Politics

Trump’s final rally as president was supposed to deal with the Georgia runoff elections. It was not.

President Donald Trump’s trip to Dalton, Georgia on Monday night was reportedly about surprising Republicans Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler ahead of their highly competitive runoff elections on Tuesday. Predictably, however, Trump spent much of his final rally as president whining about his loss to President-elect Joe Biden and advocating baseless conspiracy theories about the theft of the election.

In fact, the very first words out of Trump’s mouth after “Hello Georgia” were: “By the way – there was no way we lost Georgia. There is no possibility. It was a rigged choice. “

“Hello Georgia. By the way – there was no way we lost Georgia. No way. That was a rigged choice.” – The first words from Trump’s mouth in Dalton, Georgia pic.twitter.com/JBlBDFKloU

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 5, 2021

During the early part of his speech, Trump went through attempts to promote Perdue and Loeffler, but his heart didn’t really seem to be in them. Trump didn’t seem to notice that Perdue was absent (he will be quarantined after a Covid-19 reveal), and instead of creating a lot of excitement for the Senators, Trump’s supporters spent much of the rally saying things like “Fight for Trump! ”And” stop stealing! “

As expected, Trump spent a fair amount of time rubbing his wounds. He criticized the Supreme Court for failing to stand up for him and similarly blew up Republican Governor and Secretary of State of Georgia – Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger, respectively – for failing to help him steal the elections.

“I’ll be here in about a year and a half fighting your governor, I guarantee you that,” Trump said of Kemp.

“I’ll be here in about a year and a half fighting your governor, I guarantee you” – Trump has now focused on beating Georgia’s Republican governor and foreign minister pic.twitter.com/KKP2v7z8bw

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 5, 2021

The speech came a day after the Washington Post published bombings of a phone call over the weekend in which Trump unsuccessfully attempted to harass Raffensperger to help him find enough votes in the state to overcome his loss to Biden. The call received widespread criticism and, as my colleague Ian Millhiser wrote, it was “most likely a criminal offense,” but Trump, stealing a page from his impeachment book, tried to turn reality on its head by saying, “Everyone got mine Call loved. “

“Everyone loved my call” – Trump on his much-criticized phone call with the Georgian Foreign Minister trying to harass him to help him steal the election pic.twitter.com/ZpCoSIi1KO

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 5, 2021

Other of the biggest hits that Trump revisited on Monday are “Lock her up!” Chants addressed to Hillary Clinton, beating the media – including Fox News – and winking and nodding at the deranged QAnon conspiracy theory.

In particular, the coronavirus pandemic was never mentioned at a rally where many participants were packed together and mostly did not wear masks.

It is now Trump’s Republican Party

Loeffler seemed to understand the importance of putting Trump first. As she stepped on the stage to make brief comments, she immediately announced that she was joining a group of Republican senators who are planning to question Biden’s electoral college win during a Congressional trial on Wednesday, saying, “I have an announcement, Georgia. On January 6th I will object to the vote in the electoral college. Right. We will do it! “

“I’ll be here in about a year and a half fighting your governor, I guarantee you” – Trump has now focused on beating Georgia’s Republican governor and foreign minister pic.twitter.com/KKP2v7z8bw

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 5, 2021

Such statements, however, were not enough to fill the apparent audience enthusiasm gap. On numerous occasions, cameras panned over obviously bored and silent faces as Trump praised Loeffler and Perdue for not going much beyond their support for him.

Throughout the rally, Trump tried to maintain hopes that he could run for another term. He proposed starting a Congressional process on Wednesday to confirm his loss of the electoral college to Biden, which could result in a drastic reversal of fortune, though it’s pretty clear – given that most lawmakers are planning for that Confirm the vote to vote – this will not be the case.

Once the president said, “I hope Mike Pence gets through for us” – and suggested that the vice president who will oversee the hearing on Wednesday could try to discard the results in the eleventh hour – and on others he sat Senator Mike Lee Openly Under Pressure (R-UT) to join a group of Republican Senators who have announced they will question the election results.

“MIke Lee is here too. But I’m a little angry with him today, ”Trump said, alluding to Lee’s (previous) refusal to join Republican efforts to question the results.

But elsewhere, Trump spoke of his past-tense presidency, complaining (falsely) that Mexico is “paying” for its border wall – then adding, “Or if I were here, they would be.”

“The wall. The wall. The wall. Do you remember? ‘We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to build a wall.’ And that’s right, Mexico is paying for the wall. Or if I were here they would be. “- Trump pic.twitter.com/Rs3liJmx2B

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 5, 2021

But aside from caricaturing Perdue and Loeffler’s opponents as radical socialists, Trump couldn’t explain why his supporters should have a lot of confidence that the runoff elections won’t be rigged the way he claims to be in the presidential election.

Overall, it became clear that when Trump read lines from his speech to the president without bothering to update them to reflect the reality that the election is over and he lost, it was clear that he was them mostly sent in.

“We’ll never surrender,” Trump said towards the end of his nearly 90-minute speech – and if it wasn’t obvious, he talked about himself. Regardless of what happens during Tuesday’s runoff election, it will be an afterthought for Trump through Wednesday.

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