SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump walked onto a stage at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Tuesday night for a re-election rally and tossed hats into a cheering crowd.
He started off touting his accomplishments.
“The economy is booming,” he said. “Wages are rising. Crime is falling.”
Then he transitioned to some of the topics that have bedeviled his presidency in recent days and weeks. First, the pardoning of several military members accused of war crimes.
“Just this week I stuck up for three great warriors against the Deep State,” he said to cheers.
Then, he attacked the Democrats over the impeachment inquiry. Democrats are investigating whether Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine while pressuring the leaders of that country to investigate political rival, Joe Biden.
“It’s a terrible hoax,” he said. “I have never had a direct link between investigations and security assistance.”
WATCH THE RALLY:
Of course a Trump rally is not complete without a swipe or three at the media, calling journalists “fake news” and watching as the crowd loudly booed them. Trump also broke out some greatest hits, boasting about his victory in 2016 over the “Bush dynasty” and the “Clinton dynasty”, prompting calls to “Lock Her Up!”
The Trump Campaign called this event the “Keep America Great” rally for the President’s re-election. It was also considered a “Welcome Home” rally for the President since he now calls Florida his home. But at its heart, it was a stream of consciousness performance by President Trump as he seeks to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes in 2020. In a speech that lasted nearly 90 minutes, Trump promised a likely end to AIDS in 10 years, continued protection of the 2nd Amendment and promised to keep Florida’s waters safe.
He also invited Florida’s elected Republican leaders — like Governor Ron DeSantis — onto the stage. DeSantis received loud cheers.
“He better not be more popular in Florida than me,” Trump joked.
Trump also kidded DeSantis about his weight.
“I always thought Ron was a little heavy,” Trump said. “And then I see him without his shirt one day and this guy is strong. And he’s not fat. That’s all power, that’s all muscle.”
But despite the jokes there are real stakes for Trump in Florida in 2020. It is a major swing state and DeSantis tried to convince the crowd of Trump’s commitment to Hispanics.
“President Trump has stood with our communities in Florida — Cuban Americans, Venezuelan Americans,” DeSantis said.
Meanwhile, Trump said he deserves four more years to continue his policies.
“The crazy Democrats are going down in a landslide and that landslide is going to start right here in Great State of Florida,” Trump promised.
The Director of Communications for President Trump’s campaign, Tim Murtaugh, told CBS 4 News that we can expect to see a lot of the President in Florida ahead of the 2020 election.Political experts expect the same to be true of the leading Democratic Presidential contenders.
Dr. Kevin Wagner, political science professor at Florida Atlantic University said, “Floridians should hold on for dear life. It will be as intense in Florida in 2020 as it will be anywhere in the country.”