Trump unleashed at raucous rally

March 11, 2018

Donald Trump has spoken to thousands of supporters at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

US President Donald Trump promoted his steel and aluminum tariffs and tossed out an idea to have drug dealers face the death penalty, while addressing a raucous rally for a Republican congressional candidate in a tight race.

Trump's appearance on Saturday was aimed at helping Republican Rick Saccone in a district Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016 as part of a narrow win in Pennsylvania.

But while he heartily endorsed Saccone as a "really good person," Trump spent a lot of time talking about his own fortunes in a "Make America Great Again" rally in an airport hangar at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

He said it was crucial for Republicans to muster forces to turn back a strong Democratic drive to win one or both houses of the US Congress in November midterm elections.

"We need Republicans. We need the vote," Trump said, saying Democrats would take away, among other things, "your Second Amendment rights" to bear firearms.

Continuing his battle against the mainstream news media, Trump insulted NBC News' Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Under pressure over a scandal involving a porn star named Stormy Daniels, Trump singled out his wife, Melania, for praise.

"You think her life is so easy folks? Not so easy," he said.

Trump said the country should discuss having drug dealers face the death penalty because they are responsible for thousands of deaths.

"I don't know if that's popular. I don't know if that's unpopular."

A day after getting news that the US economy produced 313,000 jobs last month, Trump said his policies are paying off. He said 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports will boost Pennsylvania's economy.

Critics say the tariffs could trigger retaliatory trade measures and damage the US economy. There are also doubts about how far Trump's policies will go toward resuscitating the battered American steel industry.

"Your steel is coming back. It's all coming back," Trump told several thousand cheering supporters.

Trump also said he hoped to run for re-election against Oprah Winfrey, although the entertainer has ruled out a run.

"I'd love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness," said Trump.

Saccone is trying to win an election on Tuesday in Pennsylvania's 18th District to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned amid a sex scandal.

A Saccone loss would be the first loss of a Republican seat in the House of Representatives since Trump took office, although Republicans would still control of the chamber.

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