Donald Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened up much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, invited the criticism when she wound up an arena of supporters.
She said days before the election, the media was saying that Hillary Clinton was going to be the 45th President of the United States. ‘They have always been wrong,’ she said.
Attacks on the media as ‘fake news’ and ‘dishonest’ from Lara and her husband Eric, who spoke after her, had a crowd of more than 20,000 screaming, ‘CNN Sucks!’
‘We’re going to fight like hell. Our family is going to fight like hell for this country,’ Eric Trump said. ‘And we will never stop fighting, and we will never stop winning.’
Donald Trump Jr. mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours.
‘He gets up on the stump. It’s so stupid,’ he said, claiming the ex-VP has four-person crowds.
The president’s son said he agrees that government is broken and it’s a problem. ‘The problem is Joe, you’ve been in government for almost 50 years.’
Trump warned the public that this official launch of 2020 campaign will be ‘wild,’ after supporters camped out in tents for more than 30 hours to save their places at the front of a massive line that would ensure them floor seats at Tuesday evening’s show, and his children suggested their father would deliver.
Don Jr. mocked Biden’s pledge to cure cancer with his moonshoot project. ‘Why the hell didn’t you do that over the last 50 years, Joe?’ he asked.
Donald Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened up much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton
Saundra Kiczenski, a Michigan native who works in retail, waited from 7 am on Monday. She said she’d been to rallies in support of the president in 15 states. She spent Monday night on the pavement in a sleeping bag.
‘I took the hotel pillow and slept on the ground,’ she told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon as she waited to get in.
The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour.
‘The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high. Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!’ he tweeted on Tuesday am.
Trump had apparently dropped a claim that ‘thousands’ turned up on Monday, with about 250 people camping overnight. But the numbers grew steadily as temperatures and humidity soared in Orlando.
A cover band with aging rockers who call themselves ‘The Guzzlers’ revved up the crowd under a beating sun at a ‘festival’ the campaign held in an outdoor parking lot, where vendors sold a captive and cramped group sodas, snow cones and Trump umbrellas.
Sweltering heat that topped 87 degrees soon turned to pouring rain, giving the umbrellas a dual purpose for supporters like Richard Snowden who chose to remain.
A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, Snowden said he’d be ‘remiss’ to have skipped the kickoff. He told DailyMail.com from the comfort of a party-style tent his group had pitched that he’d attended 54 rallies since Trump announced his candidacy for office in 2015.
The mantra when its rains pours came into play as a new Quinnipiac poll showed Trump losing Florida to Democratic nemesis Joe Biden was released midday. The former vice president would beat Trump by nine points, 50 – 41 percent, the newly-released survey showed.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would win by a similar margin, 48 – 42, while other top Democrats would perform in the poll’s margin of error.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told DailyMail.com inside the rally that Quinnipiac is ‘c**p’ in response to the latest poll showing bad news in a critical swing state for the controversial president.
The campaign at-large also tried to brush off bad national and state-based polls that showed Biden whooping Trump in Tuesday’s lead up.
But even Snowden Trump supporter called himself a pragmatist and said the president’s reelection odds, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk.’
‘The incumbency will help. He won’t catch them flat-footed this time,’ he observed. ‘
The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour
Donald Trump is putting an advisory on his Orlando rally, saying the official launch of 2020 campaign will be ‘wild,’ after supporters camped out in tents to save their places in line like they were waiting in line for a free concert with Rihanna
Supporters of President Donald Trump wait in line hours before the arena doors open for a campaign rally Tuesday
Trump Rally supporters line the very wet streets of Orlando 30 hours before Trump arrives to Florida for the rally
Hot elections: Temperatures soared as Trump supporters waited to be in the front lines for his rally
Here for the president: A group of African-American Trump supporters were ready for the rally on Tuesday morning
More support groups: This placard was on the side of the road as lines grew near the Amway Center
Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off
In line: Trump supporters were waiting for hours with temperatures as high as 87 degrees in the shade
No doubt what he thinks: One Trump supporter used an expletive to express his political convictions
Hello from the other side: Orlando’s Democratic mayor was at the venue on Tuesday morning to thank security staff
Trump’s campaign is turning the area outside the arena that can seat 20,000 people into a festival-like atmosphere with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time.
