Minneapolis (AFP) – An angry, energized President Donald Trump whipped supporters into a frenzy Thursday at a Minneapolis campaign rally where he predicted a 2020 election “backlash” against Democratic attempts to impeach him.
Democrats are investigating Trump for possible impeachment over his alleged bid to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on election rival Joe Biden, who currently sits near the top of the Democratic pack.
But to roaring cheers and boos from the full-capacity crowd in a basketball arena, Trump put two difficult weeks behind him.
In a speech lasting one hour and 40 minutes, he bathed in supporters’ adulation, hitting all his favorite talking points with a trademark mix of jokes, insults and populist exaggeration.
He said Democrats are only trying to impeach him because they’re “getting desperate.”
“They want to erase your vote like it never existed, they want to erase your voice and they want to erase your future, but they will fail because in America, the people rule again.”
“The insane impeachment witch hunt” will fail, the Republican told the sea of campaign-branded red shirts and hats.
And in 2020 this will “produce a backlash at the ballot box the likes of which they have never ever seen before.”
– Demonizing opponents –
The Minnesota city is a liberal bastion in the American heartland, giving Trump a juicy target for his favored rhetoric about a supposed far-left takeover of the United States.
Leftist Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar represents Minneapolis, and Trump, who has made Omar a bogey figure among his right-wing supporters, tore into her.
Branding her an “America-hating socialist” and “disgrace to our country,” he boasted about having slashed previous programs to accept refugees into the United States.
That got big cheers but not louder than the boos that Trump led like an orchestra conductor against journalists in the arena.
Calling them “crooked writers” and “fakers,” Trump said “they are so dishonest and frankly they are so bad for our country.”
He went hard after Biden’s son Hunter. Then for good measure, he lambasted Biden, who was vice president under Barack Obama, saying he’d only been considered a success “because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”