Trump targets Twin Cities suburbs in first official White House visit to Minnesota

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President Donald Trump will make his first official White House visit to Minnesota Monday, a visit which holds a lot of significance ahead of next year’s election.

Trump lost Minnesota to Hillary Clinton by only 1.5 points in 2016 and a local political expert says this visit will help create the foundation for 2020.

“Anytime a President comes to town, it’s a big deal,” said Larry Jacobs, a political studies professor at the University of Minnesota. “He brings a national spotlight.”

After rallies in Duluth and Rochester, Monday’s visit marks President Donald Trump’s first stop in the Twin Cities metro area.

He’ll be visiting Nuss Trucking and Equipment in Burnsville, a district that flipped blue in the last election. There, Trump will host a roundtable featuring businesses from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida. 

The family members involved in Nuss Trucking and Equipment – the Rochester-based company that is hosting President Donald Trump for Monday’s event promoting the GOP-backed tax changes – were politically active in the 2017-18 election cycle, with most of their contributions going to Republicans.

Adding up contributions from a handful of Nuss family members, $15,500 went to the Republican National Committee or Republican congressional candidates from Minnesota, Federal Election Commission records indicate.

But some Nuss family members were the other side in the Minnesota governor’s race, contributing a total of $4,000 to the Minnesota Victory Fund, a DFL group that worked to elect Tim Walz as governor.

Company president Robert Nuss also contributed $400 to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

This isn’t the first time the Burnsville location has played host to a Republican event touting the GOP tax cuts; in July 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan did an event there with then-U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis. Lewis went on to lose his re-election campaign.

“Donald Trump is heading for the suburbs in Minnesota,” Jacobs added. “He thinks he can pick up enough votes in the suburbs along with the support that he has in northern and southern Minnesota.”

The Tax Day visit will be in one of the highest tax states in the country. Jacobs says that significance won’t be lost on the President.

Senior administration officials say the meeting will be about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and how it has helped those businesses. 

“The President is going to be using the state as a backdrop to deliver his messages that are going to be claiming credit for a strong economy and trying to portray the Democrats as too far left using [Rep.] Ilhan Omar,” Jacobs added.

This comes following the Congresswoman’s recent remarks on 9/11. Trump has been vocal on Twitter in response in recent days.

With his Monday stop being so close to her district, Jacobs believes she will also be a focus.

“It helps him charge up the base of the Republican Party and he’s also going to be using it to try to portray the Democratic party as too far left, socialist and out of touch,” Jacobs said.

It’s all part of setting the stage for the campaign trail ahead.

He wants that foremost in the minds of voters as they approach 2020,” said Jacobs. “These things once they’re set in the mind are very hard to remove.”

CAIR-Minnesota will be holding a rally Monday in support of Omar outside the Burnsville trucking company during the President’s visit.