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Check out some highlights from President Trump's rally at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on September 16th, 2019. Sam Ribakoff, Farmington Daily Times

From border security to NAFTA, here are some highlights from Trump's speech

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. — President Donald Trump started his campaign speech at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho by bragging about the job growth and New Mexico's economy.

“We are united by the same love of our great country and, by the way, our country is doing great,” Trump said after greeting the crowd.

He then spoke for a little more than an hour and a half on topics ranging from border security and the economy to media coverage and the upcoming election.

“We will campaign for every vote and we will win the great state of New Mexico,” he said, garnering cheers from the crowd.

He highlighted booming oil and natural gas industries. 

“We have ended the last administration’s war on American energy,” Trump said.

He said natural gas production in New Mexico has increased 40 percent under his leadership and crude oil has nearly doubled. He said the increased natural gas production means better wages and more jobs.

“You’re doing better than any state in the United States,” Trump said. “How do I lose New Mexico? Explain that one.”

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Trump hopes to win New Mexico in 2020

Trump visited New Mexico in hopes that he can win the state after losing it in 2016. Hillary Clinton received 385,234 votes — a little more than 48 percent of the votes cast in New Mexico — in 2016 while Trump received 319,667 votes, or approximately 40 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 74,541 votes.

Twice the speech was interrupted by booing from someone in the crowd. Each time Trump’s supporters responded by cheering until they drowned out the sound of the protests.

“You must never forget the 2020 election is about one thing. What’s it about? It’s about you,” Trump said toward the end of his speech.

He added that the election is “about your family. It’s about your future and it’s about the fate of your country for your children, for everybody.”

The president focused on Hispanic voters

Throughout the speech, he routinely circled back to Hispanic American voters, even mentioning that it is Hispanic Heritage Month. He said his policies, such as border security, are especially important for Hispanic American voters.

He said Democrats place the rights of undocumented immigrants above the rights of American citizens.

“Right here in New Mexico, Democrats are trying to turn you into a total sanctuary state,” he said.

He warned that if immigration laws are not enforced that violent criminals will be released onto the streets.

“Republicans believe our cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens,” Trump said.

He said border security is at the heart of the opioid epidemic in the United States because the cartels are bringing drugs, including fentanyl, into the United States.

“Whether you’re a first generation or a tenth generation, every American citizen deserves a government that defends your jobs, your safety, your family and is always loyal to you,” Trump said. “Your politicians have not been loyal to you. They’ve been loyal to themselves.”

He assured people at the rally that the border wall is being built and will be built in New Mexico.

Trump says unemployment is decreasing for Native Americans

He briefly touched on Native Americans as well when he said unemployment among Native Americans has reached the lowest point in nearly two decades.

He also referred to Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas and criticized her claim that she is part Native American.

“I have more Indian blood than she does and I have none,” Trump said.

Warren has received backlash after using a genetic test to bolster her claim.

Trump touts trade deal with Mexico, Canada

Trump said New Mexico was devastated by the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA. NAFTA was a trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada that was signed by President Bill Clinton. Trump said NAFTA led to a loss of manufacturing jobs in New Mexico. He then touted a renegotiated trade agreement known as United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. He said people can remember the acronym by thinking of the song “YMCA.”

More: Mike Pence heads to New Mexico to hail new USMCA trade deal. How does it differ from NAFTA?

The agreement still needs to be ratified by Canada and approved by the U.S. Congress.

Trump also criticized Democratic Party platforms on issues like late-term abortion and gun control. The crowd erupted in cheers when he said he would not infringe on citizens’ rights to bear arms.

He also received cheers when he said the AIDS epidemic in the country will be gone in 10 years.

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Trump continues discussion about light bulbs

Last week Trump announced he would be rolling back energy efficiency requirements scheduled to go into effect in January for light bulbs. The announcement got widespread attention after he said the energy efficient light bulbs make his skin look orange. He touched on that subject at the rally as well. 

"You pay less money and you look better," he said about light bulbs that don't meet the energy efficiency requirements that would have gone into effect.

He said the energy-efficient light bulbs are also considered hazardous waste if they break.

Senate candidate attends rally

Senate candidate Mick Rich commented on how energetic the crowd was at the rally. He had come to the rally after visiting the New Mexico State Fair.

He expressed support for Trump’s proposals and said the two things Trump focused on were the economy and border security. He described both of those as “promises made, promises kept.”

Rich said one of the big differences between campaigning at the rally and campaigning at the fair was that he was speaking to people across the political spectrum at the fair.

Like Trump, Rich is trying to win a Republican victory as he campaigns for the senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM.

He said some people would hand his card back to him when he said he was a Republican. To that, he would respond “if we want to end the partisan divide in Washington, we have to vote for the person, not the party.”

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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