Trump rails against ‘migrant crime’ and ‘rigged’ 2020 election at Wisconsin rally

By | April 3, 2024

On the day of Wisconsin’s presidential primary, Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in the state, railing against so-called “migrant crime” and doubling down on his false election claims.

“We won in 2016 – we did a lot better in 2020, I hate to say it, we did a lot better,” the former president told the cheering crowd, nodding several times during his speech. refuted and unfounded ‘manipulating’. .

Related: Biden and Trump win four primaries, including the state of Wisconsin

“We will throw out the sick political class that hates us,” he later continued. “We will put the fake news media to flight, we will drain the swamp and we will rid our country of these tyrants and villains once and for all.”

Hours earlier, the rainy weather in Green Bay had turned muddy, frigid and painful as gusts blew the precipitation aside. It didn’t stop thousands of Trump supporters from crowding there for hours, forming a parade that wound up and away from the site and over the bridge over the Fox River two blocks away.

According to most opinion polls, Trump is fighting for his life in Wisconsin, a state he lost to Joe Biden four years ago. But you’d never know that at the KI Convention Center, where his red-and-white and sequined supporters came to speak for him for the first time this campaign season.

“Personally, I like that he’s unapologetic,” said Ethan Nielsen, an 18-year-old who attended the rally with his father while waiting in line. “He believes what he believes and he doesn’t go back on what he says.”

Devoted attendees, who had waited for hours in hypothermic weather, gathered in rows of chairs. The rest of the crowd walked around patiently, the silence interrupted a few times by MyPillow founder and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, who kept the audience engaged from his perch at the heart of the TV news joke.

Before Trump’s speech, Sen. Ron Johnson, a staunch Trump ally and outspoken promoter of the election and vaccine disinformation fueling his base, delivered brief but passionate remarks. It was up to Wisconsin, he said, to give Trump a big red wave in November.

To do that, Republicans should embrace absentee voting.

“Today is the perfect example of why,” Johnson said, to muted applause. “We can’t afford to have a miserable Election Day in November without our votes already collected – so embrace early voting, we must.”

His plea reflects a contradiction within the Republican Party, whose star has protested absentee voting for the past four years and falsely claimed the method facilitated widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Trump’s claims of voter fraud have even sparked a movement on the fringes of the Republican Party to abolish vote tabulations entirely and return to manual counting — an unreliable method that would be virtually impossible to implement in large municipalities .

In Wisconsin, where a small local campaign to abolish voting machines has taken hold, absentee ballots are at the heart of election conspiracy theories.

That’s just one of many rifts that have torn the Republican Party since Trump left office, publicly erupted in the House of Representatives, engulfed Michigan’s Republican Party in chaos and took hold in Wisconsin, where Trump’s most fervent base has waged a seemingly endless campaign has launched. to take down Republican state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

Even the idea of ​​a new Trump candidacy has sparked controversy.

“The party is pretty solid on immigration and where we are in the world,” Andy Williams, an attorney and prominent party activist from Brown County, told me as he waited outside the convention center for the meeting. “What drives them apart [is] whether or not Trump should be the nominee or someone else.”

Republicans showed a show of unity during Trump’s appearance in Green Bay, where he took a moment to support Senate candidate Eric Hovde, who is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, before continuing his tirade.

In his speech, Trump focused on his favorite bogeyman: undocumented immigrants. He peppered the crowd with anecdotal examples of crimes committed by migrants, drawing mockery from his audience.

“This is an invasion of our country,” Trump said. Earlier on Tuesday, the Republican National Committee, which has been overhauled by Trump’s team and staffed with loyalists, created a new website dedicated to, in their words, “Biden’s border massacre,” in an effort to spin Trump’s violent rhetoric.

As his speech came to a close, Trump returned to the topic of elections, recalling that he would still need people to vote for him.

“So if you want to save America, get everyone you know registered as a Republican as soon as possible, sign up for our campaign and get out and vote in record numbers,” Trump said. “We want record numbers – even tonight it is important to get out.”

Outside, the streets were slick from slushy rain that had turned to snow as attendees left the meeting. There were still two hours left for voting.

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