President Donald Trump jettisoned his prepared remarks during a business roundtable in West Virginia on Thursday, opting to speak extemporaneously instead.
During his nearly 20-minute opening speech, the president touched on the benefits of the Republican tax plan, his administration’s pro-coal policies and illegal immigration, among other topics.
The president also took swipes at Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is up for re-election in the fall.
As Trump was concluding his comments, he held up what looked like two pieces of paper stapled together.
“You know, this was going to be my remarks. It would have taken about two minutes, but the hell with it,” he said, and then tossed the papers, to the audience’s delight.
Trump: "This was going to be my remarks…but to hell with it"
*throws speech in the air* https://t.co/jpQnuV4bQh
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) April 5, 2018
“That would have been a little boring,” the president added. “A little boring. I was reading off the first paragraph and thought, ‘This is boring, we have to tell it like it is.'”
During his speech, some of the lines that drew the most audience response were related to Manchin.
“If you look at your senator, he voted against [tax reform] … I thought he would be helpful, because he talks,” Trump stated.
“He grabs me; I grab him; he says hello; I say hello,” the president said. “But he votes against everything, and he voted against our tax cuts … and he also voted against medical help and health care and that’s bad. And we can’t have it.”
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) April 5, 2018
“He does other things I don’t like, I’ll be honest with you,” Trump added, which generated laughter from the crowd.
The chief executive contended, “We have to get more Republicans in office,” and he said there will be a chance this fall, referring to Manchin.
Two top Republicans vying for the Senate nomination in the state were on hand Thursday: Congressman Evan Jenkins and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, both of whom praised Trump, Real Clear Politics reported. The president carried West Virginia by nearly 40 points in 2016.
The Cook Political Report rates the race a “toss-up.”
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