The Latest: Trump focuses on mental illness, not gun control

Politics

Supporters cheer at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in New Hampshire (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says that in the wake of two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas this month that he wants to focus on mental illness to prevent mass gun violence, not gun control.

Trump told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire that he wants to reopen mental institutions across the country, but did not provide details on his proposal.

He said: “We will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets so we won’t have to worry so much about them. A big problem.” He added, “There are seriously ill people and they’re on the streets.”

Trump said that what he won’t allow after those shootings are any measures to make it harder for “law-abiding” people to “protect themselves.”

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8:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is singing the praises of his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who’s considering a run for Senate in his home state of New Hampshire.

Trump, who is holding a campaign rally in New Hampshire, described Lewandowski as “tough and smart” and said he was the first person who told him he could win the White House.

Trump said Lewandowski still hasn’t decided whether to jump in the race, but said if he does, “I think he’ll be tough to beat.”

Two prominent Republicans already have announced campaigns to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (jeen shuh-HEEN’): retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc (BOHL’-duk) and former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien.

New Hampshire Democratic spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank called Lewandowski a shadow lobbyist. He cited Lewandowski’s run-in with a female reporter during the 2016 presidential primary in saying “Lewandowski, with his record of violence, will make an already nasty Republican primary even worse.”

Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery for grabbing a reporter’s arm at an event. The charge was later dropped.

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8:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling supporters that even if they don’t like him, they have to vote for him because their retirements depend on it.

Speaking at a rally for his reelection campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump is downplaying recent stock market turmoil and fears of an economic recession, highlighting other positive economic indicators.

Trump rose to the White House promising to bring about a historic economic boom, and faced with a potential slowdown is warning that if he loses in 2020, Americans’ 401(k) retirement accounts will go “down the tubes.”

He says, “Whether you love me or hate me, you have to vote for me.”

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6:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump has returned to the state that gave him his first presidential primary victory, looking to once again demonstrate his popularity with New Hampshire’s Republican voters.

Trump is holding a campaign rally Thursday night at Southern New Hampshire University while spending the week at his New Jersey golf club.

Trump’s polling numbers in New Hampshire would indicate that the president will have an uphill climb winning the state in 2020. He lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 2,700 votes in 2016, and the state has shown over the years that it’s no pushover for either party.

New Hampshire’s four Electoral College votes are far below those of key swing states like Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, but its influence can prove powerful in close election years.

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12:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump is hoping to woo New Hampshire, which backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, into his column heading into 2020.

The president will visit the state on Thursday to hold a reelection rally.

New Hampshire is doing well economically, at least when using broad measures. But beneath the top-line data are clear signs that the prosperity is being unevenly shared, and when the tumult of the Trump presidency is added to the mix, the state’s flinty voters may not be receptive to his appeals.

An August University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll found that 42% of New Hampshire adults approve of Trump while 53% disapprove. The poll also showed that 49% approve of Trump’s handling of the economy and 44% disapprove.

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