Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale pledged if he’s elected in November, he’ll serve no more than 2 terms. The pronouncement came during a campaign rally last night that featured President Donald Trump.
Rosendale is no stranger to term limits because as a legislator and current state auditor he’s subject to Montana’s term limit law. He told the crowd at the rally he agreed with the president on the issue of term limits.
“That’s why if you elect me I promise to serve no more than 2 terms,” he said. “The people of MT support term limits. They believe in doing your job and returning home and so do I.”
It’s a promise that’s been made before. The late, former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns also had made that pledge, but in 1999 during his campaign for a third term, the Republican brushed that aside at the time he said he didn’t want to give up his seniority. Burns was re-elected.
But six years later, Burns was narrowly defeated in his bid for a 4th term by Democratic challenger Jon Tester. The former state Senate President and farmer from Big Sandy is now seeking a 3rd term to the U.S. Senate. Tester faces Rosendale and Libertarian Rick Breckenridge on the November mid-term ballot.
Trump has been targeting Democrats in states where he won in 2016 and Rosendale has firmly aligned himself with with Trump.
“My promise to each and every one of you is that I will always put Montana first and stick with President Trump to make sure we advance his agenda,” he said that includes the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, support for gun rights, tax cuts, and building the wall. The later brought chants of “build that wall” from the crowd.
Last night’s rally was the 2nd time Trump has made a campaign appearance in Montana on behalf of Rosendale. Donald Trump, Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence have also traveled to the state on behalf of Rosendale.
Trump said this mid-term election is more than a vote for one candidate. He warned if Democrats take control of Congress they will overturn his agenda.
“Jon Tester,” said Trump, “I feel a little guilty ‘cause he did run the most beautiful commercial. I heard yesterday. It started and he’s like my best friend. President Trump this. President Trump that. It’s amazing when you win a state by a lot of points how even Democrats can like you. Isn’t that crazy? But the problem is he’s never going to vote for me.”
The statistical analysis website Five Thirty Eight has tracked Tester’s votes and found Tester has voted for some of Trump’s initiatives.
Tester has said he welcomed Trump’s visits to Montana and thanked him for signing some of the bills he has worked on.
Trump, however, wants to flip this seat to the Republican column.
“Get out and vote for Matt Rosendale,” he said. “He’s going to be a great senator and he’ll always vote for what we want. He will always vote for America first. To make America great again. Matt will always be voting for us. It won’t just be talk.”
An estimated 10,000 people attended the rally. Outside, protesters stood on the sidewalk near MetraPark, many carried signs.
“I’m just sickened by this administration” said one woman from Billings. “The refugee crisis was the tipping point for me.”
“It’s our first amendment right to protest peacefully and it’s pretty telling to see how many people are flipping us off,” said another woman from Billings who said her family has proudly served in the military to protect that right to free speech.
Trump spent Thursday night in Billings and left the next morning for campaign stops in the Dakotas.