Straight off a slim but symbolic health care win in Washington, President Donald Trump arrived in Ohio for a victory lap on Tuesday night with the very voters who helped put him in office.
"We're now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare and delivering great health care for the American people," Trump told a crowd of several thousand in Youngstown, Ohio, hours after the Senate took one small step toward Republicans' years-long promise to repeal and replace former President Obama's health care law.
"You think that's easy? That's not easy," he declared.
Tuesday's trip to Youngstown, a staunchly working-class, union-heavy enclave that has long helped anchor Democrats in Ohio, served as a welcome distraction from Washington for a president who loves to relive his once-unlikely Election Day win.
In a room filled with supporters, Trump talked up his first six months in office, claiming that no other president had done "anywhere near" what he'd done in his first six months.
"Not even close," he said.
In Trump's telling, citizens have been applauding his administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. He described people screaming from the windows, "Thank you, thank you!" to border control agents.
"We're liberating our towns and we're liberating our cities. Can you believe we have to do that?" he asked, adding that law enforcement agents were going after gang members — and "not doing it in a politically correct fashion."
"Our guys are rougher than their guys," he bragged.
Ahead of the rally, Trump stopped by a veterans' event as part of the White House's weeklong celebration of servicemen and women. Following brief remarks by several of his Cabinet members, Trump entered a small room of veterans, several of them over 80 years old, and praised them for their commitment and sacrifice for the country.
"A truly grateful nation salutes you," Trump told the group in Sutherland, Ohio.
But he quickly shifted gears to recall his unexpected election win in Ohio, praising Youngstown and towns like it for helping him secure the electoral votes that put him over the top.
"It was incredible time we had. You saw the numbers," he said. "Democrats, they win in Youngstown — but not this time."
Trump has mainly sought to re-litigate his 2016 victory in friendly territory, escaping Washington to recharge with boisterous crowds that embrace his jabs at "fake news" media, Democrats and even those Republicans whom Trump once vowed to defeat as part of his effort to "drain the swamp."
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.