(CNN) — President Donald Trump used a Monday speech at the American Farm Bureau in Nashville to tout his plans for rural prosperity and take a victory lap weeks after Republicans passed a sizable tax bill.
Trump, surrounded by a supportive audience of farmers and agriculture executives, cast himself as the first president in decades to focus on rural America and argued that the new tax law allows more farmers to keep money in their pockets and reinvest in their companies.
“We are doing a job for you, you are seeing it like nobody else,” Trump said, touting his own administration. “Regulation, death tax, so much, you are a big beneficiary and you are really producing like nobody else.”
He added: “The American dream is roaring back to life,” saying that the bill provides “historic relief for our farmer and our middle class.”
Despite the boisterous welcome, the speech was also colored by Trump’s push to renegotiate NAFTA and leave other international trade agreements, policy proposals that many American farmers have not supported because of their reliance on international markets and low to no tariffs.
Trump heralded farmers as the bedrock of America.
“We have been working every day for deliver for American farmers just as they work every single day to deliver for us,” Trump said.
Monday’s victory lap comes after a consequential week for the President.
Trump has been put on the defensive by revelations in “Fire and Fury,” a new bombshell book by Michael Wolff, and he spent much of the last week defending himself and looking to discredit the author.
The President also met this weekend with top Republican lawmakers eager to chart the 2018 legislative calendar. Republicans, after passing tax reform at the end of 2017, are eager hold on to their majorities in the House and the Senate, and Trump’s speech will be a preview of how Republicans will look to sell tax reform during an election year.
Trump’s remarks will bring him face-to-face with many of the rural American voters who helped deliver him the White House in 2016. According to CNN’s exit polls, 61% of rural voters backed Trump, compared with 34% who voted for Hillary Clinton.
Trump, said Ray Starling, the President’s special assistant for agriculture and agricultural trade, will outline the issues facing rural America on Monday but also note that rural America is “still full of promise.”
Trump’s remarks mimicked a Department of Agriculture report on the state of rural America.
“I think what we often see communicated about rural America is that there are these isolated pockets of despair that are beyond hope or recovery and that the population exodus from these areas will never be reversed and is just a part of where we are going,” Starling said. “The report makes clear that, at least this administration, that’s not what we believe.”
Trump has been proud to tout his tax reform plan, which when it passed last month was the President’s top legislative achievement of his first year in office.
Sen. Bob Corker, a frequent Trump critic from the right, will travel to Tennessee aboard Air Force One on Monday. Sources familiar with discussions between Trump and Corker say the Tennessee senator has repaired his relationship with the commander in chief since the two men exchanged fierce words in the fall.
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