President Donald Trump kicked off a week of campaigning in advance of the midterm election on Wednesday night in Duluth, Minnesota, delivering his now-trademark stream of consciousness speech to an adoring crowd.
I went through the speech and picked out the most memorable lines. They’re below.
1. “I hate to bring this up. But we came this close to winning the state of Minnesota. And in two and a half years, it’s going to be really easy, I think.”
You didn’t vote for me before. That was bad! But you will vote for me the next time you get a chance! (Also: He didn’t “hate” to bring it up.)
2. “You know, the whole thing, going up the trees and down the trees. Number one in the world for four or five years.”
Trump is referring here to Rep. Sean Duffy, the reality-star-turned-lumberjack-turned-congressman from Wisconsin. And, yes, Duffy won the speed-climbing championship at the Lumberjack World Championships. Twice.
3. “We are going to win so much, win, win, win.”
It’s a win-win situation. Wait, no. It’s a win-win-win situation, which is even better. One “win” better, to be exact.
4. “The people of Minnesota cannot stand winning so much. Please, can we take it easy? And I said no, we will keep winning, winning, winning.”
Sorry, Minnesota. You are going to have to keep winning. You have no choice. So, suck it up and just keep winning.
5. “Those very dishonest people back there, the fake news, very dishonest. They would have said, he is exaggerating. These are very dishonest people.”
Trump’s usual attack on the media was punctuated here by chants of “CNN sucks.” From grown men and women.
6. “He will turn that country into a great successful country.”
Donald Trump on Kim Jong Un. Yes, really.
7. “And the fact that we do get along means we are safe, and I’m not saying that things can happen, things go wrong and mistakes are made, relationships get broken.”
So … we are safe or no? I’d love some clarification here.
8. “But right now, you are so safe.”
9. “Now we can have something where everyone is going to live in peace for a long period of time and there will be denuclearization.”
To be clear: The agreement signed by Trump and Kim did nothing of the sort. It suggested that denuclearization was the goal but offered no hard timeline on which it might happen.
10. “Really helped us a lot, and he’s a friend of mine. He’s a friend of mine.”
Trump’s emphasis on his friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping is noteworthy – only in that he keeps bringing it up in speech after speech. Trump governs by friendship – be nice to him, he will be nice to you. It’s a very simple way of looking at the world – and foreign leaders know that.
11. “So you should be very proud of yourselves for what took place because that was very close to war for many years.”
Good job everyone. [handshakes, high fives]
12. “Hispanic American unemployment has reached its lowest level ever recorded the history of our country. And remember, I’d go into big stadiums like this that were packed?”
Unedited. He said these two sentences back to back. Why? I have no idea.
13. “And by the way, you’re very good at real estate. Did you see the thousands and thousands of people outside?”
I spent some time – more than I would like to admit – trying to figure out the connection between Minnesotans being good at real estate and there being lots of people waiting to get into the building to see Trump. I came up empty.
14. ” And I usually go home and my wife would say, ‘How was the crowd?’ Although honestly, when you have many thousands of people like we have tonight – you know, I was at an event three weeks ago where a person from The New York Times said, “There was only a thousand people.”
God bless the person who has to transcribe this. I mean: Word salad.
15. “And we all have ego, but I don’t want to show my face.”
[nods head, strokes beard]
16. “I want to show the crowds. It’s much prettier. Because you people are incredible. Unemployment among women has reached the lowest level, as of today, in 65 years.”
Again, unedited. This is how his mind works: Crowds → pretty → unemployment → low.
17. “But I’ll tell you, to keep this incredible momentum, I think maybe the most successful that the country has ever had.”
The most successful momentum ever? How would one measure that?
18. “And the greatest phrase, I think, in the history of politics is on all of those red and white hats that I see out there: ‘Make America Great Again.’”
Modesty has never been a Trump strong suit.
19. “So the Democrats want open borders. Let everybody come in. Let everybody pour in. We don’t care. Let them come in from the Middle East; let them come in from all over the place.”
If this isn’t fear-mongering – “Let them come in from the Middle East” – I’m not sure what is.
20. “Democrats put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens. What the hell is going on?”
Sentences like this – while factually incorrect – are at the core of Trump’s appeal. Other people want to make nice with foreigners and bow to leaders of other countries. Only I care about you and am fighting for you.
21. “Oh, we have a single protester. There we go. Goodbye, darling. Goodbye, darling.”
The protester in question was a male. If you think it’s an accident that Trump referred to him as “darling,” you haven’t been paying attention for the last three years.
22. “Remember the original speech – right? My original speech. They are sending – you remember those words? Everyone said, ‘Oh, how terrible.’ They are sending – well, let me tell you, they’re sending – and they’re not sending their finest. That I can tell you.”
