DALLAS (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at a campaign rally at Democratic opponents like “crazy Nancy” Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, for pushing an impeachment inquiry.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses conservative activists at the Family Research Council’s annual gala in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
“The more America achieves, the more hateful and enraged these crazy Democrats become. They’re crazy. They’re crazy,” Trump said at a packed American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.
Pelosi accused Trump of having a “meltdown” after walking out of a White House meeting on Wednesday where she and other Democratic leaders complained about his decision to pull U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and allow Turkey to attack America’s Kurdish allies in the area.
“Crazy Nancy. That Crazy Nancy, she is crazy,” Trump said of Pelosi.
Trump has faced a backlash from his own Republican allies in Congress for the Syria pullout, but the president on Thursday said a ceasefire negotiated by Vice President Mike Pence with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had helped ease the crisis.
Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry in the House on revelations that Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
Trump dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a “witch hunt” and said Democrats are trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election that he won.
“At stake in this fight is the survival of American democracy itself,” he said. “That’s what they want. But we will never let it happen.”
Trump’s appearance in Dallas was aimed at rallying his core base of voter support in a state that he is favored to win in the November 2020 presidential election.
Texas has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976 but an increase in Democratic voters in big cities like Austin and Houston could make it a closer race in 2020 than it has been in the past.
Trump would not be expected to be re-elected should he lose the state’s 38 electoral votes.
Trump was concluding a long day in Texas in which he raised $5.5 million for his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee at two events.
He also cut the ribbon on a Louis Vuitton factory in Alvarado, Texas, where workers will produce the high-end fashion products made famous by the French company.
The company’s billionaire controlling shareholder, Bernard Arnault, joined Trump for the event at the 100,000-square-foot (9,290-square-meter) plant.
“Louis Vuitton, a name I know well – cost me a lot of money over the years,” said Trump.
Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate from Texas who is lagging in the polls, staged a competing event in Grand Prairie, Texas, featuring performances by Lil’ Keke, Cure for Paranoia and NuFolk Rebel Alliance.
“This president has trafficked in hate and racism. He has tried to make people afraid of our differences. But tonight, Texans are going to come together and we are going to stand up to all of that,” O’Rourke said in a tweet.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler