ELKO, Nev. – Prior to President Trump's unlikely victory almost two years ago, Dean Heller, the Republican Senator of that state, told reporters that "I vehemently oppose the GOP candidate" and donated a Trump campaign contribution to charity.
But on Saturday, here in this small, conservative mining town in northeastern Nevada, Heller could not stop showering Trump with praise as he nears the final stretch of hard reelection.
"Welcome to Trump country!" said the senator as he stepped onto the stage, warmly introduced by the person who would not admit to Heller that he had voted for up to seven months in Trump's presidency. President, this is not the swamp Mr. President, you know a bit about gold, in fact, I think everything you touch turns into gold. "
Trump had the senator in of his kind and lobbied Heller for his support for his two Supreme Court judges ̵
"I'm thrilled to introduce a man I've met for a long time," said Trump, confirming her initial turbulence relationship. "At first I fought him, I said," This guy is tough. What is the story here? "
But the men finally got along, Trump said, adding," There is no better partner in Washington than Dean Heller. Saturday was the first day of the early morning vote in Nevada, a crucial state in the presidential nomination competitions, which is also home to one of the most competitive senate races this year.
Heller is the only GOP senator, Candidate for reelection, in a state that Trump opponent Hillary Clinton won in 2016. He faces a robust Democrat Jacky Rosen challenge for a seat that both parties are fighting for in the Senate majority. Polls show a close race.
When Heller and Trump created a campaignable image, they departed Air Force One just a few steps from the rally, Heller having flown with Trump from Scottsdale, Ariz, where the president was GOP Senate candidate after the campaign for Arizona Martha McSally stayed in Mesa.
At the Nevada rally, Trump called Heller's opponent "Wacky Jacky" and warned against handing over Contro Congress to the Democrats. Trump expressed optimism about Republican prospects next month, arguing, "I think the blue wave will be quickly destroyed."
"The people of Nevada will re-elect Senator Dean Heller to protect their jobs, defend their borders, and continue to make America bigger again," said Trump. "That will be the choice of Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order, tax cuts and common sense." Trump was referring to the hundreds of Central American migrants who were heading to Mexico this weekend on their way to the US border.
The rest of the 56-minute rally was held against the background of the mountains outside the city's airport Trump's standard campaign for red deer as he proudly praised the nation's economy, which derided democrats and the dangers of illegal immigration.
Under the intense desert sun Trump joked: "I'll end up with a nice tan."
Trump also ran for Adam Laxalt, the state's attorney general, who runs for governor against Democrat Steve Sisolak, Clump County Commissioner
Shortly after the rally, Trump said that Republicans are planning a "very busy" before next month large tax cut "for middle-income earners, even if Congress fails until after November's midterm elections.
He did not comment on the details of the plan, but said that the cuts would be "sometime before, I would say until November". It was not clear what Trump was referring to and the White House was not (19659018) "Right now and around the clock, we are introducing a profound tax cut for middle-income people," Trump said. "Not for the business, for middle-income people."
Saturday gave Nevada a political split. More than six hours south of this remote city of 20,000, former Vice President Joe Biden gathered in the name of Democratic candidates at a Las Vegas event sponsored by the state party, the Latino Victory Fund and the Culinary Workers Union – a mighty power in Nevada Democratic politics ,
"These people are not good guys, this is not your father's Republican party," Biden said. "I travel a lot around the world … They look at me and they wonder what the hell is going on in America, ripping babies out of the arms of their mothers on the border, what are we doing, what have we become?" [ShortlythereafterinElkoTrumpclaimedthatBiden'seventattractedonly193peoplethough reporters said on the ground that the number was in the several hundreds.
Trump attacked Biden as "1 percent Joe" – which refers to Biden's lesser support in his previous presidential bids – and added, "And then [President Barack] Obama came and took him from the garbage heap and made him Vice President."  The rally in Elko was Trump's third and final of his three-day campaign that took place this week in the West and prevailed on behalf of the Republican House and Senate nominees. He will be back on Monday to promote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) in Houston.
Matt Viser of Las Vegas contributed to this report.