Donald Trump’s first MAGA rally since leaving the White House was billed as a takedown of one of the 10 Republicans who voted for the then-president’s impeachment following the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots.
“He’s a sell out and fake Republican,” Trump said of Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez as he boosted his own former aide and 16th district candidate Max Miller. But Trump’s apparent laser focus on getting even for past slights was short-lived.
Instead, he delivered a red-meat speech to thousands of die-hard fans who crowded the Lorain County fairgrounds in rural northeast Ohio and were eager to hear the ex-president deliver lines they have heard for years.
Over the course of a winding but largely familiar speech, Trump took aim at political enemies, aired a long list of grievances, waxed poetic about his time in the Oval Office, and entertained a lineup of right-wing figures who helped him fan conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
Tony Hocevar, a longtime supporter from the Cleveland area, said he wanted to hear Trump talk about “the same stuff — just more of it.”
For over an hour, Trump took aim at the Biden administration’s policies on immigration and Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to the southern border, and, without saying his name, slammed Gen. Mark Milley and “woke generals” over their comments about critical race theory. He revived chants of “lock her up!” about Hillary Clinton and read the poem “The Snake,” a fan favorite from the 2016 campaign trail.