'High cheekbones' and wild insults: Memorable quotes from Trump's Vegas rally

John T Bennett
Donald Trump at a rally in Las Vegas: Reuters

Call him the campaigner in chief.

Donald Trump wrapped a West Coast political rally and fundraising swing on Friday with another raucous campaign rally, this time in Las Vegas, as he continues trying to preempt – and disrupt – early Democratic caucuses and primaries.

After a tweet-filled morning at his hotel and casino near the Vegas Strip during which he tried to dismiss his intelligence community's warnings of new Russian election meddling as a "Democratic hoax" and offered a taxpayer-funded bailout to farmers, the president hit the stage trying to flip the Silver State into his column as part of a strategy to shore up the electoral map in case states he narrowly won in 2016 go blue in November.

The Las Vegas rally follows ones in Phoenix on Wednesday night and Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday night. And, by all accounts, he is feeling confident about chances of securing a second term. The president on Thursday night greeted some supporters with reporters traveling with him within earshot. He asked them how they thought former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg did in Wednesday night's ninth Democratic debate.

"It wasn't pretty," Mr Trump said before lauding the Las Vegas crowd for showing up at noon local time after that rally was initially scheduled for 8 p.m. "I have to get back to Washington to work," he said with a smile. "This is too much fun."

Here is a grabbag of outrageous and otherwise memorable quotes from his Vegas rally.

"Mike Er... Mike!" The president, who often has difficulties pronouncing complicated last names, just gave up when introducing Mike Eruzione, the captain of the 1980 US men's Olympic hockey team that pulled off the "Miracle On Ice" by defeating the heavily favoured Soviet Union team. (Full disclosure: Your correspondent also botched it on a first try.)

"12 more years. ... Mike, look at the 'fake news' back there." Mr Trump corrected the audience when they broke out into a "four more years chant," suggesting he might try to stick around even longer. The president contends he drops the line – weekly and sometimes daily – to toy with the press. Democrats and his other critics see it ominously. They think he will try to remain in office even if he is defeated in November.

"Please, tell them. Am I good athlete, and a good golfer?" Mr Trump to Mr Eruzione, possibly feeling insecure once-world-class athletes, before he called other members of the 1980 team onstage.

"That's 'Pencilneck' again. Little 'Pencilneck'. ... These people are crazy." After using one of his derisive nicknames for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the president shifted into full re-election mode by contending – falsely – that Democrats do not think or talk about issues like healthcare and infrastructure. Only that all the remaining Democratic presidential candidates

"You won it!" That wasn't Mr Trump. That was an audience member when the president asked who won the Wednesday night Democratic debate, which devolved into a free-for-all among the candidates as they attacked one another rather than him.

"She said she was an Indian because she has high cheekbones." The president likely insulted millions of Native Americans with that attack line on Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts progressive who has faded in the Democratic presidential race. She falsely claimed Native American ancestry when she was younger and had to admit to lying, complete with a public apology.

Ms Warren herself in 2012 used the term "high cheekbones," saying her aunt used to point out her grandfather's facial structure in a picture and remarked he "had high cheekbones, like all of the Indians do."

"How about that 'Pocahontas' screaming at him? ... I want to see those agreements!" Making an unflatteringly angry face, Mr Trump went after Mr Bloomberg for Ms Warren's demands during that debate that he allow women who once worked for him to break non-disclosure agreements who have stories to tell about the former mayor's alleged sexually abusive and misogynistic behavior, using his nickname for her.

Here is what Ms Warren actually said: "I used to teach contract law. And I thought I would make this easy. I wrote up a release and covenant not to sue, and all that Mayor Bloomberg has to do is download it – I'll text it – sign it, and then the women, or men, will be free to speak and tell their own stories."

(Mr Bloomberg on Friday released nine women from NDAs.)

"Barack Hussein Obama." Speaking of racially-charged rhetoric, Mr Trump is back to using the 44th president's middle name. One, it harkens back to charges that Mr Obama is a Muslim; that's false, he identifies as a Christian. Two, it harkens back to the so-called "birther movement," of which Mr Trump was a leader in demanding the then-chief executive produce his birth certificate and suggesting he was born outside the United States. That would have made Mr Obama ineligible to be president. He was born in Hawaii, and did produce a legal certificate of birth.

"That's what happens when you can't get the words out, you get angry." That one was for Mr Obama's right-hand man, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been open about having dealt with a stutter when he was younger. Mr Biden talks about overcoming that as a source of strength.

"The great Abraham Linclon, who everyone forgot." Fact check: No one forgot about America's 16th president. He held the union together, after all. And he's on the nickle. There are 379 million in circulation, according to CreditLoan.com.

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