Trump hits out on immigration, touts Republicans at Ohio rally | Voice of America


WELLINGTON, OHIO – In his first rally since leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted the Biden administration’s immigration policies and urged his supporters to help Republicans regain a majority in the Congress.

While Trump has delivered speeches at Republican events since his electoral defeat to Democratic President Joe Biden, the statewide rally he staged in the 2020 election marks a return to the type of mass free-wheeling rallies which were essential in maintaining the support of its base. .

Trump stepped down following the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol by his supporters, shortly after a speech in which he repeated his false claims that his electoral defeat was the result of fraud. He survived a second impeachment and retained broad influence over the Republican Party, in part leaving open the question of whether he will stand for re-election in 2024.

In front of a crowd of thousands of jubilant supporters on Saturday, Trump underlined some of his usual grievances, criticizing the US election and with particular emphasis on the growing number of immigrants entering the United States along its border South.

“We will take back the House, we will take back the Senate and we will take back America, and we will do it soon,” he said.

The weak majorities of Democrats in both houses of Congress will be at stake in the 2022 midterm election and history favors Republicans’ chances of securing seats in those contests.

Trump’s return to a large rally marks the start of public events targeting Republican elected officials he considers to have crossed paths with him.

In Ohio, he campaigned for former White House aide Max Miller, who made a main challenge against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement. the January 6 attack on the Capitol which left five dead including a Capitol police officer.

Trump has pledged to campaign against the 10. He has also backed a challenger to Senator Lisa Murkowski, the only one of the seven Senate Republicans to vote to convict him in his impeachment trial in January and who is due for re-election. in 2022.

The event from Ohio to Wellington, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland, was the first of three public appearances. Next is a trip to the US-Mexico border with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 30 and a rally in Sarasota, Fla. On July 3.

Supporters said they hoped Trump would use such events to help unify the party behind like-minded congressional candidates.

“The continuation of these rallies is extremely important,” said Jessica Dicken, a 30-year-old stay-at-home mom from Southeast Ohio, adding that Trump could be “a voice for the more conservative movement here in the world. Ohio and across the country “.

“We are going to lose our country”

Trump continued to feud with other senior Republicans. He lashed out at former Vice President Mike Pence, who he said could have prevented Congress from certifying Biden’s victory on January 6, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for qualifying Trump of “practically and morally responsible” for the violence of this day. .

Pence defended his actions in a speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Library.

“There is more at stake than our party and our political fortunes right now,” Pence said. “If we lose faith in the Constitution, we will not only lose the elections, we will lose our country. “

Trump’s repeated false allegations of electoral fraud have gripped Republican voters. Some 53% of Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election and attribute his loss to illegal voting, and a quarter of the general public agreed Trump won, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll.

Republican strategist Matt Dole has said Trump and those who try to stay close to him benefit from such public displays of bonhomie. Some of the candidates now seeking his approval have made disparaging comments about Trump in the past.

“These are marriages of convenience,” said Dole, who is based in Ohio. “Donald Trump is using these opportunities to keep his name there, to keep the base motivated.”

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