Former President TrumpDonald Trump‘QAnon shaman’ set to take competency exam in Colorado federal prison Trump hits Biden, Democrats in post-presidential return to rally stage Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report MORE took the stage in his first post-presidential rally in Ohio on Saturday evening, lambasting President BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Biden, Democrats in post-presidential return to rally stage Miami-Dade mayor: 5 dead, 156 unaccounted for as Surfside search continues White House faces calls to embrace vaccine passports MORE’s administration, touting the actions of his administration and urging his supporters to back Republicans in next year’s midterm elections.
“After just five months, the Biden administration is already a complete and total catastrophe. I told you,” Trump told a crowd in the northeast Ohio town of Wellington.
The speech, which lasted over an hour, highlighted a number of issues amplified in Republican circles including opposition to critical race theory and rising crime rates.
“You see these generals on television?” Trump asked the crowd, appearing to reference Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyTrump aides drafted order to invoke Insurrection Act during Floyd protests: report Overnight Defense: Intel releases highly anticipated UFO report | Biden meets with Afghan president | Conservatives lash out at Milley Tucker Carlson calls Joint Chiefs chairman a ‘pig,’ ‘stupid’ MORE’s defense of studying critical race theory this week. “They’re woke.”
Trump also honed in on immigration, praising his administration’s policies at the border before hitting the Biden administration on the issue.
“We have to defund his reckless immigration policies and restore our southern border to where it was,” Trump told the crowd.
The former president also criticized Vice President Harris’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border last week, claiming the trip occurred after he announced his decision to visit to visit the area.
“Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris makes highly anticipated trip to border DeSantis says Florida sending 50 officers to enforce US-Mexico border in Texas Watch live: Harris holds press conference after touring El Paso border MORE, your vice president, only went to the border yesterday for the one simple reason that I announced that I was going,” Trump said. “If I didn’t do that, I don’t know if she was ever going to go.”
The address was reminiscent of past Trump rallies, with the former president hitting the news media and former secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump hits Biden, Democrats in post-presidential return to rally stage Conan O’Brien ends late-night run after more than 4,000 episodes Communion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics MORE. His crowd of supporters erupted in familiar chants of “CNN sucks” and “lock her up.”
Trump also repeated his unsupported claims that the 2020 election was rigged, calling the 2020 election “the big lie.” Several state and federal election officials, including former U.S. attorney general Bill Barr, have stated that the 2020 presidential election was not tainted by widespread voter fraud.
The Ohio rally was held in part to support Max Miller, a former White House aide and ally of Trump, who is running against Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezTrump endorses Murkowski challenger The Hill’s Morning Report – After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Past criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries MORE (Ohio) in the state’s Republican primary for the 16th congressional district.
Gonzalez garnered the wrath of Trump earlier this year when he voted to impeach the then-president for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
At Saturday’s rally, the former president claimed Gonzalez asked to fly on Air Force One during a trip Trump took to Ohio during his presidency before he hit the congressman and his other Republican critics.
“He’s a fake Republican and a disgrace to your state,” the former president said. ”And he’s not the candidate you want representing the Republican Party. He’s the candidate of Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyKinzinger says he hasn’t spoken to McCarthy in months Trump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP’s future in a direct-mail piece Trump has ‘zero desire’ to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden helps negotiate bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Will this infrastructure deal pass? Republicans raise early concerns over Biden infrastructure deal MORE.”
Trump also highlighted next year’s Ohio Senate race, which will likely play a major factor in determining the balance of power in the upper chamber. The former president name-checked Republicans running in the primary, including Jane Timken and Josh Mandel, and labeled Democratic candidate Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack J.D. Vance emerges as wild card in Ohio GOP Senate primary 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (Ohio) as a “total stiff.”
The rally will be the first of many as Trump plans to campaign for Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The president is slated to hold a rally on July 3 in Florida, another state with a potentially competitive Senate race.
The question of whether Trump would run for another term as president loomed over the rally, with a number of the event’s other speakers, including Miller and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBritney Spears case casts harsh light on conservatorships Tech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup White House uses Trump’s words praising China to slam McCarthy’s Biden criticism MORE (R-Ohio) voicing their support for the idea.
A number of other Republicans have been floated as potential 2024 GOP contenders including former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard Pence Pence said he’s ‘proud’ of role he played on Jan. 6 White House did not brief Pence team on swearing him in after Trump COVID-19 diagnosis: book The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Senators, White House to meet on potential infrastructure deal MORE, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFederal government sending scientists to investigate Miami-area building collapse Biden speaks with DeSantis after Florida building collapse Ron DeSantis, new king of the GOP: ‘Trump without the gold toilet’ MORE, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemLouisiana governor vetoes transgender sports bill: ‘A solution in search of a problem’ GOP governors embrace culture wars with White House in mind RNC’s McDaniel launches podcast highlighting Republicans outside of Washington MORE, who was in attendance at the rally.
Trump himself teased the idea of running a third time, while falsely claiming he won the 2020 election.
“We won the election twice, and it’s possible we might have to win it a third time,” he said.