President Trump ridiculed House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday as Republicans’ “secret weapon” in the mid-term elections, saying her description of workers’ bonuses as “crumbs” will help the GOP stave off losses that typically hit the president’s party.
Speaking to employees at a hydraulic equipment factory in Blue Ash, Ohio, Mr. Trump said the Republicans’ tax cuts will save the average family about $4,000 this year, in addition to bonuses that many workers are receiving.
“Nancy Pelosi again said that’s ‘crumbs’,” Mr. Trump said with a smile. “Well, she’s a rich woman who lives in a big, beautiful house in California who wants to give all of your money away.”
He said of the liberal lawmaker, “She’s our secret weapon. I just hope they [Democrats] don’t change her. She’s really out there. And I’m supposed to make a deal with her?”
Republicans have used Mrs. Pelosi, of San Francisco, as a bogeyman in past elections, and the GOP is targeting her again this year.
The Texas Republican Party sent a fundraising email late last month warning that Mrs. Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are invading the state to seize control of the state government from the GOP.
“Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, and Nancy Pelosi are all fundraising in Texas to spread their socialist message, and win down ballot races in Texas,” the email stated. “Can we count on you to join us and support the Republican Party of Texas?”
The president’s comments about Mrs. Pelosi and her “crumbs” came after a backlash on social media against House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who was accused of being out of touch on the benefits of the tax cuts. Mr. Ryan shared on Twitter a news story about a secretary who was “pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week.”
The speaker, who later deleted the tweet, noted that the $1.50 per week “will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”
The president said he believes his party will do well in the November congressional elections due to the positive impact of the tax cuts. He also said he expects the economy to carry him to reelection in 2020.
“I have the feeling we’re going to do incredibly well in ‘18,” Mr. Trump said. “History’s not on our side. That’s what happens in midterms, but we’re not going to let it happen to us. I know we’re going to do great in ‘20. That’s when we go again and we keep this great journey going. So start thinking about November.”
As the president was speaking, Fox News cut off coverage of his speech to report on a 1,100-point drop in the Dow Jones, or more than 4 percent.
Mr. Trump, who has regularly taken credit for the stock market soaring in the past year, didn’t mention the market’s plummet Monday.
The president also took aim at Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, for voting against tax cuts last year.
“Sen. Brown voted against us and fought us like crazy,” Mr. Trump told the factory workers at Sheffer Corp. “Just remember that. He voted against you.”
Among the GOP officials accompanying Mr. Trump was Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running in the Senate primary in the hopes of unseating Mr. Brown in November. The president called Mr. Renacci “a great friend of mine.”
White House spokesman Raj Shah noted that Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped from 5.1 percent to 4.7 percent under Mr. Trump. Employers in Ohio have added more than 35,000 jobs in the last 12 months, with about 20 percent of those jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Still chafing from the rude treatment by Democrats at his State of the Union address last week, the president said their refusal to applaud when he talked about the strong economy was “un-American.”
“That means they would rather see Trump do badly than our country do well,” the president said. “That’s what it means. It’s very selfish. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ Can we call that treason? Why not. I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Referring to an impasse with Democrats over immigration and border security, Mr. Trump said Democrats “don’t want security at the southern border, or any other border.”
“They don’t care about the security of our country. They don’t care about MS-13 killers pouring into our country,” he said. “And our Democrats ought to get smart, and they ought to get tough, or the situation’s going to get very bad. But we’re going to win.”
He said of the Democratic leaders in Congress, “Nancy Pelosi — what she’s doing to this country — and she’s gone so far left, and Schumer’s gone so far left — I look forward to running against them.”