Donald Trump has held his first campaign rally since leaving the White House, repeating his election complaints and baseless allegations of fraud while urging his supporters to help Republicans regain majorities in Congress.
Saturday’s rally in Ohio, a state that made the former president in the 2020 election, marks a return to the kind of massive freewheeling rallies that have been instrumental in maintaining the support of Trump’s base.
It was held to support Max Miller, a former White House aide who is challenging Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez for his seat in Congress. Gonzalez was one of ten members of the Republican House who voted to charge Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol after his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
The Democratic Party’s highest-ranking incumbents in both houses of Congress will be in line for the midterm elections in 2022, and history favors Republicans ’chances of winning seats in those contests.
“We’ll get the House back, we’ll get the Senate back, and we’ll get America back, and we’ll do it soon,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Ohio.
So far, nine of the ten House Republicans who voted for Trump’s ouster have attracted major challengers. The former president has pledged to support them and has even offered to support anyone who steps forward to challenge the remaining candidate, Rep. John Katko of New York, according to the syracuse.com website .
Trump has also passed a challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the only one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict him in his January 2022 re-election trial.
The Ohio event in Wellington, about 64 miles southwest of Cleveland, was the first of three public appearances, followed by a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border on June 30 and a rally in Wellington. Sarasota, Florida, July 3.
While Trump praised Miller as an “incredible patriot” and a “big boy” who “loves the people of Ohio,” he devoted much of his 90-minute speech to focusing on the 2020 election, which he insists who won, though top state and local election officials, his own attorney general and numerous judges, including some he appointed, have said there is no evidence of the massive election fraud he alleges.
“That was the scam of the century and that was the crime of the century,” Trump said. “The 2020 presidential election was called. We won those elections convincingly. “
The crowd chanted “Trump won” and “four more years! Four more years!” But the former president made no clear mention of his political future.
However, it provoked the crowd at one point alluding to the possibility of another stabbing in the White House.
“We may have to win it for the third time. It’s possible, ”he said.
The outcome of several legal issues could influence whether Trump will run again.
Manhattan prosecutors told his company Thursday that they could soon face criminal charges stemming from an extensive investigation into the former president’s business dealings. The New York Times, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that charges could be filed against the Trump Organization within days.
Trump has denounced the investigations as nothing more than a “witch hunt” aimed at harming him politically.
The former president also used the Ohio rally to confront Biden, calling it a “catastrophe” and focusing on the growing number of immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States, an issue that Republicans have reduced to zero to gather its voters.
“You have millions of people entering our country. We have no idea who they are. Joe Biden is doing just the opposite like us, ”Trump said.
“Joe Biden is destroying our nation before our eyes,” he added.
Trump rallies have been pivotal to his policy since he launched his 2016 campaign, and his supporters in Ohio said they hoped he would use these events to help unify the party behind the allied candidates. Congress.
“Continuing these rallies is extremely important,” said Jessica Dicken, a 30-year-old mother who stays at home in southeast Ohio, adding that Trump could be “a voice for the more conservative movement here in Ohio. and to the whole nation. “
Chris Laskowski, 55, a resident of Medina, Ohio, said he missed Trump.
“I think his election was stolen from him and he’s still our president.”
Trump’s repeated false claims of election fraud have seized Republican voters. 53% of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election and blamed his loss on the illegal vote, and a quarter of the general public agreed that Trump would win, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll.
Republican strategist Matt Dole said both Trump and those struggling to stay close to him benefited from these public demonstrations of bonhomie. Some of the candidates now seeking his endorsement have made derogatory comments about Trump in the past.
“They’re marriages of convenience,” said Dole, who is based in Ohio. “Donald Trump uses these opportunities to keep his name out there, to keep the base motivated.”