By TAYLOR STUCK
The Herald Dispatch of Huntington
CEREDO, W.Va. — The whole country will be watching what West Virginia does on election night, says President Donald Trump, and he warned his supporters what will happen if they vote blue.
“You are going to decide, maybe, which party controls the United States Senate,” Trump said. “We don’t want to put anti-coal people – they are anti-coal people and they vote anti-coal, and frankly that’s what you are getting. If you vote for them, that’s your fault, not mine.”
Trump flew into the Huntington Tri-State Airport on Friday afternoon to stump for U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, and a sizable crowd filled the hangar at the airport. Trump also threw his support behind U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District candidate Carol Miller and even endorsed Tim Armstead for the West Virginia Supreme Court at the behest of Gov. Jim Justice.
Morrisey will “vote with us – not for me, us – every time,” Trump said, after lamenting the inconsistent voting record of Sen. Joe Manchin, Morrisey’s opponent.
“I have to say I like Joe, but the problem is I won’t get his vote,” Trump said.
The president also railed against Miller’s opponent, Richard Ojeda – purposely mispronouncing his name and calling him a “radical liberal.” Trump repeated a Miller talking point that Ojeda will support minority leader Nancy Pelosi, though Ojeda has told multiple news outlets, including The Herald-Dispatch, that he does not support Pelosi.
The president bounced from topic to topic, but a large portion of his speech involved illegal immigration at the southern border. He told rally-goers to head home to watch what “great things” the military is doing at the border in anticipation of the migrant caravan from Central America.
“You know what we give to these countries?” Trump said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars to Honduras, to El Salvador. To others, we give hundreds of millions of dollars. You know what they give to us? Nothing. They give us nothing. That’s going to be stopping.”
Trump said more caravans were forming and thousands of people were coming to invade the country. According to military documents obtained this week by Newsweek, only about 20 percent of those in the caravan are likely to make it to the U.S.
He also said nearly 100 percent of the heroin in this country comes from over the border, which is true. The majority of heroin in the U.S. is manufactured in Mexico and Colombia. This was one of only two times the president mentioned opiates in the state with one of the highest drug overdose rates.
Though the southern border is far from West Virginia, Miller said illegal immigration is still an important topic to West Virginians.
“West Virginians care about what is fair for our country, and our border is being assaulted,” Miller said. “So they do care about it.”
The most important topic for West Virginians, however, is health care, based on several polls conducted by state and national organizations. Trump made several claims, including that health care prices are going down thanks to Republicans’ work to “decimate” the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
However, policy experts say while premiums on the health care marketplace are leveling out this year, premiums would have actually gone down had it not been for the actions of Republicans to “decimate” the ACA, according to a story from NPR.