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Trump stumps for Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania — live updates

U.S. President Donald Trump caused a few laughs at a rally in Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone on Saturday night, when he asserted that Americans would be "bored" if he acted "presidential".

President Donald Trump spoke at a campaign rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, in support of his policies and of Republican candidate Rick Saccone, who is running for a House seat.

President Donald Trump won this area by 20 points in 2016, and even in the most heavily Democratic precincts in the district right around Pittsburgh, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton only won on average 56 percent of the vote. To back that up, Lamb opposes sweeping gun restrictions, endorses Trump's new steel tariffs, avoids attacking the president, and tells voters he wouldn't back Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California for speaker if Democrats won a House majority.

"We're saving the steel, and a lot of steel mills are now opening up because of what I did", Trump said. Neither Lamb nor Saccone has made the ongoing Russian Federation investigation bedeviling Trump part of his pitch, but the paper insisted the country must not "dive into so great a distraction".

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Suddenly it's under a political microscope, with the battle between culturally conservative Trump-backed state representative Rick Saccone, 60, and Democratic newcomer Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old former prosecutor and US Marine lawyer, taking on national implications.

"The world is in turmoil and our country is in peril: all the more reason we need to send the most qualified and experienced person to Washington to handle the pressing problems facing our nation", Saccone said at the March 3 debate.

But that, by itself, hasn't given Saccone much traction against Lamb, who hails from an established Allegheny County political family and pitches himself as independent-minded.

Trump is not a fan of the congressional hopeful and privately disparaged Saccone as a awful candidate, calling him "weak", according to a report last night by Axios. He can say, 'I love President Trump.'. Lamb has garnered widespread appeal in the region as an old-school Democrat: a vocal supporter of blue-collar labor and the unions that support it; ostensibly less concerned with the social politics that have occupied the mantle of the party's agenda in recent years.

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The party didn't even run opponents against the previous congressman, Republican Tim Murphy, in 2014 and 2016. "He's good with the Second Amendment". Outside GOP groups have spent more than $10 million, much of it to paint Lamb as a Pelosi lackey. Murphy resigned in October amid a sex scandal.

So Saccone and Republican forces have answered with their national arguments. Republicans, inclined to trust Trump more than any other member of their party, were overjoyed.

And while other national Republicans want to blame Saccone for most of the mess, they concede that the ideal storm has hit - and may blow over other candidates even in seemingly safe seats if they're not prepared next fall. TribLive reported that there was about $1.6 million in "outside spending" for ads supporting Lamb or against Saccone. "He's going to vote the party line".

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"I don't know if that is popular".

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