President Donald Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, and a who’s who of Mississippi Republican politics rallied the troops the day before the U.S. Senate special election runoff on behalf of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Trump, speaking to an 80% full Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, called a vote for Democratic nominee Mike Espy “a vote for the Democrat agenda of socialism and open borders.”
Senator Hyde-Smith has been in hot water over “public hanging” comments. But she is still favored to win tomorrow’s election.
The purpose of tonight’s rally is to fire up Trump supporters who may not be too enthusiastic about Hyde-Smith. It also served as an audition for some of Mississippi’s Republicans as they begin to look forward to next year’s state elections.
The first speaker was Mississippi GOP chairman Lucien Smith. He fired up the crowd with attacks on Mike Espy’s left-wing voting record in Congress and his corruption allegations. Smith also expressed doubts about Democrat hopes of pulling off the upset tomorrow. “When that so-called blue wave comes to Mississippi, I expect it to be met with a red wall,” said Smith.
Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves also spoke at the rally. Reeves, who is expected to run for governor next year to replace the term-limited Bryant, tied Espy to prominent Democrats such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Reeves, who is often dismissed with the nickname “Tator Tot” by his critics, was very good in what was clearly his trial balloon for his likely gubernatorial run.
Vice President Mike Pence took the stage called Hyde-Smith “a proven conservative” and contrasted it to Espy’s record. Pence drew loud boos when he attacked Espy’s support for “abortion on demand” and “taxpayer-funded abortion.”
Pence introduced Trump and when Trump came out, fake snow was emitted from the rafters. The crowd was delirious. Trump was typical Trump and hyped his administration’s achievements.
Trump then introduced Governor Bryant, who spoke very briefly, and Hyde-Smith who Trump described as already “respected by all” in the U.S. Senate.
In a brief series of remarks, Hyde-Smith told the audience that the election “was about you.” She also drew loud cheers when she promised to defend Second Amendment rights “all day long.”
Trump then touched on his signature issues of immigration and trade restrictionism. “Democrats want to turn America into one massive sanctuary city for criminal aliens and MS-13,” Trump said to loud boos from the crowd.
As expected, the rally drew protests. About 50 protesters braved the cold late-November night and held up various anti-Trump signs and several signs calling Hyde-Smith a racist. Even a miniature version of the “Baby Trump” balloon and the Stennis flag, which is a potential replacement for the current Mississippi state flag that features a Confederate battle flag, made appearances.
Meanwhile, if you want to watch a video of the Trump rally in Biloxi, here you go with special thanks to the crew from Right Side Broadcasting who originally recorded and streamed it.