At a strip mall in Sun City, the president's most loyal defender gripped the microphone as he hurled red meat at the crowd of gray-haired retirees in MAGA hats.
"Honestly, the one thing that Donald Trump was wrong about was that you would be sick of winning," Donald Trump Jr. said. "Are you guys sick of winning yet?"
NOOOOO, the crowd replied instantly. "I'm not either," Trump Jr. said.
Gelled hair slicked back like usual and sporting a pink button-down shirt, the eldest of President Trump's children spoke at the local GOP field office in the West Valley on Thursday, where he urged supporters to vote in next week's election.
Joining him were Senate candidate Martha McSally, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, and Arizona Republican Party chairman Jonathan Lines.
Also headlining the event at the campaign office was Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox News personality turned pro-Trump super PAC operative. The pair are on a midterm swing across the country to support Republican candidates. Trump Jr. recently split up with his wife, Vanessa.
A crowd of mostly elderly people waited on their feet for an hour in the drab GOP office next to a pet food store and a salon called SunSational Hair Design. They stared at their phones, yawned, and listened to a playlist of country hits as they waited for Trump Jr. to arrive.
By the time the rally started, if attendees were disappointed, they didn't show it. Near the start of his speech, Trump Jr. lamented the media, and, true to form, praised his father.
"It hasn't been a fair fight for a long time for conservatives," Trump Jr. said. "But it's a little different now, because we have someone who's actually willing to fight back."
Trump Jr. then segued into a critique of former president Barack Obama. Wheeling from topic to topic, Trump Jr. blasted Obama on the Iran nuclear deal, the "red line" in the war in Syria, and, most of all, the economy.
"My father said, and I quote: 'Why can't we have 3 percent GDP growth, 4 percent – even better, why can't we have 5 percent growth?'" Trump Jr. recalled. "And Obama himself said, 'There's no magic wand for that, Donald.'"
"Well, abracadabra, Obama – there is a magic wand for it," Trump Jr. roared. The crowd cheered.
Left unsaid by Trump Jr. was that job growth and the declining unemployment rate during Trump's time in office are largely a continuation of the economic recovery that began under Obama in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, according to most indicators.
Although Trump Jr. is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, these days, he's better known for being a ceaseless defender of his father on Twitter. Nearly every waking hour, Trump Jr. can be found waging online war against Democrats, the left, and what he sees as their nightmarish vision for the country.
Similarly heated rhetoric can be heard of late from Tucson Representative Martha McSally. A onetime middle-of-the-road conservative, McSally has embraced Trump – and, on Thursday, his eldest son – during her Senate campaign.
McSally is locked in a neck-and-neck contest with Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate who hopes to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Arizona in 30 years.
The race is Arizona's marquee contest of 2018, and if McSally loses, Democrats will be one step closer to gaining control of the Senate. Nevertheless, on Thursday, McSally seemed like a warm-up act, getting the crowd ready for Trump Jr., who spoke last.
As he addressed supporters, McSally stood a few steps away, holding the leash to her golden retriever, Boomer. Occasionally, she smiled and nodded in agreement.
Before Trump Jr.'s speech, McSally reeled off a few rote campaign lines and took several potshots at her opponent.
McSally promised to work with the president to "fix our broken immigration system" and "close these loopholes that are being taken advantage of every day with big caravans and little caravans," a reference to the Central American migrant caravan traveling through Mexico.
The group of several thousand migrants is still around a thousand miles away from the closest point to the U.S. border, but the so-called caravan of people fleeing violence and poverty has become a key Republican talking point in the run-up to the midterm election.
McSally contrasted herself with Sinema, who was a Green Party activist during the early 2000s, before tacking to the right as a congresswoman. The Republican said that her opponent "was a left-wing activist trying to help illegals in her past."
At the rally was Arlene Larimer, a 72-year-old Republican precinct committee member for Legislative District 22 and a resident of the retirement community Sun City Grand. Larimer said that she attended to show she didn't want to endure "the horror and the terror of illegals who have asylum papers continuing to be able to invade our homes."
The government needs to close the border, Larimer said, holding a small handwritten banner that read, 'The Snakes' (Asylum Seekers) Robbed + Murdered My Neighbors."
As for Trump Jr.'s speech, Larimer said that he "was great – as the others were. They were all really dynamic."
Is McSally going to win next week, from her point of view? "I'm praying to God she does," Larimer said. "Because it's really all about God and country."
Fifty-six-year-old Mike Hulme, a retiree in Sun City, said that he was glad to see the candidates firing up the base. McSally, who was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, has impressed Hulme because of her service in the military.
When asked about the speech from the president's son, Hulme said, "I like Don Jr." Then he hesitated, laughing slightly. "I think his heart's in the right place," Hulme said graciously. "And I think he's doing as much as he can."
Politics may not be the right forum for Trump Jr., Hulme said, before he backtracked slightly.
"You know what, I think the same thing about his father. I love Donald Trump," Hulme emphasized. "And the very thing that makes him so effective ... is that he's not a politician."
Toward the end of his speech, Trump Jr. urged attendees to maintain their energy for a few more days. If the Trump administration keeps up the same momentum for the next six years, Trump Jr. said, "We can actually really do some damage to the swamp."
That is, if the swamp doesn't swallow Trump Jr. first as a result of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump Jr. famously met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer at Trump Tower in the summer of 2016 after he was told the Russians wanted to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton. Recently, Trump Jr. said that he's "not worried" about legal exposure to Robert Mueller's probe.
Wrapping up his appearance in Sun City, Trump Jr. ended his speech to more cheers, and posed for photos with the other candidates.
Moments later, Trump Jr. stepped toward the crowd: "You guys want to take some selfies?" he said. "I think we can arrange that." People rushed forward, as Trump Jr. grinned and snapped photos.
He slowly moved toward the exit at the back of the office, as people clamored for one more selfie. The president's eldest son, however, turned and disappeared behind a red-and-white-striped makeshift curtain.
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