US President Donald Trump has slammed the Democrats and denounced the impeachment inquiry into him as a “witch hunt” during an election campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida.
Trump made the remarks when he met his supporters at a jam-packed BB& T Center in Sunrise, which has a capacity of around 20,000 people, Efe news reported.
“The economy is booming, wages are rising, crime is falling, poverty is plummeting, confidence is soaring and America is stronger than ever before,” Trump yelled before a cheering audience holding signs and wearing MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) caps.
Two months after Trump changed his permanent residence from New York to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, the US President told the crowd that in next year’s elections he would join the voters of the “Sunshine State, my home”.
As in previous rallies, he trumpeted what he considers achievements of his administration, including some economic indicators, military spending and his Mexico border wall.
“The wall is happening, it’s getting built rapidly and it’s a real wall!” he said.
On this occasion, he also boasted of the killing of the Islamic State terror group leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi.
“A few weeks ago, US special forces brought the world’s number one terrorist to justice. The bloodthirsty savage known as al-Baghdadi is dead, finally,” he said.
The US President arrived in Florida, where he will spend the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-Lago estate, amid the impeachment inquiry into allegations he withheld aid to Ukraine in order to pressure its government to probe former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son for alleged corruption.
He reiterated that his phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was “a perfect phone call.” He said Zelensky has said that there was no pressure applied to him, and Trump denied that there was any quid pro quo while continuing his attacks on the Bidens.
With the “impeachment witch hunt”, he said, as before with the alleged Russian 2016 campaign interference, which was investigated by former special prosecutor Robert Mueller, “radical left Democrats are trying to rip our nation apart”.
“They’re pushing that impeachment witch hunt and a lot of bad things are happening to them. You see what’s happening in the polls? Everybody said ‘That’s really bullshit!’,” he said.
The Miami Herald reported that no recent polling that has taken the political temperature of Floridians has been made public, but a New York Times/Sienna poll a month ago found 39 per cent would vote for Trump, and 43 per cent against him. The same poll found that 49 per cent of voters supported impeachment, and a majority opposed his removal.
Hours before the rally, Florida’s Democratic Party and supporters demonstrated with placards and a Baby Trump balloon across the road and denied the southeastern state was the US President’s home or that he would have the state’s support in the next election.
Dem Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23rd) said it was “another scam” that Trump has changed his residence to Florida, unhappy with the way his hometown New York treated him and questioned whether that decision would have anything to do with an attempt to evade taxes or justice, or both.
“Donald Trump has done nothing to call this place home,” Wasserman said, adding that the US President doesn’t understand the things that really matter in the state.
Florida is a key state in presidential elections, not only because it gives the winner a significant number of votes in the electoral college, but because it is a swing state and therefore does not have a fixed voting pattern.