The most coveted positions are not seats at all – they’re standing positions near the front of the stage. Backers of the president in that area are likely to get a handshake, a selfie or Trump’s autograph at the event that formally marks the beginning of his campaign for a second term.
The city’s mayor, Buddy Dyer, also turned up, despite being a Democrat, to speak to security personnel at the site.
The welcome from the local newspaper was less warm, however; the Orlando Sentinel used the campaign launch to endorse ‘Not Donald Trump,’ saying: ‘After 2 1/2 years we’ve seen enough. Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.’
That was hardly likely to blunt Trump’s conviction that the rally will be a suitable kick-off to his campaign.
All of Trump’s children and his wife Melania will be with him at the event, sources told DailyMail.com, as will the Mike Pence, the president’s running mate and the nation’s vice president.
It will be 13-year-old Barron Trump’s first appearance at a campaign rally since his father took office. Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany, who has not typically treated politics like a family affair, will also be there.
It’s expected to be 84 degrees in Orlando on Tuesday, at Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters have been waiting since Monday to be let inside
Here for the president: Trump supporters arrived outside the Amway Center as early as 6 a.m. Monday and as the day went on the line grew
Determined: The early start was an attempt by the fanatical Trump backers to be at the front of the crowd for the campaign kick-off
Journey: Kimulita Mann had come from Houston to show her support for Trump
Waiting game: Temperatures in Orlando hit the low 80s as the line grew with Trump supporters
Ready for a night out: Some Trump supporters had brought tents, water and portable seating for the wait
Show of support: Two Trump backers brought merchandising from his inauguration day
Nickname time: This sign appears to show Trump as the Lone Ranger, Elizabeth Warren as Tonto in a new version of Trumps ethnic slur directed at the 2020 Democrat over her claims of Native American ancestry, and Stormy Daniels as Tonto’s horse, Scout. Trump called Daniels – who received a payoff to silence her claims of sex with him – ‘horse face’
The rally is also Melania Trump’s first time on the trail since she skipped out on campaigning for Republicans in the 2018 midterm election.
The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said, but given the president’s tendency to call on people to speak, she could end up addressing the crowd.
Donald Trump, Jr. on the other hand is expected to give remarks before the rally. The president’s eldest son is a frequent presence at campaign events- with and without his father – and often serves as a warm-up act for the president’s supporters. He’s also campaigned and raised money for other Republican candidates since his father entered politics.
His girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality, is also scheduled to be at the rally. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s reelection campaign.
Senior advisers and family members to the president Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are also expected to be at the rally, as well as Eric Trump’s wife, Lara. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s campaign but also is pregnant with the couple’s second child. She made a state trip to the UK in early June.
The president’s five children have been a visible source of support for his political ambitions.
All five were present on June 16, 2015, when their father famously rode down the escalator at Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for president.
They also were with him on November 9, 2016, when Trump was declared the winner of the election, and at his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.
Trumps children will be at his side once more in Orlando for the formal kickoff rally that precedes the president’s third trip abroad in six weeks for the G20. He’s expected to have a more regular presence on the campaign trail when he returns from Japan.
The president picked Florida to formally launch his re-election bid now, because the Trumps have made it ‘their second home’and are down there frequently, a campaign source told DailyMail.com.
It’s also going to be a key state in 2020, the campaign source noted, adding the president is very excited to be returning to the Sunshine State.
The Trump family spends its winters 185 miles down I-95 at Mar-a-Lago, their club in West Palm Beach. That I-95 corridor is key to winning Florida, a state that’s critical to declaring victory nationally in 2020.
Donald Trump with his family on June 16, 2015 at Trump Tower, New York – the day he announced his first campaign for president
President-elect Donald Trump with his family after he was announced the winner of the 2016 election
Trump with Barron and Melania at the 2016 Republican convention in Ohio
Donald Trump Jr will address Tuesday’s rally and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle will also be there – the two are seen at a May rally in Pennsylvania
Trump won the state with 49 percent in 2016. But internal and external polling shows him down to Democrats like Joe Biden this time around.
