INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani urged voters in Indiana not to take the first midterm election of the Trump presidency lightly unless they were prepared to cope with having his fellow New Yorker, Chuck Schumer, as Senate majority leader for the next two years.
Speaking at a get out the vote rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun, the former mayor told those in attendance he was compelled to hit the campaign trail because of his longstanding ties to President Donald Trump and the state of the nation's economy.
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"I’m glad to be here because this is really important to the future of our country," Giuliani said. "You look at the jobs numbers that came out yesterday … hundreds of thousands of jobs—250,000 just last month."
"Unemployment is below four percent. Obama took credit for it," the mayor said to laughs from the crowd. "He should get credit for it—he left. I’ll give him all the credit in the world. Go take credit, Barack, [just] don't come back."
The mid-morning crowd of about 75 individuals wearing "Braun for Senate" t-shirts and waving campaign signs emblazoned with the candidate's name cheered "America's Mayor" as he spoke.
"Well, that’s what they want to do, they want to come back. They want to put Chuck Schumer," Giuliani stopped to chuckle before continuing. "They want to put Chuck Schumer in charge of the Senate and then we’ll have Pelosi in charge of the House."
The crowd broke out in waves of "boo" at the mention of the Democratic Party's congressional leadership.
Joking that he would get sick at the notion of Democratic majorities in Congress pushing their progressive agenda, Giuliani warned those in attendance to show up and vote on Election Day.
"I’ll get sick every Sunday morning when they go on television and lie and obstruct and try to impeach the president and try to impeach Justice Kavanaugh," the mayor said. "So, if you make a mistake in this vote for the Senate, if you don’t vote for Mike, that’s what you’re voting for."
The mayor's visit to Indiana came one day after the president held a rally there in support of Braun's candidacy. The back-to-back high-profile visits are aimed at ensuring an energized GOP electorate puts Braun, who is vying to unseat incumbent Democratic senator Joe Donnelly, over the top.
Recent polling has shown a surge in Braun's support, but the race is still considered a tossup.
Donnelly, a self-described "moderate Democrat," was initially favored to secure re-election in this heavily conservative state. The senator's political fortunes, however, have shifted dramatically since the Kavanaugh hearings. Donnelly's decision to vote against Kavanaugh despite backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, has spurred a backlash from moderate to conservative-leaning Hoosiers who were likely to cross over and vote for the Democrat.
Braun has credited the senator's opposition to Kavanaugh for having galvanized momentum in his direction.
On Saturday, Giuliani lambasted Donnelly as a "hypocrite," citing his voting record on issues such as the Affordable Care Act and the Iran Nuclear Deal, and expressed that a vote for the senator was synonymous with "voting for Chuck Schumer."
The mayor further conveyed his hope that voters would reject Democrats in their attempts to re-take the Senate and therefore prevent Schumer, who Giuliani referred to as a "friend," from becoming majority leader.
"I don’t know if he’d consider himself a friend anymore, but he’s my senator—I’m embarrassed to say," he said. "I know him really well. You do not want him as majority leader, believe me."
Invoking the overall treatment of Kavanaugh and the senator's voting record with Schumer, Guiliani accused Donnelly of being part of "the mob" that tried and failed to destroy justice.
"That’s who you’re voting for, and then it isn’t just that [Donnelly] votes for [Schumer]," the mayor said. "He votes with him 80-90 percent of the time and he voted for every Obama judge and he was part of the mob that voted against and tried to destroy a really good man’s reputation in a way that I am so ashamed of. … in those couple days I was ashamed for how low the Democratic Party had stooped."
Guiliani implored those in attendance to mobilize and signal their disgust at the Democratic Party's tactics on Election Day.
"Look, I know they want that seat really bad, but you don’t destroy a good man’s reputation to get it," the mayor said. "Let’s send them a message [that] we don’t want their kind of politics, we don’t want their kind of mob justice."
Painting the coming midterms as a referendum on the state of the country, Guiliani stated that America couldn't afford to have people like Donnelly in the Senate "when things are going so well."
"I never thought I would see this kind of economic growth, this kind of revitalization of our society," he said. "Not just rich people or middle-class people, but poor people and people of all different groups. We have the highest African-American employment ever, the highest Hispanic employment ever."
Guiliani told the crowd the easiest way to take the nation off the right track was for Indiana to re-elect Donnelly and allow Schumer to take helm of the Senate.
"This is very important, we can take this nice trend that we have and we can stop it by putting Schumer in charge, who’ll boss around your senator, and put Pelosi in charge," the mayor added. "Or we can keep it going."