Trump’s most lopsided speech yet and what we learned in PA about the midterms

OLast weekend, your reporter traveled to northeastern Pennsylvania for former President Donald Trump’s first rally since the FBI raided his home at Mar-a-Lago in Wilkes-Barre.

Shortly before that, The Independent traveled to the opening of a Pennsylvania Democratic Party office in Scranton — conveniently located on Biden Street, given the president’s Scranton roots — with Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor.

Pennsylvania is, of course, one of the greatest battlegrounds. Mr. Trump notably filed more than 40 lawsuits in Pennsylvania during the 2020 election challenging the results, which Mr. Shapiro successfully countered, making him a prime target at the rally. One of Trump’s biggest supporters in the Pennsylvania Republican Party, State Senator Doug Mastriano – who paid for buses to come to Washington on January 6 – is running against Mr Shapiro.

Here are five takeaways from The Independent’s 4-hour whirlwind trip to northeast Pennsylvania (Cheesesteaks and Italian food not included):

Trump is using Mar-a-Lago as a political rallying cry.

Unsurprisingly, the Mar-a-Lago raid did nothing to dull the ex-president’s bluster. On the contrary, he delivered one of his most bellicose speeches I have heard in a long time.

“This flagrant abuse of the law is going to produce a backlash like no one has ever seen before,” he told the crowd.

Much of the crowd gave some of its loudest lines of applause when he spoke about the search at Mar-a-Lago. Incidentally, Mr. Trump also brought along his lawyer Christina Bobb for the rally, showing that he clearly sees this as an elaborate show with multiple players as if it were still an episode of The apprentice and he’s the main character. The fact that he brought Bobb to her rally also shows that he probably approves of the way she acquitted herself on television despite being the subject of much teasing.

Trump lets his hatred of Fetterman go, but that doesn’t help Dr. Oz.

One of the most lopsided parts of the rally came when Mr Trump said Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for the open Pennsylvania Senate seat, was wearing “dirty, dirty, dirty tracksuits and could dress up like a teenager getting high in his parent’s basement. He then went further to state that Mr. Fetterman “supports taxpayer-funded dens and the complete decriminalization of illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and ultra-lethal fentanyl, and d elsewhere, he takes them himself”.

Much like how Mr. Trump despises Mr. Shapiro for beating him in court, Mr. Fetterman has a way in the former president’s goat given that he frequently pushed back against Mr. Trump’s voter fraud allegations in 2020. This served as a template for the Democrat’s relentless swipes at Dr. Oz on social media for being from neighboring New Jersey. But that didn’t help his favorite Senate candidate, doctor and TV host Mehmet Oz, whom Mr Trump endorsed in the primary.

Dr. Oz did not receive as much applause as the former president or even Mr. Mastriano during the rally, whether during his solo speech or when he joined Mr. Trump.

At one point during Mr. Trump’s speech, an attendee shouted “It’s a RINO,” which Marleen Laska, who was in the audience wearing a Mastriano shirt, repeated when we spoke after the rally. “I don’t believe he’s going to do the right thing for America, for America first,” she told me, despite saying she planned to vote for Dr. Oz. “I have to vote for him because, you know, we have to get at least a RINO as opposed to Fetterman.”

Republicans want to react to hit Democrats on crime, and Democrats are responding in kind.

Mr. Trump’s tirade about Mr. Fetterman’s alleged drug use was among his biggest tear on the crime. Mr Trump spoke of the need to “leave our police alone” – of course, saying that as he criticized the Justice Department. Mr. Trump also described a litany of various crimes committed in the Philadelphia area, which Val Biancaniello, a former Trump delegate, said could be an organizing problem for Republicans.

“That is to say, it’s something that a lot of Pennsylvanians are concerned about, especially those who live in and around Philadelphia,” she said.

Similarly, the Dr. Oz campaign hit out at Mr. Fetterman for hiring Lee and Dennis Horton, who had second-degree murder convictions working on his campaign. In 2020, the state pardons board – headed by Mr Fetterman – recommended commuting their sentences given that they were likely unaware that someone they arrested in 1993 was a murderer. Mr Fetterman’s campaign called it a “sad and desperate libel”.

Incidentally, when I was traveling to Wilkes-Barre through the Lehigh County area by bus, I saw a sign of Biden blasting him to “Defund the Police,” despite Mr. Biden asking for funding. of the font.

Similarly, at the Scranton event, Mr Shapiro spoke about public safety, saying he planned to hire more than 2,000 police officers, “so that people are safe and feel safe” when they see law enforcement, which was met with enthusiastic applause.

Dance around Dobbs

The Dobbs vs. Jackson The decision has proven incredibly unpopular with Republicans nationwide, with Democrats having outperformed in numerous special elections, most recently flipping Alaska’s only congressional seat last week for the first time in 49 years. Mr. Trump mentioned abortion. A few times, noting how he supported exceptions but denounced Democrats.

While Mr. Trump said he supported exceptions, he accused Mr. Shapiro of backing abortion, a bill that would allow abortion “up to the ninth month and beyond.”

“States will make the decision elsewhere, states will make the decision and in Pennsylvania, I have a feeling the decision will be an interesting decision, but it depends on the states,” he said. But the reason abortion would now be left to the states was missing from Mr. Trump’s words, namely that Dobbs v. Jackson overturned the right to abortion enshrined in Roe v. Wade. This in turn was sparked by Mr Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.

Trump’s most lopsided speech yet and what we learned in PA about the midterms

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.