Lamb Launches Introductory Ad in PA-18 Special Election

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But Democrats are planning to pump money into the district on behalf of Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old Marine veteran and former assistant US attorney, and hope that Trump's low approval ratings will set the stage for an upset.

"A real friend and a spectacular friend", Trump said of Saccone.

Trump backers dismissed the various allegations surrounding the president - including the Russian Federation investigation, accused sexual harassment, and his reported description of some countries as shitholes or shithouses - as the products of political opponents.

Saccone touts his experience on the campaign trail, including 20 years in the Air Force, counter-intelligence work, a worldwide affairs and even a year spent serving as a diplomat in North Korea.

The special election is to replace U.S.Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a conservative anti-abortion Republican who resigned after reports that he encouraged a mistress to terminate her pregnancy.

President Donald Trump spoke to crowds in Pennsylvania Thursday, billing the administration's recent tax reform legislation as a continued victory for American workers.

And he told reporters he planned to come back to Pennsylvania - where he won in 2016 - to campaign for Saccone, who is trying to keep a House seat in Republican hands in the first congressional race of the year.

"I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans", he said.

On the flip side, some Republicans in Washington have expressed frustration with Saccone's fundraising - Politico reported last week that the White House political director told the candidate he wasn't generating enough money.

The White House had insisted Trump's visit had nothing to do with politics.

"The president is enthusiastic about today's trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to discuss the incredible successes his tax plan is already achieving for the American people", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "While the president has made clear his support for Republican candidates throughout the country, including in Pennsylvania, the objective of today's visit is to promote the president's successful agenda, especially on taxes".

One senior congressional GOP aide groused in an exchange with Roll Call that leaders and staff on the Hill were not even certain Trump understood the CR contained the very kind of long-term extension (six years) of CHIP he advocated in his tweet.

Trump pointed to H&K Equipment as a company he feels will benefit from the policy changes, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will add $1.455 trillion to the national debt over 10 years. A campaign event which would require that taxpayers be reimbursed for some of the expenses. Trump's headed there today. Rick is a great guy.

Republicans are hoping Thursday's visit - and potential future with Vice President Mike Pence - sparks enthusiasm with local voters, many of whom may not yet be aware of the election less than two months away.

As the crowd bundled together on the heat-less factory floor, Trump talked about other things the tax bill did; eliminating the the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law and opening the Alaskan wilderness to oil and gas exploration.

The ad marks the first ad paid for by a candidate ahead of the March 13th special election.

-This story has been corrected to show that Trump's event is inside the district where the special election will be held; an earlier version said it was not.

One question is whether to deploy Trump in mainly Republican areas, where he remains popular, or push him out to more evenly divided states and congressional districts that will likely determine control.

And while the White House line was it was not a campaign stop, Trump exited the stage to one of his favorite campaign songs, The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want".

Democrats have landed a top-notch recruit in Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old former Marine and federal prosecutor whose family is a Democratic powerhouse in the Pittsburgh area.