NICEVILLE — Rep. Matt Gaetz’s reelection campaign took a page out of President Donald Trump’s playbook and held a Trump-style rally in Niceville that included a member of the Trump family.
Hundreds came out to the Northwest Florida State College Arena on Thursday to see Donald Trump Jr. stump for Gaetz, as well as Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running for Florida governor in the Republican primary.
“How good of a job is my father doing right now?” Trump Jr. asked the crowd as he came out on stage and spoke from behind a podium with a sign that said “Make America Gaetz Again!”
Trump Jr. told the crowd that 2018 is just as important as 2016.
“Just because Donald Trump isn’t on the ballot doesn’t mean that each and every accomplishment that he has gotten through isn’t on the ballot,” he said.
Trump Jr. hit Democrats, calling them a party with no agenda, but good at marketing.
“If Donald Trump came out in favor of oxygen, the other side would be against it,” Trump Jr. “They can’t even help themselves.”
Trump Jr. didn’t go as far as his father in calling the media an enemy but criticized the media, saying it was easier for Democrats because 97 percent of the media was on their side.
Trump Jr. said his father needed people like Gaetz and DeSantis who are willing to fight for Trump’s agenda.
“We need fighters,” Trump Jr. said. “Because even on our side there aren’t a lot of people willing to go to battle … . These guys are willing to do it.”
Gaetz is facing a challenge in the Republican primary from two opponents — John Mills and Cris Dosev.
Although Gaetz didn’t mention Dosev by name, it was clear Thursday night that Dosev was the opponent on Gaetz’s mind.
“I don’t think Northwest Florida should have a congressman from Chicago,” Gaetz said, alluding to the fact that Dosev is from Chicago.
Gaetz also talked about Dosev’s criticism of him for spending too much time going on cable news.
“My opponent in the Republican primary, he says I do too much Fox News,” Gaetz said. “Now, do you want me to do less Fox News … or do you want me to do more Fox News?”
The crowd responded with a unanimous shout of “More!”
DeSantis asked for the crowd to support him for governor in the Aug. 28 primary and in the general election. He said he would pass an e-verify bill to check Florida worker immigration status and end “liberal judicial activism” on the Florida Supreme Court.
The Thursday night rally was the third joint appearance by Gaetz and DeSantis in Northwest Florida during the primary campaign.
Thursday night’s rally also featured appearances by Rep. Scott Taylor of Virginia and Florida State Rep. Matt Caldwell, who is running for Florida Agriculture Commissioner.
“I did not come from the surrender wing of the Republican Party,” Gaetz said. “I come from the fighting wing of the Republican party, and I don’t care if it’s the Democrats, the media or even our fellow Republicans, Florida’s 1st Congressional District deserves a fighter in congress.”
Originally posted here.