In a spirited campaign rally Monday night, a bullish President Trump called on his fervent supporters in rural Pennsylvania to mobilize for his reelection bid, telling them he could potentially serve a fifth term in the White House with their help.
"We ran one time and we're '1-and-0' — but it was for the big one. Now we're going to have a second time. And we're going to have another one. And then we'll drive them crazy," the president told the raucous crowd in the small town of Montoursville in central Pennsylvania.
"Maybe if we really like it a lot — and if things keep going like they're going — we'll go and we'll do what we have to do: we'll do a three and a four and a five," he added, presumably referring to subsequent terms in office.
The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution bars individuals from serving as president for more than two terms. Before the amendment was ratified in 1951, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president to stay in office for more than two terms.
Mr. Trump also slammed Democrats in Congress and those running for the nomination to challenge him next year, calling them "socialist wackos" and accusing them of having a fringe agenda antithetical to the values and economic interests of rural communities. He claimed Democrats support lax immigration enforcement, late-term abortion, the destruction of the Second Amendment, expensive initiatives to mitigate climate change and unfair trade deals.
Before Mr. Trump's poll-defying victory in 2016, the last Republican to carry Pennsylvania was President George. H. W. Bush in 1988.
Knowing that its coveted 20 electoral votes will be key to thwarting the president's reelection, some Democratic presidential candidates have also made flipping Pennsylvania a priority. Last week, former Vice President Joe Biden, the early front-runner in the Democratic primary race, officiallyin Philadelphia, where his campaign headquarters is located.
Speaking on stage, Pennsylvania state Rep. Fred Keller, who Mr. Trump is backing in a special election Tuesday for the 12th Congressional District, underscored the importance of the state for the president's electoral prospects.
"In 2016, Pennsylvania put President Trump over the top. In 2020, we're going to do it again," Keller told the crowd, provoking chants of "USA!"