In an urgent warning about a “corrupt and broken system” and the country’s direction under the leadership of Joe Biden and an increasingly radical Democratic Party, former President Donald Trump electrified a crowd of mostly young people in Phoenix on Saturday. In his remarks, which came as part of a “Protect our Elections Rally” hosted at the Arizona Federal Theatre by Turning Point Action, a leading conservative political action committee, Trump said that “the time to hold [Democrats] responsible and fix this broken and corrupt system is not in 2022 or 2024. The time is now. We do not have the luxury to sit back and wait until the next election. If nothing is done, they will just rig and steal it away from the American people again. No other issue is as important.”
Much of Trump’s speech similarly focused on election integrity as a top campaign issue for Republicans heading into the midterm elections next year. Even as congressional Democrats continue their push to federalize elections and remove protections against voter fraud, Trump called for “truth, transparency, and accountability” in election systems and said that “we will not stop until we have restored our American birthright of honest, free, and fair elections.”
Several Arizona state senators were present at the event and received a shoutout from President Trump, who thanked them for their “tremendous courage.” The Arizona state Senate is in the middle of a forensic audit of ballots cast in Maricopa County during the 2020 election, an investigation that has already flagged numerous issues of concern, as Trump detailed at length in his remarks.
The former president also delivered a brutal takedown of Biden’s radical agenda in the nearly two-hour long speech, lamenting that “our country is being destroyed by people who have no right to destroy it.”
Trump went on to list the many crises currently facing the nation, saying that “crime is surging. Inflation is soaring. The border is gone. We went from the strongest border ever to the weakest border ever. The border is non-existent. Illegal aliens are pouring in, in record numbers. Critical race theory is being forced into every facet of our society. Free speech is being crushed.”
Rampant violent crime in Democrat-run cities, a topic largely ignored by the mainstream media, was a key issue Trump expanded upon in the speech. “The crime has never been higher,” Trump said, citing record numbers of shootings in places like Chicago and New York, a situation that he called “worse than any war zone anywhere in the world.”
Trump also lambasted Democrat officials in New York for continuing to pursue frivolous lawsuits against him. “Innocent people are beaten in the streets daily. People are shot in Times Square. Rapes and murders are totally out of control. And yet what are the leftists and the attorney general and district attorney’s offices working on so diligently?… They campaign on getting Trump.”
As illegal border crossings continue to skyrocket in Arizona and across much of the southwest, Trump called out the Biden administration’s disastrous open borders policies, saying that “the flood of illegal immigrants is also placing a crushing burden on communities across the state and throughout the nation, depleting your already overcrowded schools and hospitals and public services of critical resources.”
President Trump concluded his remarks with a rousing exhortation that earned thunderous applause from the crowd. “Our movement is driven by a love for America and an ironclad faith in the American people,” Trump said. “We know in our veins that our American inheritance was passed down to us by generations of patriots who gave everything they had, their sweat, their blood, and even their very lives to build America into the most powerful nation in the history of the world. And we are not going to let it be taken away from us by a small group of radical left, Marxist maniacs.”
More than 5,000 people were inside the theater to hear the speech, some having waited in line starting as early as 4:30 a.m. to get in. Many more gathered outside in the summer heat to show their support for the former President, more evidence that his popularity among Republicans has not declined since leaving office.
“I love President Trump” one woman outside the event said, going on to explain that “I think he holds a lot of my values and my family’s values.” Another person present expressed hope that Trump would run for President again in 2024, saying that “I would want our country to get back on track.”
The reaction was similarly enthusiastic on social media, with many conservatives applauding Trump for a stellar and energetic performance. Author Brigitte Gabriel stated her hope for a second Trump term, tweeting “TRUMP 2024: SAVE AMERICA AGAIN.” Blake Masters, a major candidate to challenge Democrat Mark Kelly for his U.S. Senate seat in 2022, was present at the event and tweeted that President Trump was in “top form” and described the “incredible 2016 energy” inside the theater.
As the battle for control of Congress in 2022 ramps up, President Trump has only solidified his status as the leader of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, drawing large, enthusiastic crowds each time he has made a public appearance since leaving office. If Republicans do take back control of the House and Senate, they will likely look back on moments like Saturday as the foundation of that victory.
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