Election 2020 Trump

President Donald Trump introduces Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidates Eddie Rispone, left, and Ralph Abraham, during his campaign rally on the eve of the Louisiana election, in Lake Charles, La., Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. 

President Donald Trump opened a speech in Lake Charles Friday by urging Louisiana Republicans to vote Saturday before watching the LSU-Florida football game.

“I want you to enjoy the game, but I don’t want you to enjoy the game if you don’t vote first,” he said. “You’ll be sitting there watching some incredible game and you feel guilty. It will ruin your entire afternoon. So go out and vote, and then go and enjoy the game the way it should be enjoyed.”

Trump urged them to vote out “a liberal Democrat who has sold you out, John Bel Edwards, with a great, new Republican governor.”

Early in his speech, he blamed Edwards for the tax increases that Edwards and the Republican-majority legislature established during his term, before pivoting to bashing many of his favorite targets, such as Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, wind energy, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ “unconstitutional bullshit impeachment,” drawing huge cheers. He also plugged several of his favorite media hosts and TV shows.

Trump eventually worked his way back to Louisiana’s election. He said fellow Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would call Edwards and tell him to get rid of the Second Amendment, which involves the right to bear arms.

Edwards supports gun rights.

Trump brought up Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, the two leading Republican candidates for governor. Before letting them speak, he warned them not to attack each other.

“Let’s fire John Bel Edwards and let’s thank our president for coming down here to help us,” Rispone said.

Abraham thanked Trump for “rebuilding our military and protecting our southern border,” and touted his proposal to expel Pelosi from the U.S. House of Representatives. Pelosi is the elected speaker of the House.

Trump then brought up John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, Louisiana’s Republican U.S. senators. Kennedy said Trump “loves Louisiana like the devil loves sin,” repeating a line from earlier in the day. Cassidy reminded Trump of his promise made at a rally earlier this year to replace the Interstate-10 Calcasieu River Bridge if Trump wins re-election, and Trump reiterated the promise minutes later.

Trump praised several Republican statewide officeholders who are up for re-election on Saturday but did not mention Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser or Treasurer John Schroder. He also mentioned Solicitor General Liz Murrill, who works for Attorney General Jeff Landry and does not run for election.

The Little League World Series champs, who are from River Ridge, also made an appearance. They had just visited the White House and returned to Louisiana on Air Force One.

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.