Trump has visited the district twice - including a rally Saturday night - in an effort to buoy Republican Saccone in a southwestern Pennsylvania district Trump won by almost 20 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Center for Responsive Politics reported Friday the two sides had spent a total of $15.6 million - slightly more than the most costly House races in 2016, although far less than the maelstrom of a special election in Georgia previous year, which cost $69.2 million.
In a wide-ranging 75-minute speech in front of a large crowd in Moon Township, the president not only pushed for the local candidate, but also spoke to a wide-ranging number of topics, including drugs in the U.S. But Trump risked another embarrassing defeat after backing Republican Roy Moore in last December's Alabama Senate election, only to watch Moore lose a seat his party had held since 1997.
Trump also mocked global criticism of the steel and aluminum tariffs he ordered this past week. He said his new tariffs were saving the steel industry and urged Pennsylvania to send a Republican to the House so he can keep delivering those kinds of results.
They'll choose between three candidates - former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D - Mt. Lebanon), state Rep. Rick Saccone (R - Elizabeth), and Drew Miller (L - South Side).
"He believes in hard work, he believes in labor", Biden said, referring to Lamb's working-class credentials.
On Tuesday, voters in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District will go to the polls to elect a new member of Congress. The U.S. criminal justice system, Trump said, is too soft on drugs.
The Trump administration is studying new policy that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers, according to people with knowledge of the discussions, a sign that the White House wants to make a strong statement in addressing the opioid crisis.
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Ciccarone said there is also concern that the laws could ensnare low-level drug dealers, many of whom do not know that their products contain lethal amounts of opioids and some of whom are battling addiction.
Unsurprisingly, Trump's recent comments calling for the death of drug peddlers who "kill 5,000 people with drugs. We can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband, and they meet and they have a meal and they talk, talk talk talk, two hours later, then they write a report". "I don't think we should play games", Trump said.
He added at another point: "I hate to put pressure on you, Rick". He needs the residents of Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District to nationalize their choice and make him a proxy for what they already think about Washington, the president and the issues that define their party affiliation.
Drug dealers kill people, destroy families and might deserve the death penalty or life in prison for their crimes, President Trump says. It's true, true. You know. "Remember I used to say how easy it is to be presidential?"
Trump faulted his predecessors in the Oval Office beginning with President Obama and going back to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton for failing to rid North Korea of its nuclear capabilities. And there was a nice unity. He also touted five points of his experience - education, diplomacy, the military, worldwide business and government - that he said will help Trump advance his agenda in Washington.
While Trump was ostensibly in Pennsylvania for Saccone, the rally was as much about the president as it was an underperforming congressional candidate.
He specifically mentioned media mogul Oprah Winfrey and suggested he couldn't wait for her to run for president so he could beat her. "I know her weakness", he said.