Reports that President Trump is mulling a rival rally in Florida to split screen Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 drew mixed feelings from the Trump faithful in the Sunshine State on Monday.
On Sunday, media reports again cited sources who said the president is considering a rally, presumably in his adopted home state, to announce he intends a comeback presidential campaign in 2024. That event would take place on Jan. 20, at least in part to draw attention away from the swearing-in ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden.
In June 2019, Trump formally kicked off his 2020 re-election bid at a rally in downtown Orlando. Four years earlier, he had announced his 2016 presidential candidacy at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
State Republican Party chair Joe Gruters said Monday has has “not heard any specifics” about an Inauguration Day Trump event. But he said he would welcome one if the president moves forward.
“I have not heard any specifics but Florida would welcome our home state president anytime,” Gruters said. “It’s obvious based on the results Florida produced that people love him here … so it makes perfect sense if he does decide to have one here.”
Willie Guardiola, who organizes of pro-Trump street shows up support throughout Palm Beach County, said he has heard Trump might be planning a Florida event. But Guardiola said the focus right now must remain on continued challenges to the 2020 election results.
“Why is he planning a rally when he won the election?” Guardiola said. “I’m sticking to my guns that Trump is going to get four more years. I can’t relate to another rally, I can’t promote another rally, because we have to do first things first. I am a true believer that fraud took place in a lot of these swing states and it’s going to go to the Supreme Court.”
Perhaps, but the Trump campaign and its advocates suffered yet another embarrassing legal defeat on Monday.
A Michigan federal judge, U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker, ruled against a broadly-worded attempt to overturn that state’s Nov. 3 vote. The judge ruled the legal challenge filed by attorney Sidney Powell — who was removed from Rudy Guiliani’s team last month — only provided “theories, conjecture and speculation” but little evidence of wrongdoing.
“The people have spoken,” Parker ruled.
The defeat in Michigan federal court is only the latest of dozens of legal flops by Trump’s campaign and allies who have repeatedly failed to produce evidence of widespread fraud, let alone produce meaningful victories in courtrooms. More often than not, they have earned rebukes from judges for filing what turned out to be frivolous cases.
Moreover, the president’s lawyers, including Rudy Guiliani, who has tested positive for COVID-19, are running out of time.
On Tuesday, states will submit the lists of electors who will cast votes on behalf of their states’ electorates next week in the Electoral College. That tally will take place Dec. 14.
President-elect Joe Biden has received more than the required 270 electoral votes among the states that have already certified their election results.
Trump, however, continues to demand that swing state officials, particularly in Georgia, overrule the will of voters by abrogating the Nov. 3 voting results and instead appoint electors who will vote for him.
“The Republican Governor of Georgia refuses to do signature verification, which would give us an easy win. What’s wrong with this guy? What is he hiding?” Trump tweeted on Monday.
The Republican Governor of Georgia refuses to do signature verification, which would give us an easy win. What’s wrong with this guy? What is he hiding?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2020
But Georgia’s GOP Gov. Brian Kemp has steadfastly stiff-armed the president’s pressure campaign. And Georgia elections officials have said that recounts and audits showed no evidence of fraud and that Biden won the state’s 16 electoral votes.
Biden won the 2020 election with 306 electoral votes to 232 for Trump. Biden carried the popular vote by just over 7 million votes.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Mixed reception in Florida to talk of Trump inaugural rally
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