Trump was on his home turf in West Palm Beach on Saturday, addressing the wildly supportive crowd at the Turning Point Action conference. As the attendees anticipated his entrance, they stood on chairs, got out their cell phones, and turned their attention to the stage.
It was clear from speaking to the attendees that Trump was the favorite at Turning Point. DeSantis, who did not attend, was most noticeable by the fact that he was not missed.
As he was introduced, with massive sparklers flanking the stage, the room was electric. It has been three years since Trump left office, ceding the White House to the Biden administration, and yet his support has not waned. Indictments, media smears, and ongoing hate from the progressive left have done nothing to assuage the support he has from the grassroots Turning Point movement.
"USA! USA!" The crowd cheered.
Trump's policies and plans of action are a welcome expression of hope for a conservative audience that is yearning to have a voice at the proverbial table.
"I’m thrilled to be back with the proud young conservative patriots of Turning Point Action and Turning Point USA!" He said. He spoke to the political activists and students about how essential voting policies are, including initiatives in key swing states.
"I want to thank our good friend Charlie Kirk for everything he’s done to build Turning Point into one of the most powerful grassroots organizations in the nation." Trump thanked many high-profile supporters, including local lawmakers like Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, and Byron Donalds. He also thanked Ike Perlmutter, who Trump said "is one of the most successful businessmen on the planet."
"This election will decide whether your generation inherits a fascist country or a free country—whether you will have the rule of tyrants or the rule of law—whether Marxist radicals burn our civilization to the ground, which they're looking to do, or young patriots like you propel America to glorious new heights like never before," he said.
"Side by side, we are going to fight and we are going to win. We are going to evict Crooked Joe Biden... from the White House," he said. Trump slammed Biden for rushing headlong into World War III, which will likely be a nuclear war with a global nuclear superpower, Russia.
"Under Biden, hope and opportunity for young people are being utterly extinguished," Trump said."In the Biden economy, one-third of Gen Z and millennials have no savings whatsoever. Home ownership has been pushed out of reach for millions, with the rate for a 30-year mortgage up 157% since I left office. Real wages collapsed 26 months in a row. Typical Americans have seen their incomes crushed by $7,400 a year since Biden took office, the biggest pay cut in decades," he said.
"Our rights and our liberties are being torn to shreds," he said, noting the "invasion" of illegal immigrants across the porous southern border. He spoke directly to the political activists at Turning Point, saying "as I stand here tonight, I know that the young conservative warriors of TURNING POINT will NEVER let that happen! Every day, you reject conformity, you face down the thought police, you defend our values, and you never yield to the Radical Left. That’s why YOU are the ones who are going to take back America, and Make America Great Again!"
"We're in big trouble. Today the greatest threat are the sick sinister and evil forces trying to destroy our nation from within," Trump said. Foreign threats are "not a problem" if there's the right leadership, Trump noted. Biden, he intimated, is a totally clueless man in decline who has no business leading the nation. He mistakes Zelensky for Putin, and often refers to the war in Iraq, meaning the war in Ukraine.
When he said he would "become the 47th president of the United States," the audience broke into cheers, applause and chanted his name. Some 6,000 attendees gave their full support to Trump.
"I will quickly stop Joe Biden’s inflation nightmare, restore energy independence, and bring down interest rates so that young people can once again afford to buy a house and a car—the basics of the American Dream," Trump promised.
"The American dream is dead under Biden, we will have it back very soon," he said.
"We will rapidly rebuild the greatest economy in the history of the world," Trump said, noting the detrimental impacts of Covid and Biden on that stellar economy."
"I did it before—twice, and we will do it once again," he continued.
"We were right about a lot of things," he said, citing the Covid lab leak theory, which was censored on social media at the behest of the Biden administration.
"After 50 years of leftist domination of the universities, I will take bold action to reclaim our colleges from the Communist Left," he said.
