President Donald Trump tried to give a boost to Sen. Dean Heller in Las Vegas on Saturday, dubbing his opponent “Wacky Jacky” while brushing past the immigration controversy that has overwhelmed his presidency in recent days.
“You don’t want her as your senator,” Trump said of Heller’s opponent, Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen, at Nevada Republicans’ state convention. “Now, that name didn’t come from me. That’s a name that people have known because people that know her, that’s what they call her, Wacky Jacky, that’s what you want for your senator?”
Trump largely eschewed talk of his administration’s zero tolerance policy on immigration that sparked an international outcry. While visiting the southwestern state where roughly 29 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, Trump stressed that America could not afford to be weak on immigration.
After initially defending the policy that led to the separation of hundreds of migrant families, Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that sought to at least temporarily end the practice of forcibly removing children from parents who illegally crossed the border.
But the vaguely worded order leaves many open questions, including just how exactly the administration will unite the over 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski joined the president for the trip, just days after he responded “womp womp” to a fellow Fox News panelist who brought up the case of a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who had been separated from her mother.
The president’s trip to Nevada comes as Heller, who joined Trump on Saturday for a roundtable discussion on the Republican Party’s tax law, is widely viewed as one of the most endangered GOP incumbents on the ballot this November.
According to local media reports, hundreds gathered outside the Suncoast Hotel & Casino to protest the president and his immigration policies before he arrived.
Trump chided Heller on Saturday for “initially being shaky” during the presidential campaign — the senator told reporters in October 2016 he was 99 percent sure he would not support his party’s presidential nominee — but said the senator is now “rock solid.”