At a presidential campaign-style rally in Delaware County, Ohio, Saturday night, President Donald Trump gave a salute in return to an audience member who saluted him — and thrilled the hyped-up audience in the house.
According to Fox News, Trump was in the suburban Columbus county to campaign for Troy Balderson, who’s running in Tuesday’s special election for the seat in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. The race in the typically Republican district is widely seen as a bellwether for Republican hopes in the midterms this fall.
As Trump came out to speak to the crowd, he got a salute from a man dressed in a U.S. Army shirt and hat.
Here’s a pic of our saluter:
The president responded in kind. A video of the exchange is below. The salute begins at 6:41:53; Trump returns the salute at 6:42:19.
As The Daily Caller reported: “The man watched the president circle the podium, standing firm and holding the salute until President Trump, turning to survey the crowd, snapped to attention and returned the salute.”
(Please note that The Washington Post’s video doesn’t contain audio of the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to Trump’s arrival, something which I’m sure is just some sort of technical oversight on the part of the dispassionate “Democracy Dies in Darkness” folks.)
Speaking to the crowd after this exchange, Trump saluted Balderson and said the candidate was “really smart” and “a really hard worker.”
Adding that the candidate would “fight for Ohio,” Trump painted a vote for Democrat candidate Danny O’Connor as a vote for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the current bugaboo of the left side of the aisle.
“A vote for Danny boy and the Democrats is a vote to let criminals and drugs pour into our country,” Trump said. “And to let MS-13 run wild in our communities. And you know what they do once they’re there.”
The president also praised ICE agents as “brave” and “fantastic for this country,” while saying a vote for O’Connor “is a vote for open borders, which equals massive crime.”
“If you want to have a border, if you want to stop the radical Pelosi and Waters — Maxine Waters — agenda, there’s only one choice in this election,” Trump said. “That’s vote for Troy Balderson.”
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that O’Connor was a “puppet of Nancy Pelosi.”
Will be going to Ohio tonight to campaign for Troy Balderson for the big Congressional Special Election on Tuesday. Early voting is on. Troy is strong on Crime, the Border & loves our Military, Vets & 2nd Amendment. His opponent is a puppet of Nancy Pelosi/high taxes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Balderson, meanwhile, emphasized both the open borders argument and other issues like the Second Amendment and the economy as reasons for conservatives to come out and vote on Tuesday.
“Dishonest Danny O’Connor wants to repeal those middle-class tax cuts. Dishonest Danny O’Connor wants to take away your guns. Dishonest Danny supports open borders and sanctuary cities,” Balderson told the audience.
“Dishonest Danny O’Connor will fight against the policies that are turning our country around. And worst of all, Dishonest Danny O’Connor will vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker.”
The most recent of three polls in the district cited by RealClearPolitics shows Balderson with a slight edge, although considerably reduced from a double-digit lead he held in a June poll.
Undecided voters, according to RealClearPolitics have swung heavily toward O’Connor. Both the president and Vice President Mike Pence have aimed to stem that trend by visiting the district in recent weeks.
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