"Anti-American radicals will no longer be given a free hand to dominate our institutions of higher education. Using my leverage over college accreditors, we are going to choke off the money to schools that aid in the Marxist assault on our American heritage and on Western Civilization... The days of subsidizing Communist indoctrination in our colleges will soon be over," he went on to say.
Turning Point has chapters across the country at colleges and high schools, and the students come from all over to share views and find like-minded people. It's something of a respite from wildly leftist campuses.
"We are going to smash the Marxist Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion bureaucracies that are driving up tuition costs and sticking you with crushing debt," he said. For any universities that want federal student loan dollars, we will also require them to offer real job placement and career services, as well as options for accelerated and low-cost degrees."
Tuition has risen exponentially, and there's been little to show for it except for increasing debt and decreasing skills for America's graduates.
"My administration will strictly enforce last month’s landmark Supreme Court decision to move our country forward with a merit-based system of education," he spoke about the necessity of a system that does not prioritize race and ethnicity.
"And if colleges persist in continuing to violate your Civil Rights, we will have their endowments severely taxed and fined, with a portion of the seized funds used as restitution for the victims of their racist practices," Trump said.
He also said he wants to destroy the Department of Education, that it's not at all effective in educating and preparing America's youth, and wastes an intense amount of money.
"Under my leadership, we will bring back free speech in America... Just last week, in a historic ruling, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to cease and desist from their illegal and unconstitutional censorship in collusion with social media. In other words, the election was fixed!" He said.
The censorship that the Biden campaign and deep state engaged in, Trump said, swung the election by 10-17 percent, according to pollsters.
"The censorship industrial complex... will be de-funded, dismantled, and destroyed 100 percent," Trump said, and that anyone who participated in it while on the payroll of the federal government will be fired. The crowd was pleased with this one.
When he mentioned Fox News, they booed roundly. But he showed a Fox poll that showed Trump leads DeSantis by 50 points.
"I don't know why he's not here," Trump said, "he should be here representing himself." Trump is believed to be the obvious nominee for the GOP in 2024. Trump has been reading the polls, and listed off his leads in Nevada, South Caroline, Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states.
"And we're leading Biden by a lot," he said, noting that he's up over Biden by 7 points in some polls, and 10-12 points in other polls.
"Who the hell would vote for this guy? It's such a mess," Trump said. He believes that there are Democrats who are done with Biden who will lean GOP when the time comes to cast their ballots.
And he took aim at DeSantis, Florida's governor, and some of the policies in his state. He also slammed DeSantis for running at all and "dividing" the GOP "right when we should be uniting."
"Now is the time when Republicans should be using those funds to build a state-of-the-art vote-gathering operation to swamp the Democrats’ cheating and ballot harvesting," Trump said.
Trump addressed the "witch hunt" of indictments and investigations against him. The Biden administration is using lawfare to attack his biggest and most formidable political opponent. He calls the charges against him under the Espionage Act "election interference." Biden, of course, has many boxes of documents that have not been remotely investigated or questioned by the same DOJ that is prosecuting Trump.
"Why hasn't he been charged under this Act?" Trump asked. Unlike Trump, Biden wasn't president when he absconded with his boxes of documents. Trump spoke about the Presidential Records Act, which gives him the authority to determine which documents are his personal records and which are part of the National Archives.
"Who else gets indicted and their poll numbers go up?" He joked.
"I never hit Biden as hard as I should have or as hard as I could have," he said, but now the "gloves can come off" after Biden arrested his opponent in the middle of an election process. "I'm doing this for you," he said. Biden, he said, is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the nation, especially when representing the country internationally.
If he had it to do again, Trump said, he would do so "without question."
"And we're going to do it again and we'll do it even better," he said.
"Never forget—our enemies want to stop us because we are the only ones... who can stop them. They want to take away MY freedom because I will never let them take away your freedom. They want to silence me, because I will never let them silence you. In the end, they’re not after me, they’re after you—and I’m just standing in their way," he said.
