by Jeniffer Solis, Nevada Current
October 9, 2022
During a visit to rural Nevada on Saturday, former President Donald Trump painted a picture of Las Vegas and other American cities as “drenched in the blood of innocent victims,” and boasted that “the largest crowd I’ve ever seen” was January 6.
With less than five weeks to go before the 2022 midterm elections, Trump visited Minden, Nevada to rally support for candidates he has endorsed in the state’s biggest political races. The rally, including opening remarks from Nevada Republicans, was broadcast on C-SPAN.
Trump dedicated a portion of his nearly 90-minute speech at the Minden-Tahoe Airport to recent criminal investigations in Las Vegas that made national headlines, including a mass stabbing on the Strip and the capture of an escaped Nevada prisoner convicted of murder in the 2007 Luxor bombing.
“You can’t walk down a street in a Democratic run city without being shot, or mugged, or knifed,” Trump said.
In the speech riddled with inaccuracies, Trump claimed the fugitive criminal “went on a rampage” after escaping a state prison.
However, Porfirio Duarte-Herrera who’s serving a life sentence, went missing for four days without notice after escaping using battery acid to break down the window frame and a dummy in his cell. He was ultimately apprehended in Las Vegas after he was spotted by a shuttle bus company employee who contacted police.
Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombaro, the Republican nominee for governor, didn’t correct Trump or mention his department’s role in the criminal’s capture after being called on stage moments later.
“It’s amazing the accuracy of his words,” Lombardo said to a cheering crowd before thanking the former president.
Trump alluded to a criminal justice reform bill passed under a Democratic controlled Legislature that included provisions to reduce Nevada’s growing prison population and recidivism rates by lowering penalties for some theft and drug crimes.
The former president claimed the bill “banned police from arresting criminals.”
The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in both the Assembly and state Senate, made changes to the thresholds for narcotics and larceny charges. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, under the direction of Lombardo, originally opposed the bill but switched to neutral as it moved through the Legislature. Lombardo has since shifted to criticizing the bill again.
“Joe Lombardo has been an incredibly smart, strong sheriff and leader,” Trump said.
The biggest crowd I’ve ever seen
Trump gave relatively brief but enthusiastic endorsements for Nevada’s other statewide Republican candidates, a few of whom he invited on stage during his speech, including Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt, who Trump called a “true champion for the people of Nevada.”
Laxalt criticized incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto who he said is “a rubber stamp for the most progressive president in the history of America.”
The Republican candidate for Senate held back from repeating widely debunked claims that the 2020 election was rigged, despite being the proud face of “the Big Lie” in Nevada last year as state co-chair of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
During his address Trump said “You know the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen? January 6. And you never hear that.”
“Laxalt continues to embrace Trump and spread the Big Lie, even after inspiring a deadly attack on officers on January 6,” said Cortez Masto campaign spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank in response to the rally. “When given the choice, Laxalt stands with insurrectionists over law enforcement every time.”
Trump also called Republican candidate for Secretary of State, Jim Marchant, on stage during his speech. Marchant, an avid election denier, repeated false claims that the 2020 election was fixed.
“We have something in common. President Trump and I both lost an election in 2020 because of a rigged election,” Marchant said.
Marchant went on to say that “when my coalition of Secretary of State candidates around the country get elected we’re going to fix the whole country and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024”.
Marchant pledged to make hand-counting ballots the standard in Nevada if elected, as he convinced Nye County commissioners to do earlier this year.
“We’re going to vote on a precinct level basis, and we’re going to hand-count the vote on a precinct level basis,” Marchant said to the crowd.
Trump also urged Republican nominee for Attorney General Sigal Chattah on stage, saying “we got to get you elected.”
During the pandemic, Chattah successfully challenged Gov. Steve Sisolak’s restrictions on church attendance, arguing they violated the First Amendment and singled out places of worship. Trump has been extremely critical of public restrictions enacted to slow the spread of COVID.
Chattah pledged to “investigate and indict every publicly corrupt official in the state.” Included on her list was Sisolak for approving a COVID testing contractor in Nevada, the teachers union and officials at the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.
“I promise you I’m going to impanel so many grand juries in the four years that I’m AG Merrick Garland will blush,” Chattah said.
Trump also lauded Republican candidate for treasurer Michele Fiore, Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, and Republican Lieutenant Governor nominee Stravos Anthony, who were in attendance, but were not called on stage by the former president.
Trump also talked at length about the seizure of classified documents from his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump used most of his 90 minute speech to lambast President Joe Biden and other Democrats over inflation, gas prices, escalating crime, and immigration. He also targeted transgender students in sports during his speech.
Trump called Sisolak “a disaster,” adding that Sisolak “was one of the most heartless and vindictive governors in the entire nation.”
“If we want to make America great again we have to make America great again,” Trump said.
Sisolak sent out a response to the rally soon after to emphasize his work to “grow our economy, lower costs for families, improve our schools, expand affordable health care, strengthen voting rights and make our communities safer” during his time as governor.
“Joe Lombardo will do or say anything to get elected – including lying to Nevadans whenever politically convenient and standing by while Donald Trump spreads baseless claims about our elections and my record,” Sisolak said in a statement, adding that crime is on the rise in Clark County due to “Lombardo’s failed leadership.”
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