There was some doubt as to whether President Donald Trump would keep his date with Erie on Wednesday, as the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental United States in nearly 50 years was carving its way through the Florida Panhandle.

Yet, there he was on Wednesday night, greeted by an excited capacity crowd at Erie Insurance Arena.

The president entered to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," and began his speech at the "Make America Great Again" rally by offering words of comfort to residents in the path of Hurricane Michael.

"My administration is working closely with the administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott," the president said. "We have massive amounts of water and electric workers. We're going to go in right behind it and clean up."

He then turned his attention to the people of Erie and the surrounding northwestern Pennsylvania region for being instrumental in helping him win the state in the the presidential election.

"We've been producing and doing even better than what we said we would," Trump said, adding he knows the media will dispute that, which drew loud jeers toward the direction of the press area.

His most recent accomplishment, he said, was swearing in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which he used as a lead-in to encourage people to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

"What radical Democrats did to Brett Kavanaugh and his beautiful family is a national disgrace," Trump said, referring to sexual assault allegations, which he called false. "On Nov. 6, you can vote to reject the Democrats' shameful behavior by electing a Republican House and a Republican Senate."

Trump said that under Republican leadership, the power of Pennsylvania shale and coal is being unleashed and miners and steelworkers are going back to work.

"After years of rebuilding other nations, we are finally rebuilding our own," he said to booming cheers.

He warned against voting for Democrats, whom he described as wanting to abolish America's boarders and welcome in criminal immigrants.

"Democrats are the part of crime," he said. "Republicans are the party of law, order and justice. We're also the party of jobs, jobs, jobs."

Trump said he was confident about the upcoming midterms because of the polls.

"I believe in polls," he said. "Only the ones that have us up because those are the only honest ones. The other ones are fake news polls. Just like their reporting is dishonest, their polls are dishonest. Not all. Not all, but many of them."

Trump took the opportunity to endorse U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3rd District, for re-election.

"Mike is strong on crime, tough as hell on borders, good on trade and really great on jobs," Trump said.

Kelly joined Trump on the stage and said the president had promised a plan to get sand for Presque Isle State Park beaches and dredging the channels.

"We have seen the resurrection of the greatest nation the world has ever seen," said Kelly, of Butler, who is being opposed for his seat by Democrat Ron DiNicola, of Erie. "Every American is stronger because of this man."

Trump encouraged his supporters to elect Lou Barletta to unseat Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Barletta also pointed to the allegations against Kavanaugh as a call to vote Republican.

"If you don't like the way Justice Kavanaugh has been treated, then you cannot reward Casey by sending him back to Washington ever again," Barletta said.

Trump concluded with his accomplishments of replacing NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, reducing the prices of prescription drugs, passing veterans' choice for health care and initiating an expansion of the military.

One other message delivered to his supporters was - militarily speaking - the sky, and beyond, is the limit.

"Under my administration, we will develop the sixth branch of the military - the Space Force!," he said to thunderous applause.

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