President Donald Trump hit the rally stage Thursday evening in Pennsylvania to stump for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, the state's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate — and Trump had a few choice words for Barletta's opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, the Morning Call reported.
“Don’t fall asleep as we talk about Sleeping Bob,” Trump said, as the Wilkes-Barre crowd laughed and applauded in approval.
Supporters cheers for President Donald J. Trump as he speaks to a large crowd on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
Trump also called Casey "overrated" and contrasted him with Casey's late father, former Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Bob Casey Sr., whom Trump called "a good man." Trump added that his son is "a totally different person."
As for Barletta — a Trump supporter even before the president won the Pennsylvania primary in 2016 — Trump praised the Senate hopeful, calling him a "dynamo" and "tough."
U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta gets a shoulder squeeze from President Donald J. Trump on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
"We need Lou Barletta," Trump said, adding that "he's smart, he's strong, he loves this state, and when he wants something for Pennsylvania, he's brutal."
Barletta got in front of the mic to thunderous applause, telling the crowd, "I need everybody here ... and everybody watching to help. Help me help President Trump drain the swamp and make America great again."
Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta speaks in front of President Donald Trump at a political rally Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
He added that Casey has become “one of the most liberal senators in Washington" and "no longer represents the values of the people of Pennsylvania,” the Morning Call reported.
Barletta campaign spokesman David Jackson on Friday told TheBlaze that the "rally with President Trump brought the contrast with Sleeping Bob Casey to the biggest stage and created even more momentum for Lou."
How did Casey respond?
On the heels of Barletta's comments, Casey tweeted that his "opponent asked for your support so that he can help President Trump. Not so he can help working families or seniors or students. Just so he can help the president advance his divisive corporate agenda. That's not the job of the senator from Pennsylvania."
Tonight my opponent asked for your support so that he can help President Trump. Not so he can help working families… https://t.co/LcfQswz3sm— Bob Casey Jr. (@Bob Casey Jr.)1533256246.0
Casey’s campaign issued a statement prior to the rally, the paper reported, noting that the senator is “not running against President Trump” and criticizing Barletta as “in lockstep with a corporate special interest agenda that is stacking the deck against working families.”
What did attendees have to say?
Abert McKinstry, 58, told the Morning Call he hadn't heard of Barletta until hours before he headed to the rally to see Trump — but the president's endorsement of Barletta is all McKinstry said he needs at the ballot box.
“That’s it,” he told the paper. “Anybody that’s on Trump’s side has got my vote.”
Bernie Bredbenner Jr., 69, told the Morning Call he liked Barletta's anti-illegal immigration ordinance he got passed as the mayor of Hazleton.
“The job he did in Hazleton proves he can do the job as senator,” Bredbenner added to the paper. “What he said, he did. He didn’t back down. He’s not a flim-flam artist.”
He added to the Morning Call that Casey "voted for higher taxes. He voted for Obamacare. He’s got to go.”
This story hqs been updated.