Former President Donald Trump portrayed the upcoming midterm elections as the battle for America's survival at the GOP convention Saturday in North Carolina.
"As we gather tonight, our country is being destroyed before our very own eyes," Trump began the speech. "Crime is exploding. Police departments are being ripped apart and defunded," added Trump from the podium before the applauding crowd.
Trump was the keynote speaker over the weekend at the 2021 North Carolina Republican Party convention held in the city of Greenville. The appearance marked the 45th president's second public speech since leaving office in January and following the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February.
"The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republicans at every level—starting with the midterms next year," Trump said during the speech.
The line echoes elements of Trump's 2020 campaign when he warned that Democrats were intent on destroying American values of freedom and independence. "Together, we are going to defend our freedoms, we are going to stand up for our values, and we are going to take back our country!" Trump said.
He cited the escalating border crisis the Biden administration is facing and the "toxic" push for critical race theory in the public school system. "Our border is open. Illegal immigration is sky rocketing...Drugs are pouring in. Gas prices are soaring. Industries are being pillaged by foreign cyber attacks," Trump said.
"America is being demeaned and humiliated on the world stage," he stated. "Freedom is being overtaken by left-wing cancel culture." Trump called President Joe Biden and the "socialist Democrats" the "most radical left-wing administration in history" unrivaled even next to known socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump also took the opportunity to air grievances about the 2020 electoral loss. "More votes than any sitting president in the history of the United States by far," Trump positioned the election results. "Bad things happened," he summarized.
"President Trump won North Carolina in 2016 by promising to put America First, and he won North Carolina in 2020 by keeping that promise. President Trump delivered real results for North Carolina by rebuilding the military, standing strong against China, and unleashing the American Economy," North Carolina GOP chairman Michael Whatley said via press statement.
Whatley added via NCGOP media advisory that it was an honor to welcome Trump to the annual convention, which he said will serve as the kickoff for the campaign to retake Congress and the Senate in the 2022 midterms. Trump vowed to pour efforts into the upcoming midterm elections and help the Republicans gain enough seats in the House and the Senate to take control over both chambers of Congress.
Trump said via recorded GOP fundraising video uploaded to YouTube by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP's fundraising arm, on Friday that Republicans will "take back the Senate, take back the House, we're going to take back the White House—and sooner than you think."
Organizers said all 1,250 tickets to the evening event had sold out.
"I understand the place will be packed, all records broken!" Trump stated Friday ahead of the event, noting that North Carolina produced "a big victory" without "a fraudulent outcome." Trump cited in the written statement "missing ballots, illegal voting, dead people voting, and all of the other Democrat tricks."
Facebook declared Friday that Trump will be banned from Facebook and Instagram for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on Jan. 7 Last month, the company's Oversight Board upheld Facebook's suspension of Trump following the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6. At the end of the period, Facebook will decide whether the "risk to public safety has receded."
Next weekend, Trump will appear via jumbotron at an event organized by MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell. Trump has also announced plans in June for outdoor, open-air rallies in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida. Aides said that an event is also planned around the July 4 holiday weekend.