Trump Official Uses Phrase He Might Regret

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was speaking in Florida
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2018 4:00 PM CST
Trump Official: Florida Race Is 'Cotton-Pickin' Important'
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, accompanied by Future Farmers of America President Breanna Holbert, speaks in Indianapolis, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – A top Trump official has uttered a race-laden phrase that left at least a few heads shaking, Politico reports. Speaking Saturday in Lakeland, Fla., for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "Leadership matters. And that is why this election is so cotton pickin' important to the state of Florida. I hope you all don't mess it up." No reaction yet from DeSantis opponent Andrew Gillum—who is vying to become the state's first black governor—but Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams spoke up on CNN's State of the Union, per the Washington Examiner. She called Perdue's phrase "disparaging to communities" and said "it signals a deeper misinformation about what Andrew Gillum can accomplish." In other election news:

  • Lawn camping: President Trump said Saturday that migrants will be "camping out on lawns" if Gillum wins on Tuesday, the Daily Beast reports. Speaking in Pensacola, Fla., the president called Gillum a "radical socialist" and said the job is "not for him."

  • Mixed poll: A Washington Post/ABC News national poll finds that Democrats are keeping a solid advantage in the House fight but Republicans could be helped by positive economic reports, says the Post. Per the poll, registered voters prefer Dems in House by 50% to 43%, while 71% call the economy good or excellent, and Trump's approval rating remains at 40% among adults.
  • Fake tweets: Twitter has removed over 10,000 accounts urging people not to vote in the midterms, Reuters reports. The accounts claim, incorrectly, to be from Democrats. The social-media platform has already removed millions of accounts that apparently influenced the 2016 presidential election.
  • Old friends: Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will be joining Trump at a Monday night rally in Missouri—where Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is locked in a tight race with the state's Republican attorney general, Josh Hawley, the Hill reports. Trump's campaign called Hannity and Limbaugh "longtime friends" of the president.
  • Political trauma: Politico says Democrats are "miserable wrecks" experiencing "pre-midterms nightmares." Unable to trust polls after the 2016 election, top Democratic figures are using phrases like "the bed-wetting phase" and "PTSD" to describe their psychological state. It's not all exaggeration: One study says the 2016 elections gave 25% of college students "clinically significant" trauma symptoms.
See how the Georgia governor's race just got hotter. (Read more midterm elections stories.)

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