Amid heightened tensions, Phoenix mayor urges Trump to delay campaign-style rally

Phoenix urges Trump to delay rally

President Trump's planned rally for Tuesday night in Phoenix, Arizona, is expected to draw thousands of supporters and protesters. At least six different protests are planned for the area, the largest of which could draw more than 3,000 people. Vice President Mike Pence will be attending the campaign-style rally. 

The rally comes at a time of heightened political tension in the state as Mr. Trump has been at odds with Arizona's two Republican senators. The city's Democratic mayor is asking Mr. Trump to delay the event over safety concerns.

Local polling has the president at a 42 percent approval rating there - higher than the national average, reports CBS News correspondent Carter Evans.  

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams is reassuring the city that local law enforcement is ready for Mr. Trump's downtown rally.

Given the violence in Charlottesville just ten days ago and current political tensions in Phoenix, the city's mayor, Greg Stanton, says this is not the right time for this large-scale political event.

"I believe the true intention is really inflame people's passion to further divide the country and that's why I said the president should delay this trip to Phoenix," Stanton said.

A major concern for many there are the reports that the president could use this rally to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The controversial lawman is awaiting sentencing of up to six months in jail after a federal judge found he broke the law when his office carried out traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

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"That would just, you know, put gasoline on that potential flame, that would be a really bad thing -- not just for Phoenix for the entire United States of America," Stanton said.

Mayor Stanton is among a number of Arizona politicians currently at odds with the president – including some in his own party.

It was Arizona's Republican Senator John McCain who provided the crucial "no" vote that doomed the Trump administration's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Arizona's other Republican Senator Jeff Flake has been increasingly vocal in his criticism of President Trump and his policies.

"If you just have erratic behavior unmoored from principle, that's not a good combination," Sen. Flake said on "CBS This Morning" last month.  

In a tweet last week, Mr. Trump called him "weak on borders and crime" and "toxic" while endorsing his opponent.

Streets are closed and some Trump supporters have been outside the convention center since 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. Before his arrival here, the president will make a stop in Yuma for a tour of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.