The Latest: Trump calls Little Leaguers to stage at rally


President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Lake Charles, La., Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Donald Trump’s rally in Louisiana (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is incorporating the winners of the 2019 Little League World Series into his political campaign rally as he tries to make inroads with Louisiana voters before a gubernatorial primary Saturday.

Trump brought members of the Eastbank All-Stars to the stage during Friday’s rally, where they received rousing cheers from the audience. The players had earlier met Trump at the White House and flew home aboard Air Force One.

Trump says he had grown accustomed to watching Japan winning the event. But before introducing the players one by one to the crowd, he said, “But this year you have the world champions.”

The Eastbank All-Stars are based in suburban New Orleans. Trump told the team: “You don’t know what the word choke means.”


8:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is trying to portray Louisiana’s Democratic governor as too liberal for the state, urging his supporters “to vote John Bel Edwards out.”

Trump is trying to rally Republican voters before a primary election Saturday, testing his ability to weaken a popular Democratic governor who cannot be easily caricatured.

Trump is describing the two Republican candidates in the race as “pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, pro-life, and they’re pro-Louisiana energy if that’s OK.”

Trump is hoping that Ralph Abraham, a third-term congressman, and Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman, can force a runoff against Edwards.

Trump says if Edwards “doesn’t get 50 percent, then one of our two great candidates will win.”


7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants Louisiana voters to do one thing before watching a big rivalry football game between Florida and Louisiana State University on Saturday.

Trump says if they don’t vote first, they will feel guilty and “it will ruin your entire afternoon.”

Trump is speaking at an election eve rally leading up to a gubernatorial election that’s less about the GOP candidates and more a slash-and-burn hit against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards.

The president is not endorsing either of the two major Republicans in the race, instead hoping that Edwards will fall below the 50% vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Trump calls Edwards “a liberal Democrat who has sold you out,” even though Edwards isn’t the type of liberal with whom the president usually clashes.


2 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he’ll continue to work with President Donald Trump if he is reelected governor, even as the president heads to Louisiana to turn voters against him.

The Deep South’s Democratic governor made his remarks at a news conference Friday in Lake Charles, the site of Trump’s planned evening rally.

Edwards touted his performance in office, saying he’s worked to stabilize Louisiana’s budget and grow the economy. He says his successes have come because he’s worked across party lines on his agenda.

He says voters shouldn’t make their decisions based on guidance from Washington, D.C., saying partisan gridlock has stymied government business.

Trump’s visit to Louisiana is aimed at keeping Edwards from reaching 50% voter support and an outright primary win Saturday.


1:20 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is pushing back, lightly, against President Donald Trump’s Twitter criticism of his performance.

Trump is heading to Louisiana on Friday for an election eve rally calling on Republicans to vote against the Deep South’s only Democratic governor. He’s trying to keep Edwards from reaching 50% voter support and avoiding a November runoff election.

In a tweet, the president slammed Edwards for supporting taxes and called him “suspect” on the Second Amendment.

Edwards replied on Twitter. He noted the taxes had Republican and Democratic support. He defended his pro-gun record, which matches Trump’s positions, saying Louisiana residents know he’s worked to protect Second Amendment rights.

He ended the tweet, telling Trump: “Look forward to working w/ you in my 2nd term.”


12 p.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting about his trip to Louisiana.

The president is calling on Republicans to vote Saturday against Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. He’s trying to keep Edwards from reaching 50% voter support and avoiding a November runoff election.

Trump says Louisiana’s GOP voters should pick “either of our two great Republican Candidates.” He didn’t mention GOP contenders U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone by name.

The president is traveling Friday to the southwestern city of Lake Charles for an anti-Edwards rally. In his tweet, he slammed the governor for supporting taxes, without mentioning Republican legislative support for those taxes.

Trump also called Edwards “suspect” on the Second Amendment, even though the governor’s pro-gun positions match the stances of Trump, Abraham and Rispone.


6 a.m.

President Donald Trump is traveling to Louisiana for an election eve rally that’s less about the Republican candidates for governor and more a hit against Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards.

Trump’s aiming to keep the Deep South’s only Democratic governor from a primary win, while not telling voters which GOP contender to back in Saturday’s election.

Republican loyalties are split between U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone. Both will attend Friday’s rally.

In Louisiana, all candidates run against each other on the same ballot. Republicans are trying to keep Edwards from topping 50%, which would force him into a November runoff.

Edwards has downplayed Trump’s visit, calling it a sign of Washington’s hyperpartisanship. He also has avoided criticizing Trump, instead focusing on the message that he works well with the White House.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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