LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Donald Trump sought to rally support for his administration and the Republican health care proposal due for a crucial House vote this week in a wide-ranging speech Monday night at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
His comments on the issue came in the midst of generalized statements about his goals for the economy, defense, border security and terrorism.
"We will repeal ... the disaster known as Obamacare," Trump said.
He spoke of working with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Kentucky congressmen Andy Barr and James Comer on the issue.
"It's our chance to finally get rid of Obamacare ... a long-awaited chance. We're going to do it."
Trump said also he wanted to work with GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who opposes the current proposal and didn't attend the rally, on further issues like tax reform.
"But Obamacare must come first," Trump said. "Obamacare is a financial disaster waiting to happen in your own state."
He briefly mentioned former Democrat Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who gave the rebuttal to Trump's speech to Congress last month. Democrats say Obamacare had some of its greatest success with the Kentucky state health insurance exchange, dismantled by current Gov. Matt Bevin in the last year.
"Congress needs to slow down and approach this issue in a thoughtful way that puts people over politics,” Beshear said in an emailed statement after the speech.
Trump told the crowd he's working on new executive actions aimed at reviving coal mines.
"The miners are coming back," he said. "We are going to put our coal miners back to work. They have not been treated well."
The EPA will change from a "job killer" to a "job creator," Trump said.
Trump said he's going to turn to renegotiating the country's trade deals, including NAFTA, "very soon."
"That's going to be an easy one," he said.
Moving to immigration, Trump spoke of building the border wall with Mexico, perhaps by the lowest bidder.
"We're going to get it for the right price," he said.
He described many illegal immigrants as drug dealers and criminals.
"One by one they are being tracked down and thrown the hell out of our country, and they are not being allowed back in," he said.
Trump did not mention his recent wiretapping claims or the FBI Russia investigation.
The crowd cheered perhaps most loudly when Trump pledged his support for the Second Amendment. He also touched on a hometown concern right now -- the NCAA Tournament, where Louisville lost but Kentucky advanced after a win Sunday.
"You just worry about your basketball team," he said. "I'll take care of the rest."
Spectators gathered early Monday morning to await the doors to open for Trump's speech. The crowd filled what parts of Freedom Hall were open for the speech, and organizers opened dozens of rows of seats to accommodate more people at the last minute.
Several hundred protesters also gathered along fence lines and in the parking lot of the Kentucky Exposition Center. Some of them booed when Air Force One flew overhead on approach to nearby Louisville International Airport.
Watch the full rally in the video player above, and stay with WDRB News for full coverage from the rally.
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