(Here, the crowd in excess of 10,000 people in the McKenzie Arena at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga began chanting: “Build that wall! Build that wall!”)
6. “The Democrats want to abolish ICE and turn America into a giant sanctuary city for gang members and MS-13 killers.”
7. “If Democrats gain power on Tuesday, they will try to raid your Medicare to fund socialism, you know that.”
8. “The Democrat health-care plan would obliterate Medicare and eliminate Medicare Advantage for more than half a million Tennessee seniors.”
9.“The Democrats’ plan to destroy health care also includes giving away your benefits to illegal immigrants, you know that.”
10. “As we speak, Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders, and destroy our nation in so many ways, and they want to sign them up for free welfare, free health care, free education and, most importantly, the right to vote. They want them to vote. Come on in and vote. They love them voting.”
11. “And Republicans will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. Please remember that.”
None of those claims is hard to debunk—but the last one, about Republicans always protecting preexisting conditions, speaks to a president and many other Republicans running for Congress who have simply become unmoored from the truth on health care, which polling shows is by far the No. 1 issue among voters.
Twenty Republican-led states are awaiting a federal-court ruling on a lawsuit aimed at demolishing the vestiges of the Affordable Care Act that remain in existence, including the hugely popular provision that prohibits insurance companies from denying insurance to people with serious medical problems or “preexisting conditions.” The Trump administration has filed a brief in support of the lawsuit. And just the other week, the administration issued a rule that makes it easier for states to begin offering watered-down insurance plans that do not include preexisting conditions, which some have begun doing.
Read: The GOP is suddenly playing defense on health care
But none of this has stopped Republican candidates for Congress in those 20 states, or the president himself, from claiming that Republicans will always protect the very thing they are now in court to abolish.
And so it went for Trump at the Chattanooga rally. In introducing Marsha Blackburn, the Republican Senate candidate from Tennessee, Trump said of her opponent, the moderate former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen, who supported Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and has an A rating from the National Rifle Association:
- “Marsha is running against a far-left liberal.”
- “The hand-picked candidate of Chuck Schumer.” (The two are not close.)
- “ Schumer begged Phil to run because he knows that Phil will always do what Schumer says and always, always do what Nancy Pelosi wants him to do. ”
- “Phil will block pro-Constitution judges.”
- “He will cut funding to our military and law enforcement.”
- “He will embrace a socialist takeover of health care.”
- “Phil totally supports the Democrats’ open-border madness.”