President Donald Trump is touting the booming economy after a strong jobs report as he barnstorms the country ahead of the 2018 midterms. On Friday, the president was in Missouri and Indiana to campaign for Republicans Josh Hawley and Mike Braun, respectively.
“We are finally putting America first,” President Trump said in Indiana, alongside Vice President Mike Pence and beloved former NCAA Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight. “But if they get power, they will try to erase our gains and eradicate our progress.”
Also on Friday, the Labor Department (DOL) via the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the U.S. economy in October added 250,000 jobs, labor participation ticked up, wages rose at the fastest rate since 2009 and unemployment remained at 3.7%, the lowest rate since 1969.
President Trump and Republicans want to make the election about the economy and immigration, while Democrats are trying to make it about him and healthcare. While Republicans failed to repeal ObamaCare, or make good on a 7-year promise to voters, premiums for the benchmark silver plan, the most popular plan on the federally-run exchanges, saw average premium decreases for the first time since the law was fully implemented in 2014.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported the U.S. economy is on track to grow at an annual rate of 3% or greater for the first time since 2005. The advance estimate for third-quarter (Q3) gross domestic product (GDP) came in at 3.5%.
Heading into the final two-week stretch, the campaign said the president was “all-in” to ensure Republicans maintain control of the U.S. House and expand their majorities in the U.S. Senate. The president put the party on his back in an attempt to juice GOP turnout enough to defy history.
President Trump has nearly 30 rallies since July 5 and is slated to spend $20 million campaigning for Republican candidates nationwide. He’ll end the tour on Election Night in Missouri, where Republicans are currently projected to defeat incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
The longtime Clinton ally is facing the most difficult reelection challenge of her career.
In Indiana, incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., is hoping the presence of a third-party libertarian candidate will siphon enough votes from Mr. Braun to allow him to eke out a win. But the president told the crowd of enthusiastic voters at Southport High School that there is only one choice if they want the country to continue to move forward.
“If you want prosperity for your family, safety for your children and security for your country, vote for Mike Braun,” he said.