Rush Limbaugh received thunderous applause when he took the stage in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday night for President Donald Trump’s final campaign rally of the 2018 election season. Despite the warm welcome in his hometown, the conservative talk radio host quickly began to paint an image of an America in peril, with only the president standing between prosperity and utter ruin:
“We are a great nation at risk in a dangerous world,” Limbaugh said. “And much of the risk we face is internal.”
Limbaugh was on hand to whip up supporters ahead of Tuesday’s midterms and to cap a nationwide political tour aimed at helping the Republican Party defeat “a blue wave” that could flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control.
During three rallies on Monday, Trump continued his fearmongering tactic of painting political opponents as criminals, lambasting the media as “fake news” and characterizing a caravan of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. as violent gang members set on flouting American law.
Limbaugh defended Trump’s sentiments ― equating them to an effort to protect “the Constitution, pure and simple” ― and told supporters that their votes could effectively inoculate Trump from a Democratic attack.
“We are hanging by a thread,” Limbaugh said. “Do you realize, folks, there is nobody ― there’s some on the Republican side ― but for the most part there’s nobody who would do what Donald Trump has done, nobody who would buck the system? Who among anybody in politics, who could you have lobbed onto that would have this kind of chance to make America great again?”
Limbaugh also rejected claims that the rhetoric flowing from the White House was racist or sexist. Instead, he characterized it as emblematic of an administration concerned with protecting American values.
“They say we’re divisive, but we’re not divisive,” Limbaugh said. “We’re defending an America that has strayed from our founding. Nothing to do with race. Nothing to do with gender. Nothing to do with any of these identity-political labels. It has to do with culture. It has to do with defending the Constitution.”
Monday’s event in Missouri was a celebration of Trump in many ways, with several hosts from Fox News appearing on stage to cheer on the president and urge supporters to vote Republican on Tuesday.
“Mr. President, I did an opening monologue today and I had no idea you were going to invite me up here,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said at the rally after the president invited him to speak. “And the one thing that has made and defined your presidency more than anything else: promises made, promises kept.”
Fellow Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro voiced stronger sentiments, telling those who had yet to cast their ballots to “vote for Donald Trump and all the people who are running for the Republican Party.”