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Politics Trump to hold 'Merry Christmas' rally in Battle Creek

21:00  06 december  2019
21:00  06 december  2019 Source:   battlecreekenquirer.com

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President Donald Trump counts down as first lady Melania Trump turns on the switch to light the National Christmas Tree during a ceremony near the White House on Dec. 5, 2019.© Manuel Balce Ceneta President Donald Trump counts down as first lady Melania Trump turns on the switch to light the National Christmas Tree during a ceremony near the White House on Dec. 5, 2019. President Donald Trump will host a "Merry Christmas" rally at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan, later this month.

"Michigan is booming thanks to President Trump, and jobs are coming back to the state," Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., said in a press release. "President Trump is delivering on his promises, and he looks forward to celebrating those successes with the great men and women of Michigan this Christmas season."

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Chairman of the Calhoun County Republican Committee Jeannie Burchfield said the local Republican Party was "thrilled" to have Trump visit.

"Calhoun County is Trump country, for sure ...," she said. "This will be a fantastic way for us to show support for the president."

Burchfield said the news about the rally was particularly exciting after having Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for the Trump campaign, speak at the committee's annual dinner on Tuesday and Vice President Mike Pence visiting Portage on Wednesday.

"This has been a crazy, wonderful week," she said.

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Calhoun County Commissioner Jake Smith, a Democrat, said he hoped other presidential candidates would make Battle Creek a campaign stop.

“The Cereal City is where it’s at, and I hope the Democratic candidate will come on through, too,” he said. “I’m glad Battle Creek is getting the attention.”

The Michigan Democratic Party released a joint statement on behalf of Chair Lavora Barnes and Calhoun County Democratic Party Chair Beth Kelly.

"Two rallies in two weeks is a clear sign Donald Trump is terrified of losing Michigan after over three years of breaking promise after promise to our voters," it said. "In Calhoun County, and everywhere across this state, we're building a grassroots movement that's going to hold Trump accountable ...Gimmicky rallies from a desperate president are no substitute for the organizing army we've built."

Despite the Trump administration's claim that Michigan's economy is booming, job growth has slowed considerably since the state's rebound from the Great Recession and has been essentially flat this year, said Charles Ballard, a Michigan State University economics professor and an expert on the state's economy.

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That's true for the Upper Midwest, as a whole, according to the latest federal data, he said.

"It doesn't sound to me that our economy is booming," Ballard said. "I don't think we're in a recession, but we're kind of on the edge of a recession. The number of jobs is still well below what it was at its peak in 2000."

Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016, less than 1% of the 4.8 million votes cast, but recent Sienna College / New York Times Upshot polls show him trailing Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders here in head-to-head matchups but ahead of Elizabeth Warren.

Tickets: How to get tickets to President Donald Trump's 'Merry Christmas' rally in Battle Creek

Trump has visited Michigan several times since the 2016 election, including a rally in December 2016 in Walker and a visit to the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti in March 2017. His last visit to the state was April 2018, when he held a rally in Macomb County’s Washington Township.

The rally will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18. Tickets are available online. They will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to two per mobile phone number.

Detroit Free Press reporter Kathleen Gray and Lansing State Journal reporter Ken Palmer contributed to this report. Contact Elena Durnbaugh at (269) 243-5938 or edurnbaugh@battlecreekenquirer.com. Follow her on Twitter a @ElenaDurnbaugh.

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Donald Trump to hold 'Merry Christmas' rally in Battle Creek

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