Donald Trump boasted about his popularity and said candidates were ‘kissing [his] a**’ to get his endorsement during his Ohio rally on Saturday night.
His speech was also filled with vitriol for political enemies on both sides of the aisle from Democrats running for Congress to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell
The ex-president also riled up the crowd with yet another hint that he’s looking to run for the White House again in 2024, telling supporters ‘we’re gonna take back’ the White House.
Wading into the culture wars, he also said at one point: ‘We don’t want them teach transgender to our children without parental consent.’
‘I really believe it’s 200 million people we’re talking about, not the 75 million, which is a record in the history of our country for a sitting president,’ Trump told supporters after accusing the Biden administration of weaponizing the Justice Department when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago. ‘Not the 75 million people that voted – I think it’s a lot more than that.’
The former president also appeared to have on his mind reports of growing concern among the establishment GOP over the electability of Trump’s more fringe midterm candidates.
He took aim at suggestions that Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance is trying to distance himself from Trump in order to appear more moderate. He won the battleground state over President Joe Biden by a margin of eight points.
‘JD is kissing my a**, he wants my support,’ Trump said of Vance, who was present and spoke at the rally. ‘I’m 18 points up. If I was 18 points down, he wouldn’t want my support.’
Donald Trump appeared on stage shortly before 8pm on Saturday night in Youngstown, Ohio
Trump said Senate Republican candidate JD Vance is ‘kissing my a**’ while Vance was sitting feet away
The crowd was enthusiastic for much of the evening and grew ecstatic when Trump hinted he’d run for the White House again
Trump’s penchant for theatrics was on full display toward the end of his hour-and-forty-minute speech when his speech was joined by a cinematic composition that played as the ex-president opined on the state of the country and promised a better future.
‘We are a nation that has lost its way but we are not going to let this continue,’ he said as the music swelled. ‘Two years ago we were a nation and we will soon be a great nation again.’
‘My fellow citizens this incredible journey we’re on together has only just begun, and it is time to start talking about greatness for our country again.’
It comes as the election continues to exacerbate divisions within the Republican Party between factions headed by Trump and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
‘Mitch McConnell ought to get on the ball’ to halt inflation, the ex-president said, adding that the Senate Minority Leader is ‘like a Democrat.’
He later took aim at his favorite Republican punching bag again, declaring: ‘ Mitch McConnell is a disgrace, and I hope you’re gonna do something about it, JD.’
Trump’s speech was also filled with vitriol for his political enemies on both sides of the aisle
He attacked Mitch McConnell, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, among others
His supporters have been waiting since early Saturday morning for a spot at the rally
Trump’s calls to remove McConnell from the leadership role he’s long held have fallen largely on deaf ears so far – but multiple Senate hopefuls backed by the ex-president have signaled that they’re willing to turn against the Kentucky lawmaker.
He also saved ire for Democrats, mocking New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the Green New Deal proposal she led.
Trump said his fellow New Yorker was a ‘poor student’ in college and ‘didn’t take courses in the environment.’
‘Other than that, she knows a lot about what’s going on,’ he said. ‘She’s got a good line of crap, I’ll tell you that.’
Trump took the stage shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
His speech saw the former commander-in-chief hop between various grievances about political enemies and Democrats running for Congress in November.
The crowd, which had been noticeably thin for much of the night, filled out just before the former president was due on stage.
His lineup of speakers, four Congressional hopefuls and House Reps. Bill Johnson and Jim Jordan, were joined by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for a previously-unannounced speech.
Greene called to ‘defund wokeness from all colleges and universities’ while pledging to pass a Parental Bill of Rights if Republicans take back the House of Representatives in November.
‘If the government wants to replace parents to brainwash our children, well you know what, we will just have to defund the Department of Education,’ she said as the crowd erupted in approving cheers.
Also appearing with Trump on Saturday were House candidates Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, JR Majewski and Max Miller – a former aide in Trump’s White House.
Vance is currently locked in a tight race against Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who Vance has sought to paint as a career politician similar to Biden.
‘There are two Tims out there. There’s a DC Tim who votes 100 percent of the time with Joe Biden, there’s campaign Tim who pretends he’s a moderate,’ Vance said.
‘We need to kick DC Tim to the curb, make him go back home and get a real job for once.’
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group