ShareThis Page
Trump visiting Pittsburgh International tonight in final push for Saccone |
Politics Election

Trump visiting Pittsburgh International tonight in final push for Saccone

Wesley Venteicher
Getty Images
President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to the crowd as he walks through the lobby of the New York Times following a meeting with editors at the paper on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in New York City.
Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, are running for Congress in a March 13 special election.

President Donald Trump is scheduled give Republican Rick Saccone’s congressional campaign a final push in a rally at Pittsburgh International Airport Saturday night, three days before a special election that has captured the nation’s attention.

Trump posted to Twitter Friday night saying, “Big crowd expected in Moon Township,” where the president is expected to talk about tax reform, the economy and Saccone, 60, a state representative from Elizabeth and an Air Force veteran.

The latest Gravis Marketing poll of the district shows a lead of just a few percentage points for Saccone, who faces Democrat Conor Lamb, 33, a former federal prosecutor and Marine, in the Tuesday election to represent the 18th Congressional District.

The race is much closer than the area’s voting history would have suggested. Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 19 percentage points in the district, which includes parts of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Greene counties. Former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned the seat amid an extramarital scandal in the fall, never faced a serious threat from Democrats in eight elections.

Money is pouring into the race as the national parties frame it as a referendum on Trump and on Democrats’ prospects for winning a majority in the U.S. House in midterm elections later this year. Outside group have spent more than $10 million to support Saccone as Lamb has outraised the Republican in direct contributions, garnering $3.8 million to Saccone’s $900,000.

With Trump’s visit Saturday – his fifth to the region since 2015 – the president is expected to cast his economic policies as efforts to help American workers. In a January visit, he described his tax reform plan as a raise for American families. The reforms doubled the standard deduction most Americans claim on their taxes while sharply reducing the corporate tax rate and adding an estimated $1.5 trillion to the deficit.

He signed orders Thursday imposing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports from most countries, a move he said would help regrow those industries in the United States.

Trump made trade a focal point of a speech two days before the 2016 presidential election in the same hangar where he will talk Saturday. In that speech, he criticized the Bill Clinton-supported North American Free Trade Agreement, which is now being renegotiated, and said, “We are bringing steel back to Pennsylvania like it used to be.”

Both 18th District candidates expressed some support for the tariffs in a recent debate. Saccone has campaigned as a candidate who would carry out Trump’s agenda, and quipped in a debate last month that his only area of disagreement with the president is which football team each supports.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.