In a bizarre Fox News appearance on Friday, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) claimed that President Trump has “changed the entire complexion of our entire country.”
Asked by host Harris Faulkner about a congressional bill passed Thursday to keep the government open for a few weeks, Kelly — one of the few members of Congress who enthusiastically backed Trump in the 2016 elections — explained that Trump has totally remade the country in his first eleven months.
I will tell you what. For those people on the Trump train or not on the Trump train, this is high-speed rail right now. And so if you’re not on the Trump train, you get on the train or get off the tracks. You’re gonna get run over. Look, the House had done its work in the appropriations. We had our 12 bills ready to go. Unfortunately it didn’t get through the Senate. But the big news — the big news is for America, you look at today, and I can tell you walking around the streets of Pittsburgh, people walking more erect, not just whispering ‘Merry Christmas’ but saying ‘Hey, Merry Christmas.’ You can feel it, you can see it. And I’m not just pumping sunshine for the sake of pumping sunshine. I am telling you, this is a different country. In 11 months, this president has changed the entire complexion of our entire country and our place in the world. We are no longer leading from behind, we are leading from the front and everybody else is looking to us and saying ‘go, go, go.’
It is unclear who Kelly has been looking at in Pittsburgh. While Trump narrowly carried Pennsylvania in the 2016 elections, he lost Allegheny County to Hillary Clinton by more than 16 points. And since that time, Trump’s approval ratings in the Keystone state have taken a massive dive — a September poll found just 29 percent support for the president.
Kelly, an automobile dealer who has represented a northwestern Pennsylvania House district since 2011, made headlines earlier this year when he was caught on video claiming, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama is secretly leading a “shadow government” dedicated to undermining President Trump. He previously called Obama “the Pontius Pilate of politics.”
UPDATE 12/22/17: This post originally quoted Rep. Kelly as saying “bumping sunshine.” Kelly told ThinkProgress, in a tweet, that he actually said “pumping sunshine.” The post has been corrected to reflect this.