Trump said that if he did not have such a commanding lead, "none of this stuff would be happening." He believes fully that he is being politically prosecuted in each case, those in New York and those at the federal level.
"Just think of what we already accomplished in four incredible years," Trump said. We delivered the largest tax cuts and regulatory cuts in history, and likewise we built the greatest economy in the history of the world... We achieved energy independence and energy dominance for the first time in 60 years," he said, taking aim at China and the soft policies of the Biden administration.
We created the most secure border in U.S. history, built nearly 500 miles of border wall," he said. It was when the Biden administration put a stop to the wall project that Trump realized they wanted an open border.
"We got Mexico to give us 28,000 soldiers free of charge, and that was hard," he said. His administration also negotiated 'Remain in Mexico,' terminated the ridiculous Catch-and-Release program, and deported illegal immigrants criminals, like MS-13 gang members, by the thousands, he noted. It was in part through threats of tariffs that Trump orchestrated this change.
"I fully rebuilt the U.S. military, created Space Force, defeated ISIS, I did it in four weeks because we have great generals... and brought our troops back home... And I was the first president in decades who didn’t start a war," he said of his record.
Trump told a story from his presidency during which he flew to Iraq, which likely everyone in attendance had heard before.
On the way in, security determined that all the lights in the plane should be turned off entirely. He balked that after fighting in the country "for 21 years," it was still unsafe to land a plane. Even the runway had absolutely no lights as the plane descended onto an unseen runway. He joked that he would have given himself a Congressional Medal of Honor if he could have, for the insanity of the dark flight and pitch-black landing. It was on that trip that he met a general called Raisin Caine.
He asked Caine, "why is it that we can't defeat ISIS? We have the best weapons, the best equipment in the world," he said. It was Caine who said ISIS could be defeated in three weeks. Trump relished the telling of the story that he has told before, and the crowd was rapt with attention.
Trump slammed Biden for having told the world that the US and Ukraine is "running out of ammunition." That, Trump said, "is classified information, you know that."
"When I get back in the Oval Office, I will totally obliterate the Deep State," he promised.
"I will fire the corrupt bureaucrats," he said. "And we will create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to declassify and publish all documents on Deep State spying, censorship, and corruption."
"Shortly after I win the presidency, I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine settled," he vowed.
"Two days ago Biden stupidly said that the United States is out of ammunition, and yet we are sending cluster bombs to Ukraine. And just the other day, he announced he’s sending thousands of reserve troops despite the fact that the U.S. military has been so badly depleted," Trump said. Biden announced a drawdown of troops to help with Operation Atlantic Freedom in Europe, aka the war in Ukraine.
"Not a single American mother or father should ever have to worry that their child will be sent to die in Eastern Europe," Trump said, addressing the concerns of many parents across the US.
DeSantis, he said, "cannot do it, because he is owned and controlled by the globalist establishment who always put America Last. We all saw how quickly DeSanctus reversed himself."
He went into the details of DeSantis' gubernatorial campaign, and how he endorsed him and campaigned for him. But for Trump, "loyalty matters."
I will prevent World War Three," Trump said. Independence from China, trade restrictions and tariffs, and holding the CCP responsible for the Covid pandemic, or as Trump calls it, the "China Virus," which leaked from a Wuhan lab and infected so many around the world.
Trump has strident plans for immigration and how to deal with it, and its impact on American culture. He wants to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, and he wants to impose "extreme vetting" to make sure that those who are entering the United States to make new lives here actually want to be American, uphold American values, and assimilate into American culture and life.
He promised changes to education policy, an end to female erasure in women's sports, investigations into "radical district attorneys," and to use every authority to get the homeless situation in Democrat-run cities under control.
"This is what we must do to restore our country to greatness," he said. "2024 is our final battle. With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State, we will expel the warmongers from our government, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the Communists, Marxists, and Fascists, we will throw off the sick political class that hates our country, we will rout the fake news media, we will defeat Joe Biden, and we will Drain the Swamp once and for all."
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