At Trump rally in Tupelo, impeachment inquiry steals spotlight from Tate Reeves, governor’s race

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Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For AmericaPresident Donald Trump embraces Tate Reeves during a campaign rally at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., Friday, November 1, 2019.
TUPELO — The strategy for President Donald Trump and prominent Mississippi Republicans on Friday night was simple: First, pointedly criticize national Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry of Trump, and second, find time to slip in a good word about Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves ahead of Tuesday’s governor’s race.
“We can’t re-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday night, but we can do the next best thing: elect Tate Reeves governor,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker told the crowd at the BancorpSouth Arena in downtown Tupelo after lambasting national Democrats for several minutes.
Trump’s visit — officially a rally for his own 2020 campaign — came just a day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to formalize the impeachment process against the president. It was just the third time a sitting U.S. president has been subject to such a vote.
Trump, who enjoys high approval ratings in Mississippi, used the Tupelo rally to issue a bitter attack of national Democrats leading the inquiry and offer a passionate, off-the-cuff defense of his presidency.
“The radical left is determined to transform America into a country you would not recognize,” Trump said. “We are the ones standing in their way, and we will never get out of their way… Corrupt politicians Nancy Pelosi and Shifty Adam Schiff and the media are continuing with the deranged impeachment witch hunt.”
Trump, like prominent Mississippi Republicans who opened the event for the president, also spent a short portion of his speech boosting Reeves’ candidacy. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Trump, Reeves spoke from the stage for about three minutes.
Reeves faces Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in Tuesday’s general election for governor. Republicans have called the Governor’s Mansion