In a meandering but largely familiar speech, Trump lashed out at political enemies, aired a long list of grievances, made his time in the Oval Office poetic, and entertained a string of right-wing figures who had him helped to promote conspiracy theories. on the 2020 elections.
Tony Hocevar, a longtime Cleveland-area supporter, said he wanted to hear Trump talk about “the same things – just more.”
For more than an hour, Trump targeted the Biden administration’s immigration policies and Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to the southern border, and, without saying his name, criticized General Mark Milley and “woke up the generals” on their critical race comments. theory. He rekindled the chants of “Lock her up!” About Hillary Clinton and read the poem “The Snake,” a fan favorite from the 2016 election campaign.
“The subject is somewhat depressing, because what happened in November should never have happened,” Trump said. “They used Covid to steal the election.”
Crowds were sympathetic to Trump and eager to hear him announce another presidential bid. Each of the more than half a dozen rally participants surveyed said they wanted Trump to signal that he planned to show up for the third time in 2024.
“I hope he is looking to run or run for Speaker of the House,” said Richard Stachurski, referring to a rumor circulating among Trump supporters that Trump could potentially run for office and win a running for the House, then taking over as Speaker.
Thousands of supporters, some wearing ‘Trump 2024’ and ‘Trump is my President’ T-shirts, crowded hours before Trump took to the stage. But as his speech lasted over an hour, supporters were heard – some became frustrated after a jumbotron failed to broadcast live video of the speech.
Before Trump took the stage, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Was greeted with a standing ovation and received a roar of cheers as she called out infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci to to be fired.
“Lock him up!” Lock him up! the crowd yelled.
“Let me ask you a question – who is president?” Greene said. “Trump! Trump! Trump!” the crowd called back.
Rally fans have demanded selfies with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has been pushing false theories about voter fraud and is being sued for libel by Dominion Voting Systems for his allegations the company rigged the election.
And in an unusual kickoff to a political rally, Cincinnati-area math professor Douglas Frank gave a PowerPoint presentation with charts and numbers meant to convince the crowd that he has data. to substantiate false allegations of widespread and coordinated electoral fraud. The crowd sat quietly as he browsed through his slideshow.
Ahead of the rally, Trump attended a VIP reception and fundraiser in support of Miller, which was attended by prominent donors and Republican Senate primary candidates seeking approval.
Jane Timken, former Ohio GOP chairperson, flew a plane with a banner reading ‘Ohio is Trump’s country’ and handed out flyers saying she was the ‘only real pro-Trump candidate America First, ”with a list of all the ways she backed Trump.
Trump, who was advised not yet to approve in the crowded GOP Senate primary, recognized each candidate by name but avoided offering his seal of approval.
Instead, he questioned the audience. “Who loves Jane Timken? Who loves Josh Mandel? Who loves Gibbons?” (Trump forgot to name Bernie Moreno in the audience poll.)
Next week, a fifth candidate could enter the race: JD Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who was present at the rally and said he would make an announcement next week on his decision to run.