trump asked a full house at southern Minnesota’s largest venue in his second visit to the Gopher state in four months. “I don’t think so. They have a very big surprise coming, don’t you think?”

Trump came to Rochester, a friendly area in a liberal state, with the hope of whipping into a frenzy the voters that came out for him in 2016 to do the same for candidates on the ballot this fall. Minnesota hasn’t gone red in a presidential election since 1972, but Trump came within two points of Hillary Clinton two years ago.

A White House memo leaked earlier this week indicated that candidates who distance themselves from Trump, who polls say is slipping in support in suburban areas, will suffer this fall.

The GOP candidates running for office in Rochester on Thursday night were all aboard the Trump train.

One of the politicians he pulled up on stage was Jim Hagedorn, a Blue Earth businessman running for the 1st Congressional District seat for the third consecutive election cycle.

Hagedorn is running against Red Wing native Dan Feehan, who both Hagedorn and Trump said wants to move the country toward single-payer health care.

“Does that make sense for Mayo Clinic and Rochester?” Hagedorn said. “They want to take us back to Obama and then some.”

In response to the Trump rally, Feehan and Lt. Gov. candidate Peggy Flanagan led a door knocking campaign in Rochester that the state DFL party called a kickoff to “KNOCK-tober.”

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Burnsville, and U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley were also pulled on stage — although Housley wasn’t supposed to be up there. She took the podium earlier in the day, taking a page out of the Trump playbook and giving her opponent a nickname “Taxin’ Tina" Smith.

“Boy, you really do go off script,” Housley quipped to Trump.

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Housley and Smith are running to finish the remainder of Al Franken’s term after he resigned because of allegations of improper touching.

Trump took a few shots at Franken for how quickly he resigned and questioned the political chops of his appointed replacement, Smith.

“Nobody knows who the hell she is,” Trump said. “She took a whacky guy’s place … he was whacky. Boy did he fold up like a wet rag. Man. Man. He was gone so fast.”

Aside from a few other shots at other Democrats, Trump’s speech, which lasted nearly an hour, was relatively tame by his standards. He didn’t bring up Christine Blasey Ford — like he did at a rally Tuesday night in Mississippi — who accused Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual misconduct.

Instead, Trump focused on Kavanaugh, calling him the No. 1 student at Yale and at Yale Law School, and saying he must be confirmed.

Of Democrats, he said, “Their rage-fueled resistance is starting to backfire at a level nobody has ever seen before.”

Added Trump: “Do we love it? We love it. Because people see what’s happening and they don’t like it.”

He accused the Democrats of desperately grabbing at power, saying, “They want to resist, they want to obstruct, they want to delay, demolish, they want to destroy.”

Outside Washington, the focus still remained on the dramatic nomination process for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Trump told reporters he thinks Kavanaugh is “doing very well” as senators weigh a new FBI background report prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Trump earlier tweeted his support for Kavanaugh, who is accused of a sexual assault at a high school party, saying, “Due Process, Fairness and Common Sense are now on trial!” Trump has sought to use the Kavanaugh confirmation conflict to appeal to white men, arguing that the accusations are proof that innocent men could be unfairly targeted.

Trump also ticked off what he views as key accomplishments, including jobs and economic gains and exiting the Iran nuclear deal. He also touted ongoing promises, including his pledge to develop a Space Force.

“(Democrats) want to resist, they want to obstruct, they want to delay, demolish, they want to destroy.” President Donald Trump

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


(9) comments


“Does that make sense for Mayo Clinic and Rochester?” Hagedorn said. Well, yes. It makes a lot of sense. People there and all over the country could get heart surgery for a couple thousand bucks instead of $25,000 to $100,000 like we have now. Guess what, Trump supporters? Paying $2,000 is better than paying $25,000 to $100,000. Why don't you get that? It's not a very difficult mathematical concept, is it? But keep fighting it. Let's pay those higher, higher costs. Trump and the GOP and Fox News all say so, and you're ignorant and block headed enough to support their noble concept.


"Hagedorn is running against Red Wing native Dan Feehan, who both Hagedorn and Trump said wants to move the country toward single-payer health care." Oh, no!!!Major panic attack required!! Single payer health care like every other country on the planet has? And as a result, they pay a fraction of the inflated medical costs/profits that we do? Can't have that. Next thing you know, we'll be a dictatorship like Venezuala or Russia, and England and Canada and France and Norway and....... Er, wait. But follow Trumps lies, folks. This is the guy who, during his campaign, promised the best, most reasonably priced health care for every citizen of the United States. Anybody get that yet?


Stupid, ignorant and clueless sounds like little johnnybraggetti


That"s the cool thing about being stupid,ignorant and clueless.
You have no realization about how bad you"re getting screwed.
Study the faces behind the Orange Carcass in chief and they all look exactly the same.
At some point in time , the folks need to increase their comprehension , about what is actually going on.
It ain"t good.


Trump is nothing more than a school yard bully. He only knows how to divide people not unite them.

The Mouse of Death

[angry]It would behoove us to get on board with the Benedict Donald's quest to fight the Toddler Terrorists from the Mexico and the Moscow where the Kremlin and the Vladimir. We are indeed bemezzled by the $61,000,000 from Daddy Trump which made the Stormy Donald a self-made man and woman so the Dennis Hastert and the Mark Foley with the Larry Craig and the Billy Bush is the Megyn Kelly so the Christine Ford with the Brett Kavanaugh so the frat boys with the 1,000 beers on the Supreme Court with the diary so the Lindsey Graham had the phony indignation.


Really sad, sad day when citizens are totally blind to the criminal background of the Liar in Chief that you call president. Did none of you ever study history? The activities in this WH should scare all of you - I hope you all take a step back and consider what will be left for your grandchildren - nothing. He keeps our country in total chaos on a daily basis because he has no plan, no skill, lies with impunity. Baffles me and many that you think it is all right for him and his dog and pony show in congress to steal everything from you/taxpayers to benefit the extremely wealthy while others struggle with student debt, healthcare costs, daily access to food - take a step back and look critically at what is really happening in our government - not only Washington but in you state and local government as well.


Do you think it is because unemployment is now the lowest it has been since 1969 and the stock market has been setting record highs, that people are failing to see how bad they have it and how much harm the President has caused them?


no geo, I think it is because Trump preaches hate and intolerance. And the deplorables in society cling to that simple but toxic policies put forth by the GOP. Fear, hate, and intolerance are basic emotions hard wired in every human, its just that some let it control their thinking, while others know how to keep it in check. Some use it to exploit others, while still others fight it by helping others.

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