On June 5, former President Donald Trump delivered the keynote speech at the North Carolina GOP convention. It was his first speaking event outside of Florida since he left office. During the approximately 90 minute long speech, Trump reminded the crowd of his greatest hits and distinguished himself from President Joe Biden.
In the beginning of his speech, Trump called his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump up to the stage, who was born and raised in the state. She addressed speculation about her running for the U.S. Senate, and, after sharing she would not run, announced that the Trumps were putting their support behind Rep. Ted Budd, who the former president emphasized had his “complete and full endorsement.”
Lara Trump very much raised speculation and excitement that her father-in-law would run again in 2024, with “what do you say 3 and 0,” to suggest Trump could win the state in 2024 if he ran again. Trump had won North Carolina in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
The first few minutes were devoted to promoting GOP wins, and not merely when it comes to the open seat which will be left by Sen. Richard Burr, the outgoing Republican who was censured by his state party for voting to convict Trump in the second impeachment hearing.
Trump expressed a sense of optimism that they were going to “take over” and “get rid of Nancy Pelosi.” But, he did warn that Democrats “play very tough, very dirty” and that “we can’t let it happen.” Such was a sign of more warnings to come.
The former president reminded the crowd what he got right about “the China virus,” including and especially how “that was an easy one” that it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He also took credit for the vaccines developed under his administration. Although media outlets have mocked him in the past as he’s sought such credit, the vaccines did indeed come during his administration.
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Trump pointed out that when it comes to how they have “done an incredible job” on the vaccines, even the other side has to accept that and give him credit for it. He referred to the vaccines as “the greatest bet in the history of the world” and shared he’s “very proud and nobody can ever take it away from us.”
He also emphasized the damage China had done in inflicting the virus on the world, but how thanks to efforts such as the vaccine rollout, the death rates could have been much worse than they were.
Trump also offered a grim alternative that, had they not had the vaccines as quickly as they did, the convention “would be an empty room,” the “state would be in a lot of trouble” and the “country would be in a lot of trouble.”
In categorizing Biden’s policies, or lack thereof, Trump declared “the Biden administration seems to be putting America last,” starting from Biden’s first days in office. Trump specifically called out his successor signing an executive order to get rid of the Keystone Pipeline, only to then more recently allow for the Russian pipeline to go forth.
“We’re in a different world we were in just a few months ago,” former President Trump reminded the crowd.
Biden’s “catastrophic southern border” was regarded as his biggest failure, especially since Trump shared that he “gave the new administration the most secure border in the history of our country,” to much applause. “All they had to do was just leave it alone,” Trump offered.
When it comes to the “largest number ever of unaccompanied minors,” Trump suggested that it’s getting news coverage because “I think they have no choice, you see it more and more.”
On immigration, the former president truly did not mince words. “Democrats intentionally, ruthlessly, and systematically dismantle sovereign borders of the United States of America” he noted.
As bad as the border crisis is, it was a lead in for more of Trump’s speech. “But the border is just the beginning of the Biden disasters.”
Trump also regarded his economy as the “greatest economy in the history of the world” due to tax cuts, trade deals, and American energy independence. Once again, “all Biden had to do was sit back and do nothing,” but “instead the economy is going to Hell,” and Trump even warned of a “catastrophe in the near future.”
There were also warnings of gas price increases and tax hikes, which Trump said will indeed affect everybody. When it comes to the infrastructure bill, Trump said that it’s not really infrastructure, but, as he put it, “the kind of things you don’t want.”
He once more returned to discussing China and their role in unleashing the virus as a way for “Republicans [to] keep on fighting to protect, promote, uplight the American worker who we cherish and that begins with standing up to Communist China.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Trump did not actually throw Fauci under the bus all that much. He’s “not a great doctor, but he’s a hell of a promoter,” Trump said, also noting that Fauci “likes television more than any politician in this room.”
Trump very much took a strong air of authority in a tough on China stance he’s had all along. In order for China to atone for the virus, Trump offered, we need to “demand reparations and accountability.” It’s the world, in fact, which “must declare in one unified voice that China must pay” since China “destroyed so many nations” and thus should “owe many nations of the world.”
Such demands include $10 trillion from China as well as every nation canceling debt they owe as a down payment for those reparations. Further, the suggestion of increased tariffs would serve another purpose, of companies and jobs coming back to the United States from China.
And yet, such is likely a pipe dream, as Trump reminded that “sadly the current administration is very timid and very corrupt,” in part because of the shocking fact that an investigation from Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo into the Wuhan lab has since been canceled. More than that, though, is how we “must never forget that Biden and his family took millions from China,” especially because “Big Tech and the fake news media don’t want to talk about it.”
It’s not merely China, though, as Trump lamented the Biden administration has experienced “one shameful and embarrassing foreign policy disaster after another,” which involves “being openly mocked” by the likes of Putin in addition to the Chinese.
While “we’re doing things nobody ever thought possible,” Trump also noted “we have to be respected,” or other countries will take advantage, an oft-used line of his.
