In Arizona, Trump has a redo of his Oklahoma rally
PHOENIX - After a disappointing performance at his weekend campaign event, President Donald Trump renewed his performance on Tuesday for a large crowd of students, telling his audience in Arizona that they were guardians of a cultural war for the country's heritage.
"We are here today to explain that we will never give in to left wing and left intolerance," said the president at a Students for Trump event in Phoenix.
The gig in Dream City's Mega Church was one of his first rallies since a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictures from the event showed a large crowd that was crammed tight and almost no one was wearing protective masks. There were no temperature controls for the estimated 3,000 cheering attendees who, like many of Trump's staunch fans, ignored a new local ordinance that required them to wear a mask on Monday despite a plea by the Democratic Mayor for public health.
The coronavirus has gotten out of control in the Grand Canyon state after its governor lifted an order to stay at home last month, and the president is relatively poorly voting here against his alleged democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden.
The low attendance at Trump's event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday (only 6,200 of the venue's 19,000 seats were occupied) made headlines and overshadowed the President's comeback message. But on Tuesday, he reformulated this rally as a success, calling it "number one in Fox history for a Saturday night."
Trump started 10 minutes early - unusual for a president who routinely starts rallies up to an hour late. His appearance came when Fox News aired an interview with former President John Bolton's National Security Advisor, whose anthology of Trump's accusations of corruption accuses Trump of his time in the White House. Trump and his government have condemned the book and tried to block its publication.
Speaking to the young audience, Trump used the cultural wars on campus to create a rift between his supporters and demonstrators who fought racism and police brutality in Minneapolis after a white police officer died after the death of George Floyd, an African American.
Trump declared the students in the audience to be cultural defenders not only of his movement but also of American values as a whole and portrayed the Democrats as intolerant and "totalitarian." He applauded the student activists in the crowd "who stand up for America and refuse." "Kneeling in front of the radical left," crushed the mass media and accused "malicious" Democrats of suppressing dissent, but - and without evidence - accusing them of letting someone vote, "even if they're not citizens."
The president condemned the removal of monuments to slave owners and Confederate leaders as a destruction of American history. He called the audience "smarter" than Democrats, who in his opinion demand "absolute conformity".
"They hate our history, they hate our values, and they hate everything we appreciate as Americans," said the president. "Our country has not grown great with them. It has grown great with you and your thought process and ideology. The left crowd is trying to destroy our legacy so that it can replace it with a new oppression regime that they control alone."
The President celebrated the prevention of an attempt to tear down a statue of Andrew Jackson in front of the White House on Monday evening, and repeated his frequent new line to be a President of "Law and Order."
Supporters listen to President Donald Trump speaking at Dream City Church in Phoenix on June 23, 2020.
"If you give power to people who destroy monuments and attack churches, conquer the streets of the city and set buildings on fire, nothing is sacred and nothing is safe," Trump said. "We stopped her last night."
Protesters targeted monuments dedicated to historical figures who promoted slavery or colonialism, and claims that they are remembered better in history books and museums than celebrated with monuments.
But Trump characterized their attempts as erasing history and told the crowd, “The left is not trying to promote justice and equality. They strive for their own political power. "
The president reiterated a statement he made Monday night that those who deface public monuments would be given 10 years in prison, according to Veteran Memorials Preservation and Recognition. The law actually provides for punishment for defacing memorials to public service members on public land, either with 10 years in prison, a fine, or both.
A debate is raging in the political class about whether the scene within the church, which is separated from the city's business districts by massive parking lots, subdivision subdivisions and a nature reserve, is just a mirage in the sandstorm that swirls around it.
Tuesday was another record day for new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in Arizona as health authorities struggle to control the virus and avoid another shutdown, which would affect an economy that has grown in recent years Weeks has slowly rebuilt but is still fragile.
The state reported 3,591 new cases, almost double the daily number of cases compared to last week, and 42 deaths. For the first time since the pandemic started, more than 2,000 hospitalizations have been carried out.
When he mentioned what he called "the plague," the president refused: "It goes away," he said.
"What a job we do with testing. We made ventilators," Trump said, attacking "the wrong news people" for misleading the public how bad the situation is.
"We will get a vaccine very soon," he promised.
Later in the speech, he made fun of the disease and its various names and applauded with his new xenophobic nickname "Kung Flu".
He took a bump on the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who "danced in the streets of Chinatown in San Francisco long after I prohibited China from coming here" in a reference to his ban on foreigners from mainland China the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. San Francisco's Chinatown was founded in the 19th century and many of its residents have families who have lived in the United States for several generations.
The November presidential election is the battleground for the country's future, Trump said. The President urged his audience to re-elect him so that they could defeat what he saw as a threat to America's democratic victory.
"This is the choice of two futures," he said. "The left's vision of disunity and discord or our vision of equal opportunity and justice."
The president included unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud and alleged that Democrats were trying to manipulate the elections. Democrats have called for more mail-in polls to prevent large crowds in polling stations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump previously told POLITICO that postal ballots are "my greatest risk" for re-election and that the Republicans are fighting to prevent the expansion of options in the midst of the pandemic. Most Arizona voters vote in the mail.
The lively scene in the church obscures what many see as a tough struggle for the president to cling to a state considered critical for his re-election.
"Arizona was one of the rabidest constituencies for Trump," said Barrett Marson, a political advisor who advises Republican candidates. "It may not be the biggest, but it is certainly one of its rabid fans. But as we've seen, this doesn't necessarily mean survey support. Another question is whether it is more than 50 percent. "
A protester argues with a Phoenix police officer in front of the Dream City Church in Phoenix while President Donald Trump speaks inside.
Kirk Adams, former state representative and chief of staff of the Republican governor of the state, Doug Ducey, one of Trump's favorites, predicted that "it will be a tight race." I just don't think there is a way out of winning Arizona. "
He pointed out that even the President's victory here in 2016 was much closer than that of other Republican presidential candidates in the recent election.
"The president only beat Hillary Clinton by three points," said Adams. "If you compare that with other nationwide candidates ... he did well below average."
But other GOP players in the state claim the president is still in a strong position.
Representative David Schweikert, the three-time Republican Congressman who represents nearby Scottsdale, said he doesn't think traditional political models apply.
"It's hard to look at the polls and make any real sense," said Schweikert, who was recognized by Trump in the crowd on Tuesday.
He quoted some of the more modest neighborhoods in his district.
"They are not neighborhoods where you would expect many Republicans to be," he said. "Drive through it and look at the number of Trump flags. The constituencies for this president are different. You can find Trump support in areas where it's not about a typical Republican Democrat, right-left. It's more populist anger. "
Officially, the president's campaign is also optimistic.
"We have over two million voters," said Keith Schipper, Nevada and Arizona regional communications director for the campaign. “Compare that to Joe Biden, who just hired his first two employees last week. You try to build these relationships. Arizona voted for the president in 2016 and will go for him again in November. "
But Adams, former Ducey chief of staff, said he doesn't think Biden needs a lot of presence to compete with Trump here.
"I don't think it's important that the former vice president didn't establish much of a base game here because, frankly, he won't need it," he said. "This election is a referendum on Donald Trump."
In addition, the former vice president would "be able to borrow the significant base game that Democrats and democratically-minded groups have already established in the state. And that they really built in the last three or four cycles. "
Marson, the GOP's political advisor, added: “People talk about how purple Arizona is. I totally disagree, but Trump does it. "
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