President Donald Trump spoke to a capacity crowd on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond on Saturday, hoping to boost the re-election campaign of Rep. Andy Barr.
Barr appeared on stage with the president, as did U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. Of Barr, Trump said, “He’s got a little bit of a tough race with a Nancy Pelosi picked figure,” a reference to Barr’s Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath.
Crowds had gathered early at Alumni Coliseum on Eastern Kentucky University’s Richmond campus, hours before the rally, and filled Alumni Coliseum. Outside, others gathered to protest the visit.
“I’m just afraid that Kentucky is winning too much!” Trump told the enthusiastic crowd inside the EKU rally at one point.
Trump landed at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport at 5:37 p.m. and traveled by motorcade to Richmond for the rally. Upon arriving at the airport, he paused and shook hands with Gov. Matt Bevin and Sen. Mitch McConnell.
As he headed to Kentucky, Trump tweeted his support of Barr and took a swipe at McGrath: “Heading to the Great State of Kentucky - Big Rally for Congressman Andy Barr - Fantastic guy, need his vote for MAGA! Strong on Crime, Tax Cuts, Military, Vets & 2nd A. His opponent will NEVER vote for us, only for Pelosi. Andy has my Strongest Endorsement!!! See you in Kentucky.”
Republican Barr is in a tough and close re-election battle with Democrat Amy McGrath, who campaigned with former Vice President Joe Biden in Bath County on Friday.
McGrath’s response to Trump’s visit: “Mr. President, you clearly don’t know me. Yet.”
Police warned that traffic backups were possible starting early Saturday as fans made their way to and through Richmond to the arena, and many in Lexington ran into heavy traffic as the president’s motorcade made its way to Richmond.
Here’s everything you need to know and all of our coverage, including live updates from Herald-Leader journalists inside and outside the event.
- ‘Our basic American values are under assault,’ Biden tells KY voters at McGrath rally
- Former VP Joe Biden on McGrath: ‘This election is bigger than politics’
- EKU releases contract with Trump. Here’s what his campaign is paying for KY rally.
- Why the Kentucky county Trump is visiting will likely decide Barr vs. McGrath race