US president Donald Trump ridiculed his opponents and touted the economy at a campaign rally while the House impeached him
- President Donald Trump flew to Michigan on Wednesday to hold a campaign rally in a key battleground state while Congress debated and voted to impeach him.
- The president held the rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, home to Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP earlier this year and supports impeachment.
- Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, opened the rally on Wednesday night and was quick to slam Democrats and the impeachment process. Vice President Mike Pence took the stage second.
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President Donald Trump flew to Michigan on Wednesday to hold a "Merry Christmas" campaign rally in a key battleground state while Congress debated and voted to impeach him.
The president held the rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, home to Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP earlier this year to become an independent and voted for impeachment.
Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, opened the rally on Wednesday night and was quick to slam Democrats and the impeachment process.
"It is unbelievable how much they don't care about your voice here in Michigan," Parscale said. "They want to erase your vote in 2016 and they don't even want to give you a chance in 2020."
He added, "I have a feeling they don't even know where Battle Creek, Michigan, is."
Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a tiny 11,000-vote margin over Hillary Clinton.
Vice President Pence took the stage next and told the crowd Trump was watching the House vote.
"The president's gonna be out in just a few minutes, but he wanted to wait to see that strong, unified Republican vote on the floor of the Congress tonight," Pence said.
When he took the stage just after 20:00, Trump was reflective.
"I just said to the first lady you're so lucky I took you on this fantastic journey - it's so much fun, they want to impeach you, they want to do worse than that," he said. "And by the way, it doesn't really feel like we're being impeached."
He added, "The country is doing better than ever before...We did nothing wrong. We have tremendous support in the Republican party."
Trump talks up the economy
Trump spent the first part of his speech focusing on the economy as the House officially voted to impeach him on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges. He discussed the stock market, low unemployment numbers, and bringing auto manufacturing jobs back to Michigan.
"We've set brand new records in the history of the various stock markets," Trump said. "I have the greatest economy in the history of this country and nobody talks about it."
He added, "If Crooked Hillary would have won, your economy would have crashed."
Trump attempted to keep the mood up, insisting that Republicans are united behind him and repeatedly looping back to his economic argument.
"I don't know about you, but I'm having a good time," he said.
At one point, Trump appeared to point to an African American supporter in the crowd after claiming that black unemployment is at historically low levels.
"I have a group of African American guys and gals, by the way, that follow me around and they think I pay them and I don't," he said. "They're great people, just great."
He added, addressing the man in the crowd, "You're obviously doing well if you can travel around like that."
Trump lashes out at opponents and impeachment
Trump talked up selective recent polling, arguing that he's beating all the Democratic primary contenders. He attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who he called "Crazy Pocahontas," and argued his 13-year-old son Barron would attract a bigger crowd of supporters in New York City than Warren would.
"I thought I knocked off Pocahontas - I did it a year too early," he said.
Trump came back around to impeachment about 40 minutes into his speech and, notably, switched from speaking off the cuff to reading from his script. He repeated many of the talking points he's hammered in recent weeks defending himself against impeachment.
"With today's illegal, unconstitutional, and partisan impeachment, the do-nothing Democrats ... are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter," Trump said. "Through their depraved actions today, crazy Nancy Pelosi's House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame."
Trump then went on to target House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, attacking Schiff's characterizations of his alleged wrongdoing and calling him a "pathological liar."
"He's a corrupt politician, 100%," Trump said, adding "He's not exactly the best-looking guy I've ever seen."
The president also took the opportunity to attack Michigan Democrats, singling out Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell whose husband, former Rep. John Dingell, died earlier this year. Trump imitated the congresswoman calling him to thank him for Dingell's state funeral and then attacked her for supporting his impeachment.
"I gave him the A+ treatment ... I gave him everything," Trump said of Dingell's funeral before quipping that maybe the longest-serving congressman in US history was "looking up" from hell, instead of down from heaven.
Trump laments that Debbie Dingell voted to impeach him despite the fact that he allowed the normal state funeral to proceed for her late husband, former Rep. John Dingell. Trump then suggests John Dingell is in hell -- to audible groans. pic.twitter.com/wsYfddNIA9— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 19, 2019
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