President Trump stumps for Kobach in Topeka

Posted at 11:32 PM, Oct 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-07 00:51:43-04

TOPEKA, Kan. — It was an electric crowd Saturday night as President Trump campaigned for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach ahead of the gubernatorial vote next month.

Kobach is the Republican candiate for Kansas governor. He is running against Democrat candidate Laura Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman.

"This is truly a historic night," Trump said. 

A crowd of more than 10,000 supporters, many wearing red hats, waited for hours to see Trump's appearance in Topeka. He started his speech by praising Republicans for confirming Judge Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court earlier Saturday.

"I want to thank our incredible Republican senators for refusing to back down in the face of the Democrats' shameless campaign of political and personal destruction," Trump said.

Then, Trump turned his attention to stumping for Kobach. 

"I hated that he ran, because I would love to bring him into my administration,: Trump said. "If he loses, I will bring him into my administration in two seconds."

Kobach says his friendship with Trump can help him reach new voters. 

"I am so glad America has a president who gets it, illegal is illegal," Kobach said.

During his speech, Trump called Kelly by name, saying she is tough on gun restrictions. 

Trump also praised Gov. Jeff Colyer, who lost to Kobach in an August primary for the Republican nomination after Trump's last-minute endorsement in an historically close election, in addition to multiple congressmen in attendance.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder wasn't among those on hand.

Nationally, Yoder's seat is seen as vulnerable as he faces Democrat Sharice Davids in the Kansas Third District.

Yoder's campaign said he had a prior engagement and noted he was praised by Trump during a stop in Kansas City several weeks ago. 

Trump took jabs at potential candidates for president in 2020, even challenging former Vice President Joe Biden to a fight.

Trump then turned his attention to trade deals with Mexico and Canada, an important issue to Kansas and Missouri.

"We opened up dairy, we opened up agriculture, a lot of things a lot of people are really happy," Trump said.

Trump's tariffs against China have triggered a trade war that has hurt U.S. farmers, another important issue in Kansas and Missouri.

But Trump defended the decision.

"They (China) have been hitting us hard for a long time, $500 billion a year, that a big one they take out," he said. "We are doing well, let's see what happens. Maybe we will do it and, if not, oh well."