CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For two days, the president toyed with a bipartisan message and watched as the news cycle focused not on him, and not on the midterm elections, but on at least 14 explosive devices delivered to prominent Democratic figures.
By Friday, he had had enough.
As he left Washington for his latest campaign rally here, President Trump made it clear that he was no longer going to sit through another news cycle without President Trump at the center.
“The Republicans had tremendous momentum, and then, of course, this happened, where all that you people talked about was that,” Mr. Trump said to reporters about the bomb scares. “But now we have to start the momentum again.”
His supporters in North Carolina appeared to agree. When Mr. Trump took the stage at the Bojangles’ Coliseum, hours after Cesar Sayoc Jr., a Florida man with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested in connection to sending the devices, chants of “Build the wall” and “CNN sucks” had already rung out repeatedly.
“The suspect has been captured — great job — and is now in federal custody,” Mr. Trump said. “These terrorist actions must be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.”
The president, who made a show on Wednesday of being “nice” as bomb scares were affecting several of his political enemies, resurrected some of his favorite political insults two days later. Taunts including “Crooked Hillary” and “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” were brought out once again in a pull-out-all-the-stops partisan effort 11 days before the midterms.
While Mr. Trump did spend a few minutes railing against the Democrats and their immigration policies — “A vote for Democrats is a vote for open borders,” he once again falsely claimed — he reserved special ire for the news media.
Touching on a “broader conversation about the tone and civility” of political discourse, the president said that “everyone will benefit if we can end the politics of personal destruction.”