President Trump labeled Democrats the “party of crime” during a rally Monday evening in which he also claimed they are trying to “turn America into Venezuela.”
“The Democratic Party is radical socialism — Venezuela — and open borders,” Trump said. “It is now called to me — you’ve never heard this before — the party of crime. It is the party of crime, that is what it is.”
The president made an appearance in Johnson City, Tenn., for GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
Speaking before Trump, Blackburn gave a brief speech laudatory of the president, standing just feet from him.
Blackburn asked voters to remember the strong economy and the president’s foreign policy when they cast their ballots in November. The Tennessee representative gave hat tips to Trump's trade negotiations with China, backing out of the Obama-era Iran deal, and ongoing denuclearization talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.
"If you want a U.S. senator who is going to stand with the president ... build the wall, cut your taxes, and make sure that we support our men and women in uniform, I’m asking you to stand with me. Let’s take these Tennessee values to Washington, D.C., and put them to work with President Donald Trump," she said.
The Tennessee representative won Trump's endorsement in April.
Blackburn faces a tough challenger in former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen -- a man with household name recognition in the state and the experience of the running the state government. He narrowly claimed he governor's mansion in 2002, but went on to best his Republican challenger in 2006 in a no-contest election, taking 69 percent of the vote.
One issue that remains a challenge for the 75-year-old Bredesen is that the state has moved away from the Democratic Party over the past decade. Still, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks highly of Bredesen, whom he has said is a candidate that could bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats.
Corker has stopped short of endorsing Bredesen. He is also a vocal critic of the president, once likening his administration to an "adult day care center." In a state that Trump won in 2016 by nearly 30 percentage points, Corker's endorsement likely wouldn't help his candidacy.
The two are in a dead heat heading into November. The RealClearPolitics polling average has the race tied as of mid-September, but other polling houses give either candidate a marginal lead.
Blackburn also has the backing of Charles Koch, a billionaire libertarian donor that runs a massive sprawling political network.
Trump pressed Tennessee voters to vote for Blackburn, arguing that getting another Republican in the Senate is crucial to thwarting Democratic “obstruction.”
The president attempted to draw stark contrasts between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He listed the accomplishments of the Republican-led Senate during his time in office, including the “largest ever tax cut in our history.”
Trump's endorsement has proven to be a helpful in tight races thus far in the midterm election cycle.