Trump used concerns that “the radical Democrat Party has become consumed by the unquenchable thirst of power,” specifically when it comes to threats of speech, religious liberty, and the second amendment to say ‘I told you so.’
While he noted, to applause, that “if we don’t keep and bear arms, we will have a problem like nobody’s ever seen before,” an even bigger applause line was his demands to get rid of critical race theory.
“The Biden administration has also issued regulations to indoctrinate America’s school children with poisonous and divisive left-wing doctrines, such as critical race theory, the exact opposite of the American belief that we all are created equal in the holy image of God. We have a group, I don’t know where they come from but it’s terrible,” Trump said without mincing words.
“Republicans at every level should move to ban CRT at our schools, and we should ban it in work places, we should ban it in our states and we should ban it at the federal government, and it should be done immediately. It should be done very quickly.”
Trump also used this as a way to segue into passing legislation to promote school choice, another applause line.
Ultimately, “the socialist Democrat’s quest for whatever it is they’re looking for” which “truly knows no bounds,” had to do with the willingness to “weaponize the law itself to persecute their political opponents.”
Trump spent minutes then to address the legal fights facing him, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to step in against what he called “a fishing expedition,” “a witch hunt,” “a hoax,” “lie after lie,” and “corrupt investigation after corrupt investigation.”
“Has anyone seen Durham,” Trump called out at one point. He even used off color language to make his point. “All these investigations, ah sh*t we failed, let’s send it to the radical prosecutors in New York,” warning “they’ll never stop until November 2024.”
It was bound to happen that from there, Trump would also address his concerns about the 2020 election which he referred to as a “hoax” and said it was “by far the most corrupt election in the history of our country,” and “the third world country election like we’ve never seen before.”
It’s a “disgrace to our country, and if you think people don’t see it, people see it, people see it, I’ve seen it,” Trump told the crowd, to applause.
After congratulating the recount efforts by the state Republicans in the Arizona senate, Trump once more voiced his strong concerns, declaring that “that election will go down as the crime of the century and our country is being destroyed by people who perhaps have no right to destroy it.”
Trump implied that Mark Zuckerburg may be one of those “people,” as he suggested the Facebook founder broke the law with his get out the vote efforts. Trump went on to note “we can’t let our country be run by that kind of human nature.”
As he spoke about Zuckerburg and social media, Trump also reminded the crowd that it wasn’t just about himself when it came to being silenced on social media, but that in doing so, the social media companies were “shutting down people.”
But it was not merely because of election irregularity concerns that Trump had issues with when it comes to a Democratic win for 2020. He emphasized that “we’re not a 50-50 country,” pointing to Democratic policies such as defunding the police and sanctuary cities. “I cannot believe that some of these states that are blue, are blue,” Trump voiced.
When it came to the possibility of “corrupt elections,” Trump warned “we can’t allow it to go on” as he told the crowd “we’re not going to have a country if you don’t have election integrity, strong borders, our country can be run like a dictatorship, and that’s what they’d like to do.”
Perhaps the moment in which Trump most strongly wished to appeal to the crowd came when he said “I’m not the one trying to undermine American democracy, I’m the one that’s trying to save it, please remember that.” He was rewarded with long applause.
Trump did offer a solution, while also emphasizing “we can never let that happen again” when it comes to the 2020 election. “Will the same thing happen in 2022? We have to be able to say absolutely not,” which is how Trump went into heavily promoting the recent passing of election reform laws, even noting that he didn’t think Georgia went far enough.
“The only way you’re going to be able to really solve that problem is to figure out exactly what happened and you know what, they’re going to be able to do that,” Trump mentioned. “ In light of so many outrageous wrongs, Republicans across the country are pursuing voting reforms to ensure election integrity. One of the biggest things that I hear is election integrity.”
He also addressed his successor by name.
“Joe Biden called these common sense reforms un-American, but the thing that is really un-American is an election scam, that’s un-American. all over the world they used to say oh they’re the land of the free, they have great elections. We don’t have great elections. we have elections like probably very few countries have, that’s in a bad way, not in a good way. What happened to this country in the last election is a disgrace, it’s being laughed at…”
As many others have also warned about when it comes to HR 1, the “For the People Act” Trump also noted that if it “is ever signed into law, there will never be another fair election in our country. It can’t get worse but it would also be as bad as the recent presidential election.”
Trump then laid out a lengthy and detailed election integrity plan which amounts to photo ID, universal signature verification, citizenship confirmation, proper chain of custody, and updated voter rolls. He also warned against the use of drop boxes and the “absurdity of mass mail-in voting.”
Ultimately, Trump finished his speech by motivating the crowd with the reminder that Sunday is the anniversary of D-Day. Up until those last moments, though, he reminded the crowd that “our movement is far from over” and that “in fact, it is just getting started.” Not only did such a line come before the warning that “the radical left will stop at nothing in their efforts to destroy the America that we love,” and with a reassurance that Democrats “will fail” to do so, it also included a litany of reminders of what the Republican Party stood for, in North Carolina and across the country.
It’s almost as if the former president is still running, or that he may at least run again. Whether he will or not, President Trump did remind us how lucky we were to have him for the time that we did.