LONDONDERRY, N.H. — President Trump thoroughly mocked Joe Biden and decried the protesters and Democratic leaders he claims don’t respect “law and order” as he flew into the Granite State to kick off the general election campaign.
“Joe Biden is coming out of the basement again,” Trump said of the Democratic presidential nominee, who announced plans to hit the campaign trail after Labor Day. “Here’s what I don’t get: He said in 10 days. That’s a long time. That’s like an eternity in ‘Trumpville.'”
If Biden wins, “which I honestly can’t believe could happen,” Trump said, “I will have lost to a low IQ individual.”
His showmanship on full display after a relatively toned-down Republican National Convention acceptance speech Thursday, Trump slammed Biden as “weak as hell” and a “puppet of the radical left.”
Trump decried recent protests over police brutality — labeling D.C. demonstrators as “thugs” and denouncing those who took to the streets after his speech Thursday and shouted at his supporters.
“They’re just looking for trouble. It has nothing to do with George Floyd,” Trump said of the Black man whose death in Minneapolis Police custody sparked nationwide protests. “They don’t even know who George Floyd is.”
Trump applauded himself for “a really good, quality convention,” touted his first-term accomplishments on trade and the economy, and lauded his administration’s efforts against the coronavirus that’s infected 5.9 million Americans and killed 181,000.
Before the “plague flew in from China … this election was over,” Trump said. “Then I had to go back to work. And we’ve done an incredible job in every aspect of running government. But I had to start campaigning again.”
Biden, in a statement ahead of the rally, blasted Trump’s “mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.”
But the coronavirus appeared to be an afterthought for many inside the open Londonderry airplane hangar and the hundreds of people in the overflow crowd outside. Despite New Hampshire requiring masks at events with more than 100 people, and Trump’s team passing them out to attendees, a solid half the crowd went without any face coverings. A loudspeaker announcement reminding people to wear masks was met with boos from the crowd. Hundreds of seats — several of which were empty as Trump’s speech got underway, despite the venue being at capacity — were placed with no space in between. One man walked around in a T-shirt that read “COVID-19 just tested for fraud.”
“I had no concerns about the China virus,” Belchertown Republican Cyrus Sikoski said, praising Trump’s leadership on the disease. “I don’t think it’s that much of a situation for the United States right now.”
In his third Granite State rally in a year — and first stop after the Republican National Convention — Trump said “we have to” win New Hampshire in November after narrowly losing the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The sizable contingent of Bay State Republicans who crossed the border to see the president — who were rewarded with prime seats in a riser flanking the stage — said they’re ready to help. Among them were Charlie Chase, the Fall River veteran who says he’s now been twice attacked for brandishing signs in support of the president, and Rayla Campbell, a GOP candidate running against U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
“It’s a new Republican Party in Massachusetts,” Campbell said, proudly. “We’re it.”
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