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Trump Promises More “Winning, Winning, Winning” at Republican Jewish Coalition Meeting in Las Vegas, But Who’s Really Winning Here?

A day after touring a section of the U.S.-Mexico border where he claims to be “building the wall”, President Donald Trump returned to Las Vegas to boast about “The Wall”, his administration’s handling of the Mueller Report, his signature brand of “disruptive” foreign policy, and much more.

Noticeably missing from Trump’s speech was much of anything that specifically pertained to Nevada, something that may point to his and other Republicans’ prospects here in 2020 and beyond.

“The Republican Party is the party for all Americans. We are the party of health care. We are the party of the American worker. We are the party of the American Dream.”
– President Donald Trump
Photo by Andrew Davey

Over the past two months, we’ve watched as several Democrats waltzed in and out of Nevada to explain why they want to defeat Trump next year and how they intend to do it. They’ve been debating the merits of pushing big, bold ideas to excite progressive minded voters versus appealing to the middle to try to persuade voters who might be inclined to give Trump another chance to vote Democratic instead.

Today it was Trump’s turn to clap back at the Democrats, and that he most definitely did. According to Trump, “The Republican Party is the party for all Americans. We are the party of health care. We are the party of the American worker. We are the party of the American Dream.” He claimed that the economy’s continued growth is benefitting the poorest of Americans the most, yet that claim goes directly against the actual numbers showing recent economic gains benefiting the wealthiest of Americans to working-poor families’ detriment.

Photo by Andrew Davey

At First Person Care Clinic yesterday, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Jacky Rosen (D) joined Governor Steve Sisolak (D) and a few more Nevadans to challenge Trump’s claim on health care, and specifically call out Trump’s plan to jeopardize health care coverage for at least 243,000 Nevadans. At that press conference, Rosen warned, “If Trump gets his way in court, people will suffer the consequences.”

Trump didn’t specifically respond to Rosen’s, Cortez Masto’s, and Sisolak’s message at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s leadership meeting here at The Venetian. Instead, he mocked the “Medicare for All” single-payer proposal that several of the Democrats running against him have rallied around, then pivoted in saying, “We can talk health care, we can talk other things. Without security, what does it matter!”

“America is winning, winning, winning like never before. We are respected again!”
– President Donald Trump

During his hour-plus long diatribe, Trump exclaimed, “America is winning, winning, winning like never before. We are respected again!”

What Trump didn’t mention was how he wants to divert about $600 million in military funding and about $7 billion in total from specifically authorized budget accounts to “build the wall”. And while his overall budget proposal still calls for a record $750 billion in military spending, it’s essentially an attempt to do an end-run around mandatory budget caps while funding weapons programs that several Republicans and Democrats in Congress have suggested are wasteful and/or unnecessary.

Trump also proclaimed, “We are confronting the deadly menace of radical Islamic terrorism,” and that the “ISIS caliphate has been 100% eliminated!” While the IS caliphate no longer control a large land mass spanning much of Syria and Iraq, they still have enough money and online presence to continue posing threats to global security. And beyond this one terrorist network, other terrorist and extremist outfits to continue to threaten American national security, yet Trump mostly avoided addressing the threat posed by these extremist groups.

“The asylum program is a scam! Some of the roughest people we have ever seen. They look like they can be fighters for the UFC!”
– President Donald Trump

Throughout the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting’s morning session, speakers from Trump on down have warned about the very real threat of anti-Semitism’s resurgence in America. However instead of calling out the “alt-right” and other far-right groups who are fomenting hate-fueled violence across the nation, they mocked Democrats like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) for denouncing Islamophobia and other “alt-right” attacks on historically marginalized communities. Trump did honor the victims and survivors of last October’s Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, but he did not mention the suspected shooter’s association with “alt-right” online communities.

And of course, Trump continued to promote his efforts to “build the wall” as he proclaimed, “I’ll do whatever is necessary to protect this nation.” As usual for Trump, he cited long-ago debunked claims about immigrants and violent crime to justify his administration’s “zero tolerance” policies.

As Trump claimed, “The asylum program is a scam! Some of the roughest people we have ever seen. They look like they can be fighters for the UFC!” Yet according to experts like the UNLV Immigration Clinic’s Michael Kagan, the refugees and other immigrants seeking legal relief are more likely to be escaping violent crime rather than perpetrating it. And as long as immigrant communities and other historically marginalized communities remain among Trump’s top targets for political attack, they remain at risk of experiencing further violent attacks.

“We did very well in ‘18. We won the Senate.”
– President Donald Trump

Despite Trump’s desired border wall expansion being bogged down in court, he took credit for “border security” construction that began before he took office. And despite losing the U.S. House “bigly” and losing other down-ballot races across the nation in last year’s “Blue Wave” election, Trump boasted, “We did very well in ‘18. We won the Senate. […] I’ll tell you what: We picked up two Senate seats. It’s now 53 to 47.”

Noticeably absent were any mention of Dean Heller’s (R) loss to now Senator Jacky Rosen (D) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (D) victory in Arizona, as these two races held down Republicans’ Senate gains while House Republicans lost their majority outright. And for that matter, Trump barely even mentioned anything pertaining to Nevada other than showering praise on Las Vegas Sands (which owns the Venetian) CEO and Republican Party mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and his spouse Miriam, whom Trump awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November.

Photo by Andrew Davey

Instead, Trump alternated between praising his own record and attacking Democrats (though without naming any of Nevada’s Democratic elected officials). Later today, Vice President Mike Pence tried to bolster Trump’s case as he proclaimed, “America needs four more years of President Donald Trump. […] Confidence is back. Jobs are back. In a word, America is back, and we’re just getting started.”

And yet, judging by how little Nevada was mentioned or acknowledged while Trump and Pence are here in Nevada, it remains to be seen whether Republicans have much of any chance of getting Nevada back next year.

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Comments (1)

  1. Managing editor

    In “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts warn that the ascendancy of an individual with such impairments as those expressed by Donald J. Trump speaks to the general state of health and well-being of the Nation.

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