For all of the talk about “Make America Great Again,” President Donald Trump is relying on a new theme as he launched his bid for a second term on Tuesday night.
Kicking off his 2020 campaign in front of a packed house at the Amway Center in Orlando, the president began his reelection campaign by telling the crowd there will be a new slogan in 2020: “Keep America Great.”
The president spoke for an hour and 22 minutes in front of more than 19,000 people. The crowd was enthusiastic, breaking into chants several times with everything from “USA, USA” to common refrains from the 2016 campaign like “Lock Her Up” and “Build the Wall”.
Trump took the stage at 8:10 after introductions from Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania Trump.
The president opened with a nod to the large crowd and his happiness with having picked Florida to open the campaign.
“I am thrilled to be back in my second home. That’s what it is, it is my second home. In many cases, I could say it is my first home if you want to know the truth,” Trump said.
Trump seemed to be back in his element returning to the campaign trail, spending much of his speech deriding Democrats, saying they tried to attack the political movement that got him elected and the future that the audience voted for.
“Our radical Democratic opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage. They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it’s not going to happen,” Trump said.
His attacks against Democrats were relentless. He even mentioned two candidates by name, dubbing former Vice President Joe Biden as “Sleepy Joe” and hitting U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as “crazy.” Trump told the crowd that Sanders was not doing so well and that America would never be a socialist country.
Just as he did when he ran in 2016, Trump portrayed Washington D.C. as “the Swamp”.
“Many times I said we would drain the Swamp, and that is what we are doing right now, and that is why the Swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently,” Trump insisted.
The president called his administration “under siege” and spent several minutes talking about the Muller report, using the phrase “no collusion and no obstruction.” He also claimed Democrats want a do over and maintained that no president should ever have to go through what he called a “great hoax” again, referring to the investigations into his administration as an illegal witch hunt.
“It was all an illegal attempt to overturn the results of the election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did, and subvert our democracy,” Trump claimed.
The president was roundly cheered on a number of topics but got his biggest response when he brought up the topic of illegal immigration. The crowd chanted “build the wall” on more than one occasion and Trump claimed he is doing just that, insisting that more than 400 miles of the border wall will be completed before the end of 2020.
Trump called the Democrats unhinged about border security.
“The Democrat agenda of open borders is reprehensible,” Trump said. “It is the greatest betrayal of the American middle class and, frankly, American life as a whole. Nobody has seen anything like it. People are pouring in but we have stopped them.”
Trump said the asylum problem could be solved in 15 minutes if Democrats would simply do as he wished, adding that current immigration laws are “a disgrace.” Trump also said that he thought no Democrat that believes in sanctuary cities should even be allowed to run for president.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also got huge cheers from the crowd–and big props from his ally in the White House–for signing the bill banning sanctuary cities in Florida.
Trump’s jabs at an old foe also generated big roars from the crowd as the president continued to take aim at former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. Trump waded into talking about 33,000 missing emails from Clinton’s time at the State Department, musing “now that we have a great attorney general, lets see what happens”, hinting at potential legal action against her.
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org.