Trump Encourages Supporters in New Hampshire to Go 'Vote for a Weak' Democratic 2020 Candidate

President Donald Trump repeatedly encouraged his followers in New Hampshire to cross party lines and vote for the "weakest" candidate in Tuesday's Democratic primary during a rally on Monday night.

Trump was appearing in his first rally since being acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday. He at least twice appeared to advocate for "party raiding," the process of sabotaging an opposing political party by voting for a suitably "weak" candidate in their primary election.

"You have crossovers in primaries, don't you? I hear a lot of Republicans tomorrow will vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats," Trump told the crowd. "Does that make sense? My only problem is I'm trying to figure out who is their weakest candidate, I think they're all weak."

Trump touched on the topic again later in the rally, suggesting that the crowd choose whoever they thought was the weakest candidate.

"If you want to vote for a weak candidate tomorrow, go ahead and pick one," said Trump. "Pick the weakest one you think. I don't know who it is."

Although party raiding may be technically legal, registered Republicans in New Hampshire cannot simply arrive at the polls and vote in the Democratic primary, which is open to registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters only.

Some states do allow voters to choose which primary to vote in even if it is not for the party they are registered with. In many states that require that require primary voters to be registered, voters could potentially switch registration for the primary and switch back before the general election.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 10, 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty

The rally also saw the president take jabs at the chaotic Iowa Democratic caucus, the results of which remain in dispute. Pete Buttigieg is narrowly leading Sen. Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents, while Sanders leads in the popular vote. Both candidates have declared victory.

Trump suggested that the Democratic party was attempting to steal the nomination from Sanders, which he also claimed happened when Sanders came in second to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"Does anybody know who won Iowa? Flip a coin," Trump said. "Actually, I think they're trying to take it away from Bernie again. I think Bernie came in second, can you believe it? They're doing it to you again Bernie, they're doing it to you again."

The campaign stop was timed to coincide with the New Hampshire primary on the following day. The Republican contest is not expected to be competitive. In the Democratic primary, Sanders was leading in polls as of Monday night, with Buttigieg close behind.

While the rally audience seemed unlikely to vote against him in November, Trump warned that Democrats would "take away" guns and "wealth" if he were to lose the election.

The president also insisted that Republicans were trying to "save" health care, while universal health care proposals from Democrats, including the signature "Medicare for all" plan of Sanders, were really attempts at taking it away.

"We're saving your health care while these socialist Democrats are trying to take away your health care," Trump said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.