As such, the Republican Party has hired more help for Florida than any other state in the country, the source said.
The president says the campaign launch in Orlando will be record-setting and his numbers will improve as Democratic candidates drop like flies.
‘Only Fake Polls show us behind the Motley Crew,’ Trump tweeted, creating a new nickname for the two dozen Democrats running. ‘We are looking really good, but it is far too early to be focused on that. Much work to do! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!’
National and regional polls have top-tier Democratic candidates beating Trump in a head-to-head matchups, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
However, Democratic candidates have rarely come close to the crowd sizes the president is touting.
Biden’s campaign kickoff event, an outdoor speech in Philadelphia, drew an estimated 6,000 people.
California Sen. Kamala Harris’s campaign launch rally in Oakland was seen in person by about 20,000 people.
Sanders held several rallies that size in 2016. His campaign says that at his opening event in Brooklyn, New York this year he spoke to an audience of 13,000.
Trump said his launch, which will be held at Orlando’s 20,000-seat Amway Center, is ‘setting records’
He also claimed it was too early to focus on the polls. Last year around the same time in the campaign schedule, Trump was 17 percentage points behind Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton
The event is being held at Orlando’s Amway Center, which has a maximum capacity of 20,000 people for sporting events; Trump claims 106,000 people have requested tickets
The campaign tasked a booking agent with finding a band to play outside for Trump fans; ‘The Guzzlers’ from Houston, Texas
Eight supporters were already camped out on Monday morning, with the first one showing up at 2:30 a.m., Click Orlando reported.
Last week, the president claimed 106,000 people requested tickets to Tuesday’s event at Orlando’s Amway Center, a 20,000-seat arena.
‘Big Rally tomorrow night in Orlando, Florida, looks to be setting records,’ Trump tweeted Monday morning. ‘We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody. Over 100,000 requests. Our Country is doing great, far beyond what the haters & losers thought possible – and it will only get better!’
His campaign announced the launch, dubbed the ’45 Fest,’ would start 10 hours ahead of the 8 pm rally time and have a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with food trucks, live music and entertainment and jumbo TV screens to accommodate the overflow crowd.
Trump’s campaign-hired band is a Houston-based quintet called ‘The Guzzlers.’ A member who gave his name as ‘Dancin’ Dave’ told DailyMail.com that they got the job through a Texas-based booking agent.
‘I don’t really know how we got picked,’ he said in a brief phone interview as he set up for a gig in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. ‘We’re just a bunch of old rockers with day jobs. We’re recovering musicians, if you want to know.’
Dancin’ Dave wouldn’t comment on whether The Guzzlers are Trump supporters. He said they are known for charity events that benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the institution that Eric Trump has raised millions for with golf tournaments.
‘We’ve been doing that work for quite awhile,’ he said.
The president’s son said in a text message that it was a coincidence and he didn’t recommend them.
Where to put them all? The neighborhood around the Amway Center, seen from above, doesn’t lend itself to massive public gatherings
Trump will speak in the arena where the Orlando Magic play; his campaign might fit more than 20,000 people inside since fans will both fill the seats and pack the standing-room floor
The campaign stresses it will be a packed, fun event in an email promoting the daytime extravaganza.
‘The President’s historic announcement of his second term presidential run has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests and will draw an enormous crowd,’ said Michael Glassner, the campaign’s chief operating officer. ‘We’ll have delicious food, live music, big screens, and a great time for all of our guests.’ His campaign claimed last year that 100,000 people requested tickets for for a Houston rally. While that number was never confirmed, supporters of the president camped outside the arena overnight. The line stretched more than five city blocks.
Trump has been foreshadowing his re-election campaign for more than a year by teasing the possibility of a switch away from the Reagan-era ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan that catapulted him to the White House.
On Tuesday in West Des Moines, Iowa, he polled a Republican fundraiser audience to see if they would prefer replacing it with ‘Keep America Great.’ The novel approach generated far more applause, as it did a week earlier at a central Pennsylvania rally.