President Donald Trump on Friday reinforced his support for embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, telling voters four days before they go to the polls that the "LAST thing" he needs in the closely divided GOP-controlled Senate is a "Liberal Democrat" who opposes his agenda.
Trump tweeted that message hours before he touched down in Pensacola, Florida, for a Friday night rally in a state that helped propel him to the White House.
The White House has said the rally is a campaign event for Trump. But the location, near the Alabama border and feeding television markets in the state, stoked speculation that the rally was a backdoor way for the president to give Moore's campaign a boost without actually setting foot in the state.
"It's not that he's not going to Alabama. It's that he is going to Pensacola," White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters on board Air Force One Friday. "Pensacola's Trump country. This is a part of the state that voted overwhelmingly for the president in 2016. He'll be traveling back to Florida from time to time, and it's a key state."
Shah said Trump would be talking to voters about the Republican tax plan making its way through Congress. Trump has been trying to sell the plan as a boon to the middle class, despite criticism that it would disproportionately help businesses and the wealthy.