FPresident Donald Trump followed up his Saturday afternoon event in New Hampshire with a similar-style campaign stop in South Carolina.
The two stops were the former president’s first public events since formally launching his 2024 presidential bid and marked a marked departure from his typical high-profile rallies. Trump’s first event, the annual New Hampshire GOP meeting in Salem, took place in a high school auditorium. He introduced his South Carolina leadership team at a closed-door event inside the State Capitol later that afternoon. Both meetings were attended only by GOP insiders, unlike his mega-rallys attended by thousands, but Trump’s Saturday speeches followed his typical script.
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“The 2024 election is our only chance to save our country and we need a leader who is ready to do it on day one. We need a fighter who can stand up to the left, who can face the quagmire, stand up to the media, stand up to the deep state,” Trump told the small crowd at the State Capitol. “May I say stand up to the RINOs? To stand up to the globalists and China, and stand up for America. And that’s what we do, stand up for America.”
The RINO joke, a reference to the term “Republican in name only,” serves as a dig at many of the political pundits Trump was talking to. The event itself took place in an extraordinary setting for the former president, who has built his political reputation by taking on the establishment.
Trump’s visits to the two early voting states highlight his efforts to shore up GOP support for his 2024 bid before other Republicans enter the primary race.
Trump said of his state leadership team, which includes South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), “I really appreciate, I really respect these people … and the state and God bless . you. We need God’s blessings, the country is in big, big trouble. We’re going to turn around and we’re going to do it fast.”
At another point, he said he planned to keep the state’s presidential primary the “first in the South” and called it a “very important state.”
The former president also dismissed media comments about his new campaign style, telling the crowd, “You know, when I announced a couple of months ago, the fake news was saying, ‘Why isn’t he campaigning? There’s d ‘there’s something wrong’. I said, “There are two years until the election, give me a break.” But we have big rallies planned, bigger than ever, the rallies are really bigger than ever because there’s a spirit like we’ve never seen before.”
Top Trump advisers addressed the matter in an interview with Politico in mid-January, telling the outlet that the 45th president had spent the two months since launching his bid opening a campaign headquarters, hiring staff and traveling to key main states.
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“Not everything that happens in the campaign is in the public eye … There is a level of expectation that is perhaps driven by people who don’t see the campaign in perhaps the most positive light,” the adviser said Trump principal Chris LaCivita. way out. “You have to manage your resources, you have to plan, and you have to be prepared, and so all of that, we don’t advertise those aspects of creating campaigns, of organizing campaigns.”
“This campaign is going to be about the future. This campaign is going to be about issues,” Trump said to applause from those at the State Capitol. “Joe Biden has put America on the fast track to ruin and destruction, and we’re going to make sure he doesn’t get four more years.”