It was his first major appearance since the end of his term in office: Former US President Trump spoke to thousands of supporters in Ohio. Is that the preparation for a new election campaign?
Five months after the end of his term in office, the former US President Donald Trump held a major rally for the first time. The Republican performed on Saturday evening (local time) in Wellington, Ohio under the motto “Save America!” – “Save America!” or “Save America!” – in front of thousands of followers. In his speech he repeated his often refuted accusation that there had been fraud in the presidential election in November. He accused his successor Joe Biden of “destroying our nation before our eyes”.
The police put the number of participants in the rally at around 20,000. Many of them wore T-Shirts and baseball caps with labels like “Make America Great Again” or “Trump 2024 – Because America Can Never Be Too Great”.
Followers call: “Four more years”
Trump has repeatedly flirted with a renewed presidential candidacy in 2024 – but so far only made hints. With his appearance now in Ohio, Trump is returning to the public mass events with which he held together and activated his supporter base as President. In this way he can continue to put pressure on his party and support candidates who compete against his political opponents in his own party. Despite the calls from his supporters in Wellington for “four more years,” Trump did not make clear statements about his political future plans in his 90-minute speech. The term of office of a US president lasts four years.
Rally in Wellington: Further appearances by Donald Trump are already planned. (Source: Tony Dejak / AP / dpa)
Speaking to cheering supporters, Trump said the Republicans would defeat the “radical Democrats” in the 2022 congressional elections and win back a majority in the House and Senate. The White House should then be recaptured in 2024. Biden’s government is a “total disaster”.
Trump: Merkel is taking advantage of the USA
Trump also repeated his allegations against Germany. Germany is paying Russia “billions of dollars” for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, but at the same time allowing the United States to protect itself from Russia. He “likes” Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), “but she is tough and she is smart and she takes advantage of the USA”.
The ex-president, who came under criticism from within his own ranks after the storming of the Capitol on January 6, strengthened his power with the Republicans by supporting loyal party friends and openly attacking critics. In Wellington, Trump stood behind his ex-advisor Max Miller, who is challenging Anthony Gonzalez in the Republican primaries for the 2022 congressional election in an Ohio constituency. Gonzalez was one of only ten Conservative MPs who voted for impeachment against Trump after the Capitol was stormed.
Start of a whole series of major events
Trump left the presidency on January 20 after his election defeat by Biden. The 75-year-old has not yet admitted his electoral defeat.
The ex-president, banned from online platforms after the Capitol was stormed, has given two major speeches since the end of his tenure, in February at the CPAC Conservative Conference in Orlando, Florida and in early June at a meeting of his Republicans in North Carolina.
Now, for the first time, he held a large rally like in the 2016 and 2020 election campaigns. It should be the start of a whole series of such events. Next Wednesday, Trump will also visit the Mexican border with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A tough course in immigration policy was one of the hallmarks of Trump’s presidency.
Trump still enjoys a great reputation
Trump continues to enjoy a great reputation among the conservative base. “I love Donald Trump, the best President of the United States,” said 57-year-old Laura Benas at the rally in Wellington on Saturday. She was convinced that Trump had won the November 3rd election and had been deprived of a second term through massive electoral fraud.
“Corruption is so deeply anchored in the US government that a non-politician (Trump) really has no chance,” said Benas. She hopes Trump will run again in 2024.