On June 26, Donald Trump participated in his first post-presidential rally in Ohio. Thousands of people gathered at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington to hear the former president talk in the first of his “Save America” rallies. In his one-and-a-half-hour speech, Trump criticized President Biden’s administration on a wide range of issues, from poor border policies to pushing critical race theory.
“After just five months, the Biden administration is already a complete and total catastrophe,” Trump said.
“Immediately upon taking office Joe Biden deliberately and systematically through his people, because I don’t think he did it, dismantled America’s border defenses and incited a flood of illegal migrants like this country has never seen. They violated our laws from every single corner of the globe. They were invited in, and we can’t do that. We can’t afford it. We can’t have it.”
Trump said that illegal border crossings have risen by 976 percent in just a few short months. At the time of leaving office, his administration gave the new government “the most secure Southern border” the country has ever seen.
The Trump administration applied several strategies that secured the border. It ended the catch and release program where immigrants who were caught were released into the country; it ended asylum fraud; it built 500 miles of border wall; it empowered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to do their jobs; it canceled sanctuary cities; and it caught illegal aliens and “threw them hell out of our country.”
“Once we got the word out, people didn’t come. It wasn’t really that big a deal, people just didn’t come. Once he came in and he said ‘We want everybody to come in,’ oh, that was a disaster.” Trump accused Biden of surrendering America’s sovereignty and endangering the lives of its people.
Energy and climate
Trump warned that Biden was compromising America’s energy security and that the country would become dependent on the Middle East and Russia for oil. He also slammed Biden’s policy on the Keystone Pipeline.
“Biden canceled the American Keystone XL pipeline and its 48,000 jobs for American workers. But he approved the Russian pipeline to Europe… I stopped the pipeline to Europe. I sanctioned them all over the place.”
In December 2019, Trump had signed a law that imposed sanctions on any company that helps Russian state-backed Gazprom to complete the Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline to the European Union nations. Washington saw the pipeline as undermining European energy security.
Trump also criticized Biden for pushing the United States back into the Paris climate accord, a move he says will devastate Ohio’s oil and gas industry. “Trillions of dollars of damage is going to be done… He put us immediately back without even negotiating. Just the same horrible deal.”
Trump claimed that he had a “great relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping until the coronavirus pandemic. He highlighted the trade deal signed with China which benefited American farmers. Trump also admitted to having a good relationship with North Korean premier Kim Jong-un. He criticized Biden’s soft approach to the Iran nuclear deal and stated that if he had won, a pro-American Iranian deal would have been done “in one week.”
Under Trump, the U.S. wiped out ISIS and executed its founder al-Baghdadi who wanted to rebuild the terrorist organization. The former president also secured $430 billion from NATO as payment for the protection provided by the American military. The Trump administration also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Joe Biden is squandering all of this hard-earned respect that we have, or had. Bowing down to America’s enemies and embarrassing our country on the world stage… Biden and the Democrats are weak on China, weak on Iran, weak on trade, weak on the economy, and weak on everything else except for weaponizing law enforcement to go after Republicans. Right? That’s the only thing they’re strong on.”
Under the Trump administration, COVID-19 vaccines were developed in less than nine months when many people said that “it would take three years to five years.” Trump pointed out that the media never reported that the vaccine was effective prior to the election.
Trump brought up the COVID-19 lab leak theory, noting that he had been criticized for suggesting it. But now, the theory is gaining traction. He reminded the audience that Biden had canceled a government investigation into the lab leak theory shortly after taking office.
“The media and the Democrats are now admitting that I was right about everything… Now they’re saying, ‘Well, he was right about these things.’ That’s all right. Big deal. Right? Big deal.”
Critical race theory
Trump warned that the Biden administration is pushing critical race theory into schoolrooms and the military. The theory espouses racial hatred by classifying whites as oppressors and other groups like blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos as the oppressed.
The former president said that the military generals and admirals are now “more focused on this nonsense than they are on our enemies… The military brass have become weak and ineffective leaders and our enemies are watching and they’re laughing.”
He said that if government-run schools are teaching children to hate their country and are promoting racism, parents must opt out of such schools. He stated that a Republican Congress needs to ban critical race theory.
Trump endorsed Republican Mike Carey for an upcoming special primary election on August 3 for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. He also extended support for marine veteran Max Miller for the 16th Congressional District seat. Miller had served as a White House adviser during the Trump administration.
The former president severely criticized Miller’s competitor Republican Anthony Gonzalez who he called a “candidate of Liz Cheney.”
“He’s a grandstanding RINO… He’s a sellout. He’s a fake Republican and a disgrace to your state. I will tell you that. He’s not the candidate that you want representing the Republican Party.”
RINO, or Republican In Name Only, is a pejorative which is applied to Republicans who “govern like Democrats.” Trump loyalists typically oppose policies of RINOs.
Trump stated that Gonzalez had earlier voted to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, voted to keep American troops in Syria, and voted in support of his impeachment. Gonzalez was censured by the Ohio GOP after his vote for impeaching Trump.
Trump called the 2020 election “the crime of the century.” He accused Democrats of using COVID-19 to help instigate election fraud. He called the mail-in ballots “treacherous” and pointed to several irregularities in the election, including ballots being pulled out from under the tables and Republican poll watchers being denied access to counting rooms, for example.
The former president lamented that hundreds of poll workers, poll watchers, and witnesses who had submitted affidavits signed under perjury have been silenced. They have not been heard in court because, according to Trump, the judges were “gutless.”
“Our Supreme Court, I must say, I am ashamed of our Supreme Court. I’m ashamed. They were not allowed to be seen or be used.”
Trump thanked the audience in Ohio for the turnout in what he called “the very first rally of the 2022 election.” He said that the number one priority for Republicans is to “pour every single ounce of energy” into making sure that the GOP gets a “gigantic victory” in the midterms.
“My fellow Americans, our movement is far from over. In fact, our fight has only just begun. We are one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God,” Trump said in his closing statements.