News, Culture & Society

Protestors line up for Trump as he holds first post-impeachment rally in Ilhan Omar’s district

Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that more than 80,000 people requested tickets to his rally in Ilhan Omar’s congressional district – a Democratic territory.

The president also claimed Omar, the congresswoman he frequently derides on Twitter, will help him win the state, which hasn’t gone to a Republican presidential candidate in almost 50 years.

‘I think I can win,’ Trump said at the White House before he left to go to the state. ‘It’s been a long time since a Republican won. We have a 20,000 seat auditorium. We have essentially Madison Square Garden and it sold out – over 80,000 people requested tickets. It it’ll be totally sold out. It I don’t know who is going but it’ll be totally sold out.’ 

‘I think I can win Minnesota, yes. I think Omar is helping us to win in Minnesota and other places,’ he argued but did expand on the reason behind his thinking.

Trump has pushed to paint the liberal, controversial lawmaker as the face of the Democratic Party.  

The Baby Trump balloon blimp bobbed across the street from Trump’s campaign rally site

President Trump argued Rep. Ilhan Omar is helping Republicans win the state

President Trump argued Rep. Ilhan Omar is helping Republicans win the state

Trump is bringing his campaign to Democratic territory - the congressional district of Ilhan Omar who he frequently derides

Trump is bringing his campaign to Democratic territory – the congressional district of Ilhan Omar who he frequently derides

Trump volunteers were allowed into the Target Center in preparation for President Trump's rally

Trump volunteers were allowed into the Target Center in preparation for President Trump’s rally 

Protesters – including the infamous Baby Trump balloon blimp – await outside the Target Center here Thursday as  Trump prepares to hold his first campaign rally since Democrats started a formal impeachment inquiry into his presidency. 

And his chosen location is one Democratic territory – the congressional district of Ilhan Omar, the lawmaker Trump said should go back where she came from.

A handful of protesters and a few supporters had gathered outside the 20,000 set arena on a drizzling Thursday afternoon. 

‘Impeach Trump Now’ read one protester’s sign while another held one that read ‘Lock Him Up’ – a reference to the ‘lock her up’ chant Trump supporters chant when he mentions Hillary Clinton.  

The Trump Baby Balloon blimp bobbed on the rooftop of a building across the street as people stood below taking photos of it with their smart phones.

But there were Trump supporters present too. 

There were a few people wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ gear – sporting the signature campaign theme of the president’s. One young man wore a jacket made out of a ‘Make America Great Again’ sign. 

Trump’s stop here and his campaign’s investment in the state shows their determination to lock it into the his column next year.   

On Wednesday, second lady Karen Pence and Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, held a Women for Trump event in the city. Vice President Mike Pence was arriving ahead of Trump to meet with local law enforcement and visit a factory. 

Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by 1.5 per cent in the 2016 election – a sliver of a win that Trump wants to overturn. It would be hard for a Democrat to win in 2020 without Minnesota.

‘I think it’s a great state and we’re going to have a lot of fun tomorrow night,’ Trump said at the White House on Wednesday. 

There is plenty of political fodder for Trump to get into on Thursday night – both on the national and local level.

And he enjoys throwing out the political red meat to his supporters – who happily cheer him on. 

But the reaction to his speech will be closely watched in this Democratic stronghold.  

Last year, Minneapolis elected a black Democratic refugee from Somalia as their member of Congress and Trump has targeted Ilhan Omar repeatedly, deriding her as one of the ‘squad’ of four, female lawmakers he likes to target.

Trump has suggested the four minority lawmakers go ‘back where they came from’  – despite the fact only Omar was born outside of the United States. 

At a rally in North Carolina earlier this summer, his supporters yelled ‘send her back’ when he mentioned Omar, who he is pushing as a liberal symbol of the Democratic party. 

'Lock him up' and 'Impeach Trump Now' signs were visible among protesters

‘Lock him up’ and ‘Impeach Trump Now’ signs were visible among protesters

But Trump supporters wore 'Make America Great Again' gear

But Trump supporters wore ‘Make America Great Again’ gear

In the four rallies he’s held since then, the chant has not returned.  

For her part, Omar used Trump’s rally to ask for donations to the state Democratic party.

‘Trump is coming to Minnesota today to stoke the flames of hatred and division. That’s not who we are or what we stand for. @MinnesotaDFL needs help to combat Trump on the ground. Join them here,’ she wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon with a link to a fundraising page. 

And Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin, the state party chairman, accused the president of breaking his campaign promises. 

‘Trump is coming to our state after spending the week attacking our hardworking public servants and facing scandals on every front. We already know he has broken his promise to the people in our state to work for them – Minnesotans recognize a scam when we see one,’ he said in a statement. 

The president also got into a Twitter war with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey over the security costs of his event. 

The fracas erupted after the Trump campaign said the city of Minneapolis presented the operator of Target Center a $530,000 bill for security costs, which the arena operator had sought to pass along to the campaign.

The city has shut down several streets around the center for security reasons with police officers patrolling the area.  

Frey earlier defended the security cost estimate, saying it was reasonable and that he had a duty to taxpayers to ensure safety. 

Trump himself took to Twitter to air his grievances, writing on Tuesday: ‘Radical Left Dem Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, is doing everything possible to stifle Free Speech despite a record sell-out crowd at the Target Center.’  

Melody Black of Red Wing, Minnesota, is seen in front of the Target Center where Trump will hold his rally

Melody Black of Red Wing, Minnesota, is seen in front of the Target Center where Trump will hold his rally

A crowd of hundreds of women turned out for a 'Women for Trump' event fronted by Second Lady Karen Pence (left) and President Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump (right)

A crowd of hundreds of women turned out for a ‘Women for Trump’ event fronted by Second Lady Karen Pence (left) and President Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump (right)

Donald Trump picked a fight with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday over security charges for the president's upcoming rally. He's seen here at a Minnesota rally in 2018

Donald Trump picked a fight with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday over security charges for the president’s upcoming rally. He’s seen here at a Minnesota rally in 2018

The president's campaign has accused Frey of 'abusing the power of his office and attempting to extort' the campaign by 'conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally'

The president’s campaign has accused Frey of ‘abusing the power of his office and attempting to extort’ the campaign by ‘conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally’

Despite the dispute over security costs, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale said that the rally would go on as scheduled.

‘The Target Center has backed off cancelling the contract,’ Parscale said in a statement on Tuesday. ‘Consistent with the original agreement with the venue, the Trump campaign has not agreed to pay any additional funds.’ 

The Trump campaign had earlier threatened to sue the city of Minneapolis over the costs. 

And the president used the incident to attack Frey and Omar – via Twitter of course.

The president said in a Tuesday morning tweet, ‘The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and Omar! Make America Great Again!’ 

‘Yawn,’ Frey tweeted back. ‘Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors.’ 

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972.

A poll from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota released on Wednesday ahead of Trump’s visit showed 52 per cent of registered voters would vote for the Democratic candidate next year, while 42 per cent would vote for Trump.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.