Trump Restarts Rallies With Familiar List of Grievances, Insults
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump opened his score-settling summer tour with a rally before thousands of supporters in Ohio, returning to his familiar script of grievances, exaggerated claims and support for loyal Republicans.
The gathering outside Cleveland was Trump’s first public event to back candidates he favors for the 2022 midterms and work to unseat the 10 GOP members of Congress who voted to impeach him for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In an address that lasted about 90 minutes, Trump said that everything he “set up was going down the tubes” and repeated several times his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him, as he recounted at length the record of his administration, and slammed that of President Joe Biden.
“We won the election twice, and it’s possible we’ll have to win it a third time,” Trump said.
The crowed stood and chanted, “Trump won. Trump won.”
In a litany of false claims about election fraud, most of which were thrown out of numerous courts, Trump said he was “ashamed of the Supreme Court,” to which he nominated three of its nine justices.
The Trump events, including a town hall on the Texas-Mexico border next week and an appearance at a Florida Republican Party Independence Day weekend event, are also an opportunity for him to collect money for future political or legal needs and to raise his profile while he is banned from major social media platforms.
The Ohio event was ostensibly to support former White House aide Max Miller, who spoke before Trump and is running in the 2022 midterms against GOP Representative Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach Trump. The former president attended a fundraiser for Miller before the rally and then briefly brought him back on stage.
Trump called Gonzalez a “sell-out, he’s a fake Republican and a disgrace to this state.”
Miller, in his speech, called Gonzalez “Turncoat Tony.”
The rally was held just west of Gonzalez’s district in Lorain County, once a solidly blue-collar Democratic area that Barack Obama won twice, that Hillary Clinton defeated Trump by only 131 votes in 2016 and Trump won by more than 3,800 votes last year.
The rally was also a prime campaign opportunity for the Republicans seeking to replace Senator Rob Portman, who’s retiring from Congress in 2022. All of the Republican primary candidates were in attendance, including venture capitalist J.D. Vance, who is expected to announce his campaign on Wednesday.
While several elected Republicans in Ohio, including Portman and Governor Mike DeWine, skipped the rally, Trump was joined by Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
The leading candidates for Portman’s seat, especially former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, have been trying to outdo each other to show their fealty to Trump to appeal to his supporters in a state Trump won twice by more than 8 percentage points. They have sought his endorsement at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but the former president has so far not backed a candidate in the race.
“Eighty-five percent of Republicans support Trump, so you need to be here to talk to them,” candidate Mike Gibbons, a businessman, said outside of his tailgate.
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