Less than 24 hours after he accepted the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump flew into Londonderry, New Hampshire, to kick off the last leg of his campaign against Joe Biden. He spoke at a hangar at the airport in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Trump was looking to draw a clear distinction between his own busy campaign schedule and Biden who announced yesterday that he would begin campaigning in a few days.
He began with a rant against the mob that accosted people leaving the White House after his speech. “They walked out to a bunch of thugs,” Trump said. “Unhinged, manic rage. You ought to see last night in Washington, it was a disgrace.”
Trump said the protesters were “anarchists,” adding: “They’re just looking for trouble. Has nothing to do with George Floyd. Has nothing to do with anything. They don’t even know who George Floyd is.”
“The agitators will go from rioting in the streets to running the halls of government,” he added, saying voters needed to support him to “save democracy from the mob.”
“No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” he added.
The Trump campaign isn’t alone in feeling the momentum shifting because of the law-and-order issue. Several people who lined up waiting for the rally also spoke of the tide turning toward the president.
Marisa George, a young Trump campaign volunteer from nearby Salem, N.H., emphasized that “the convention usually always helps a candidate but this week the convention was very patriotic. They talked about everything from all he’s done for the Black community, women, and also hitting on how he’s helping the cities, so I think it will give him a boost.”
And George believes the president could get a bounce from the polls coming out the convention. She cited Trump’s law-and-order message amid a summer of unrest from coast to coast over police brutality against minorities and systemic racism. Trump and fellow Republicans have accused Democrats of ignoring the violence that’s flared in some cities where protests escalated into riots.
The president listed some of his accomplishments during the speech, but the crowd wanted red meat. And Trump didn’t disappoint.
Trump claimed Biden would raise taxes, “destroy” health care and support open borders. “We’ve spent last the last four years cleaning up 47 years of Biden disasters,” he said.
He told supporters who had private insurance they would lose their private health care under Biden. Biden was against “oil, guns and God,” said Trump.
Far more effective was the striking contrast between an ebullient and energetic Trump speaking before a large, cheering audience and Joe Biden sitting in his basement. Biden will almost certainly be forced to speed up his schedule to make semi-public appearances. His goal will be to contrast his careful obedience to the science that says no big crowds, social distancing, and masks for all while Trump throws caution to the winds with large, mostly maskless crowds.
Frankly, I don’t think people will care, as far as their vote for president. They may disapprove of Trump ignoring his own administration’s rules about public gatherings, but they support people taking responsibility for their own safety. Biden is wasting his time and playing right into Trump’s hands.