At what was expected to be a border wall-focused event, President Trump energized his base over much more than just immigration.
He took jabs at all the usual crowdpleasers at a Trump rally, drawing unified boos against the media, the Democrats, abortion, and, yes, Hillary Clinton.
“The Democratic Party has never been so far out of the mainstream,
he said. “They’ve become the party of socialism, late-term abortions, open borders, and crime.”
As in many of his speeches, this one was filled with heavy boasting and factual inaccuracies. Trump made a point several times throughout his speech to pile on former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who was holding a counter-protest outside.
Just as with his inauguration, he tossed a variety of different numbers in comparing attendance that were questionable and unconfirmed.
Trump also poked fun at Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who is currently under fire after admitting that he wore blackface as a young man.
“I like him,” Trump said. “Keeps us out of the paper.”
But of course, there were plenty of “build the wall” chants that brought the focus back to the border. Attendees in “Make America Great Again” hats sitting under giant signs reading “Finish the Wall” roared in approval when Trump wrongly asserted that construction on the wall had already begun – what has actually been built is just replacement fence.
Trump also made a series of false statements about Ice arresting more than 200,000 migrants with criminal histories. He repeated his false statement on how the border fence has affected security in El Paso. He accurately talk about hundreds of thousands of immigration cases in backlog.
Regardless of what the president said, the crowd loved every moment of the rally.