In the wake of Trump’s announcement speech back in June 2015, he and his aides tried to play down the idea that he had said Mexico was purposely sending criminals and rapists to the US. Three years later, as President, he is not only admitting he meant what he said but he is taking credit for saying it.
23. “Was that a man or a woman? Because he needs a haircut more than I do. It’s true. I couldn’t tell. Needs a haircut.”
Again, Trump heckles a protester. And, again, if you think the reference to Trump not being able to tell if it’s a man or a woman because the guy had long hair is an accident, you haven’t been paying enough attention.
24. “We will have the greatest borders, the greatest walls.”
Real quote from the President of the United States.
25. “We’re building it. We’re building the wall. That wall is happening.”
[narrator voice] It might not be.
26. “And we’ll do it carefully. And maybe, if it doesn’t pass muster, we won’t do it all. But it is going to happen, I will tell you. It’s going to happen. And it’s happening fast.”
a) We’ll do it carefully
b) We may not do it if it doesn’t pass muster
c) We are going to do it
d) I am telling you it is going to happen
(The “it” here is restoring mineral exploration in the Superior National Forest.)
27. “In 500 days, we’ve cut more regulations than any President in the history of our country, whether it’s four years, eight years, or in one year – in one case, 16 years.”
So, two things:
2) No one has ever been president for 16 years. Yet…
28. “We were going in for a routine repeal and replace, and he went thumbs down. Not nice. That was not nice.”
This story about how Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) voted against the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare earlier this year is now a standard element of his campaign speech. Trump hasn’t seen fit to adjust the story – which paints McCain as a bad guy – even as the Arizona Republican battles terminal brain cancer.
29. “Chrysler is coming back. Chrysler just announced they’re coming back.”
30. “We’re the piggy bank that everybody was robbing for 30 years.”
31. “And you know, I went to people – I thought about it – I thought, oh, I think I’m such a genius.”
32. “So we’ve made this incredible progress together with your help, with the help of the millions and millions of people that – well, some polls got it right. But not all polls got it right.”
When you look up “non sequitur” in the dictionary, this is the sentence that stares back at you.
33. “They were seeing too many of those hats. They were seeing too many people with – you know that.”
I do know that. Absolutely. (I really, really don’t.)
34. “They’re the smartest people. They work the hardest. They pay taxes. They do all of the things.”
OK, so here’s what we know about Trump supporters:
a) the smartest
b) the hardest-working
c) tax payers
d) Do all the things
35. “Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became President and they didn’t.”
Trump’s deep and bitter resentment to “elites” that he believes have sneered at him and excluded him throughout his life was the driving force of his 2016 presidential campaign. It’s also his prime motivation in how he makes decisions as president. If you needed to show an extraterrestrial one quote to explain Donald Trump, this would be the quote.
36. “With me, nothing. No collusion, no nothing.”
37. “Called the ‘phony witch hunt.’ Phony witch hunt.”
It’s called that by Trump.
38. “They’re building up immigration. They don’t want to show what’s happening in Congress where this whole scam has been revealed.”
Conspiracy Theory Trump rears his head. So “they” are playing up the separation of families at the border to deflect from the inspector general report on the 2016 election that came out last week? To believe that, you have to forget that the family separation crisis was created by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy at the border.
39. “I’ll tell you something, we want to get along with Russia. But Russia is looking out and they’re saying, ‘Man, I wish she won.’”
Reminder: It was the unanimous conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russia actively interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton because they believed he would be better for their interests.
40. “So what we want to do is we want to elect more Republicans so that we can deliver on all of the things I’m talking about. And I’ll be honest with you, we’re going to deliver it anyway.”
Awesome message here from the leader of the Republican Party: We need to elect more Republicans. But if we don’t it doesn’t really matter anyway!
41. “When I go around and meet foreign leaders, they all congratulate me. ‘Mr. President, congratulations on the growth of the United States. Congratulations.’ Every one of them. First thing they say. First thing they say.”
I wonder why foreign leaders would play to Trump’s desire to be complimented? I guess we’ll never know!
42. “By the way, is there anything more fun than a Trump rally? Is there? Seriously. And we break every attendance record every single time, just about.”
[narrator voice] They don’t.
43. “And I think you saw the other day, we’re reopening NASA. We’re going to be going to space.”
44. “Space Force! Space Force! Space Force!”
This is a chant that the audience took up after Trump promised to reopen the un-closed NASA. America, 2018.
45. “Now we’re going to have the Space Force because it’s a whole – we need it. We need it”.
Trump on space: “It’s a whole – we need it.”
46. “And together, we will make America wealthy again.”
Let’s go get rich!