weather icon Clear

Trump caps western swing with campaign rally in Las Vegas

President Donald Trump mocked the seven Democratic presidential hopefuls during a rare daytime rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center Friday, one day ahead of caucuses in a state he believes he can flip in November.

The president also talked up his ties to Las Vegas and Nevada — “a state I love” — and noted that he has “a building down the road,” referring to the Trump International Hotel where he spent the last three nights during a four-day tour of western states.

It was his third “Keep America Great” rally in three days, and completes a trip designed to garner Trump media coverage at the expense of Democratic hopefuls.

The president’s western swing is in keeping with a pattern of attempting to dominate the news cycle during Democratic voting. He also held rallies in Des Moines, Iowa, ahead of that state’s caucuses and in Manchester, New Hampshire, ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

On Friday, Trump mocked billionaire Michael Bloomberg, whom he calls “Mini Mike,” and said the former New York mayor was gasping for breath after being attacked during Wednesday’s Democratic debate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., or “Pocahontas” as Trump calls her.

Trump said the Democratic nominee “can’t be (former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete) Buttigieg,” who he called “Alfred E. Neuman,” a reference to the fictitious cover boy of Mad magazine.

“Bernie’s too emotional,” Trump said of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And former Vice President Joe Biden’s “angry. That’s what happens when you can’t get the words out.”

Trump called the other billionaire in the race, Californian Tom Steyer “Mr. Impeachment” and thanked Steyer for spending heavily to push for impeachment.

The president also referred to a recent action he took to stop funding “for the licensing of waste storage at Yucca Mountain so that we can focus on positive solutions.

“Why should you have nuclear waste in your back yard?” Trump asked twice.

Trump did not mention that his first three spending plans had budgeted funds to re-license Yucca Mountain after President Barack Obama made good on a campaign promise by cutting off most funds for the proposed nuclear waste facility in 2009.

“Sheldon do you have somebody in your newspaper back there who can write?” Trump asked, addressing donors Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson sitting nearby. “Yucca Mountain, you’re OK, please. He’ll call up, Yucca Mountain is OK. That’s the end of that. That’s the end of that. So Yucca Mountain you’re in good shape. Maybe they can finally report it properly.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family.

In response, RJ Publisher and Editor Keith Moyer said: “Add the Review-Journal to a long list of media companies that the president has woven into his ridiculous ‘fake media’ narrative.”

Moyer added, “Mr. Trump is clearly not aware of the high caliber, balanced and in-depth coverage that RJ journalists have dedicated to the Yucca Mountain issue for decades. That’s too bad.”

After the event, campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that the event identified 15,079 voters, 73 percent from Nevada. Of those, Parscale said, 32 percent didn’t vote in 2016, 27 percent were black, Latino or non-white and 18 percent were Democrats.

Trump lost Nevada in 2016 and a blue wave swept all but one statewide office to Democrats in 2018. Still, Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mike McDonald said he sees an energy among Trump fans, which includes people who haven’t voted before.

McDonald told the Review-Journal Wednesday that the Las Vegas rally was scheduled in a week’s time at the demand of an avid voter base in Nevada.

“It’s hard to gauge. It’s hard to tell somebody who’s not part of it,” McDonald said.

On Saturday, the Nevada Republican Party central committee will vote to bind its delegates at the Republican National Convention to Trump and to endorse the Trump campaign.

A Democratic strategist who has worked in Nevada, however, predicted Trump “could have a worse showing in Nevada than he had four years ago,” when Hillary Clinton beat him by a slim margin.

