MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - President Donald Trump visited New Hampshire for the first time in his reelection campaign Thursday, ripping his Democratic competitors and taking credit for the country's economic success as he made his pitch.
Trump spoke to an arena full of supporters in Manchester, sying that the economy will tank if he is not reelected. The warning came during a week of volatility on Wall Street over the President's trade war with China and concerns about a potential recession.
"See, the bottom line is, I know you like me and this room is a lovefest and I know that, but you have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k)s ... down the tubes. Everything is going to be down the tubes," the President said.
"So whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me," he added.
Speaking in a state he narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump claimed full responsibility for the health of the American economy, and said the stock market would have crashed without his presidency.
"If for some reason I wouldn't have won these elections, these markets would have crashed. And that'll happen even more so in 2020," he warned.
The President also criticized his Democratic competitors.
"I sort of hope it's him," Trump said of Joe Biden getting the Democratic presidential nomination, slamming the former vice president for his frequent gaffes.
Trump also poked at Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, saying that she was rising in the race and he would start to target her for attacks more if she continued to be a contender.
Trump also elaborated on his new push to consider building more mental institutions to prevent further mass shootings. During the rally, the President did not bring up talks with Republicans to strengthen background checks for gun purchases, but he did emphasize, more than once, that his administration was committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment.
"We're going to have to give major consideration to building new facilities for those in need," Trump said, later asserting that his administration "can't make it harder for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. We will always uphold the right to self-defense and we will always uphold the Second Amendment."
Ahead of the Manchester rally, Trump all but endorsed a potential Senate run by his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who has been mulling a run to unseat New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, according to multiple sources familiar with discussions.
Trump said during his speech that Lewandowski had not made up his mind about running.
"He hasn't made up his mind yet but he would be fantastic," Trump said, telling Lewandowski, "Let us know."
Trump has claimed in public remarks as late as November 2018 that the state's 2016 general election vote would have swung in his favor had liberal voters from Massachusetts not been bused in to cast illegal ballots.
owever, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has said no evidence indicates out-of-state voters were ever bused into the Granite State to vote during the election.
Ahead of his reelection rally, Trump appeared to reference his often-repeated false claim about why he lost the state.
"New Hampshire should have been won last time, except we had a lot of people come in at the last moment, which was a rather strange situation -- thousands and thousands of people coming in from locations unknown, but I knew where their location was," he told reporters.
Trump also mentioned his general election loss in New Hampshire during the rally, telling those in the audience that it wasn't their fault.
In early 2017, Trump also described New Hampshire as a "drug-infested den" in a call with then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to a transcript of the call that was published by The Washington Post. Being a "drug-invested den," he told Peña Nieto, was the reason why he won the state's 2016 Republican presidential primary.
CNN's Nikki Carvajal and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.
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