The coverage of Trump’s trolling of Democratic candidates before the caucuses, the strategist said, doesn’t compare to the attention Democratic hopefuls have received. “He can’t influence the trajectory of the primary.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Democratic National Convention postponed - VIDEO
The Democratic National Convention was set to take place over four days in the middle of July. Democratic officials have now confirmed the convention will take place the week of Aug. 17. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson allows immediate sale of alcohol with curbside pickup - VIDEO
The city of Henderson decided Thursday evening to allow alcohol to be sold by restaurants as part of their curbside pickup service during the COVID-19 crisis. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak signs order banning any gathering of 10 or more people - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday signed a new order banning any gathering of 10 or more people in Nevada in another step the state has taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Takeaways from the president's daily briefing on coronavirus - VIDEO
RJ Washington correspondent Debra Saunders talks about today's daily White House news conference regarding the coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 20, 2020. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judicial Department 5 Debate - Video
The Las Vegas Review-Journal hosts a debate between the 3 candidates running for Department 5 in Clark County District Court. Participating are Veronica M. Barisich, Terry A. Coffing and Blair Cowan Parker.
Trump cancels Las Vegas trip because of ‘coronavirus outbreak’ - VIDEO
President Donald Trump canceled planned travel to Las Vegas ‘out of an abundance of caution’ amid virus outbreak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump signs $8.3 billion coronavirus package - VIDEO
President Trump signed a bill providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreaK, Friday, March 6, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sen. Rosen supports Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Jacky Rosen shows her support for Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench. (Sen. Jacky Rosen)
Sen. Cortez Masto shows support for Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto shows her support for senior state District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench in Nevada. (Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto)
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews resigns following series of controversies - VIDEO
The "Hardball" host announced his departure Monday night, March 2, 2020, effective immediately. The anchor recently came under fire for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucasus to the Nazi conquest of France in 1940. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Candidates file for office in Clark County - VIDEO
Amy Klobuchar drops out of 2020 presidential race - VIDEO
On March 2, campaign officials announced Amy Klobuchar’s decision to suspend her presidential bid. The news comes on the eve of Super Tuesday and just one day after Pete Buttigieg also announced his decision to depart from the race. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Activist shouts warnings at Nevada Democratic chairman's home - VIDEO
A Southern California activist and supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders spent nearly an hour shouting warnings and condemnations of the Democratic Party through a megaphone at the home of Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II on the eve of last week’s presidential caucuses, prompting him to call the police. (Maria Estrada)
The Nevada caucus in photos
Best shots from the Review-Journal photo staff's coverage of the Nevada Caucus, Saturday, February 22, 2020.
Bernie Sanders announces his Nevada caucus win to supporters in Texas
At a rally in San Antonio, Texas, Bernie Sanders announces winning the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Joe Biden addresses supporters in Las Vegas
Joe Biden energizes a crowd of supporters at the IBEW Hall in Las Vegas after the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Tweet highlights from the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucus
Confusion, flaring tempers and misinformed volunteers highlighted Review-Journal tweets during the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Voters comment on Nevada Democratic caucus - VIDEO
Nevada caucusgoers comment on the process from locations across the Las Vegas Valley, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Doolittle Community Center hosts caucuses - VIDEO
The Doolittle Community Center hosted six precincts in one room for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, and voters engaged in debate and discussion about who to lead each precinct, Feb. 22, 2020. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Desert Oasis High School has wait for caucus check-in - VIDEO
James Strange has been waiting in line to caucus for the first time for 45 minutes and some said they have been waiting for an hour at Desert Oasis High School for the Nevada Democratic caucuses. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Conservative guru encourages Republicans to vote in Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Republican activist Chuck Muth encourages his fellow GOP members to change party affiliation for a day to elect Bernie Sanders. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee at Desert Oasis High School - VIDEO
Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., stopped by the Nevada Democratic caucus at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day in Summerlin - VIDEO
Out-of-state caucus observer Ken Valz speaks about the Nevada Democratic caucuses at Palo Verde High School, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Doors open for Nevada Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Caucusgoers are lining up Saturday morning to take part in the Nevada Democratic caucuses across the state (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day at East Last Vegas Community Center - VIDEO
Registration begins at the East Las Vegas Community Center for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It’s caucus day in Nevada - VIDEO
Democrats will gather at over 250 locations across the state to declare their presidential preferences in the Nevada caucuses, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High - VIDEO
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High in Henderson, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren holds rally with Julian Castro
Elizabeth Warren held her Get Out the Caucus Block Party with Secretary Julián Castro at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater.
Trump caps western swing with campaign rally in Las Vegas
President Trump speaks to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center during a tour across the western United States.
Anti-Trump Protestors at LVCC Rally - Video
President Trump speaks at a Keep America Great rally as a small group of protesters gather outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Thousands gather for Trump rally
Thousands showed up for President Donald Trump’s rally Friday morning, forming a line that stretched nearly a quarter mile around the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, where President Trump will held a rally on Friday in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
President Trump lands in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Donald Trump landed in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, as part of a four-day western state swing. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk pay for child care workers - Video
Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk to care in action about the importance of Medicare for All, paid leave and child care. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus and Early Voting - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus discussion with Steve Sebelius about the Nevada Caucus and early voting.
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus Discussion with Steve Sebelius. Join us as we discuss the Nevada Caucus process.
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Sisolak planning steep budget cuts

Anticipating a significant strain on state budgets caused by the new coronavirus, Gov. Steve Sisolak is telling state agencies to start planning for significant cuts.