President Donald Trump continued his tour of 2020 swing states on Monday night, stopping in Mountoursville, Pennsylvania, to rally his faithful in advance of his fight for a second term next November.
Trump spoke for just over an hour, with his usual mix of occasionally reading from the teleprompter punctuated by long, now-familiar riffs about his pet subjects – the news media, the Democrats, his place in history – that have only a casual relationship with established facts.
I went through the transcript of Trump’s Pennsylvania speech and picked out some of the most, er, noteworthy lines. They’re below.
1. “Somebody’s going to come and run and they’re going to say, they’re going to do – in the history of this country, you just hit an all-time low. That’s pretty tough to beat.”
Trump’s talking here about the fact that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% last month, the lowest since they’ve been measuring these things. And, he’s right! If he would stay on this economic message, he’d be giving himself his best chance to get re-elected. But…….
Also: Away we go!
2. “Man, this is a lot of people.”
No one loves a crowd like Donald Trump. And no one loves pointing out the size of a crowd like Donald Trump. The crowd size was estimated by local media only as “thousands.” (Worth noting: Montoursville is a town of just 4,000 people.)
3. “I think next time we’ll just have to get a bigger hanger. That’s a big hanger. We’re going to have to get a bigger hanger.”
4. “You know I thought that was the sun in my eyes. It’s these stupid lights – these people. I mean, what are we – what are they doing? Is there any way they can turn those lights down, folks?”
5. “Crazy. You’ve got a thing called the sun. We like the sun better than the artificial not sun.”
6. “Oh, we have the most beautiful fighter jets in the world being delivered now every day.”
Trump is a big fan of the word “beautiful.” A VERY big fan.
7. “We’ve got the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”
“Hansel, so hot right now. Hansel.” – Jacobim Mugatu
8. “Wow. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of people. Looks like the Academy Awards used to look before they decided to go political against us.”
Two things here. First, Trump is always aware of the media covering him – and makes sure his supporters, who ostensibly hate the media, know just how many are covering him. Second, he is always fighting the culture war – the idea that the Academy Awards were once good but have now gone “political” against “us” is one that will have lots of Trump supporters nodding in agreement.
9. “And more than 5 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps.”
Well, that’s sort of complicated…
10. “When you have the best unemployment numbers in history, when you have the best economy probably that we’ve ever had, I don’t know. Now the hell do you lose this election? Right?”
[raised hand] By talking about lots of things other than the state of the economy – like, say, repealing the Affordable Care Act.
11. “Remember the polls, the fake polls that they put out. Suppression. They call them suppression polls. ‘Pennsylvania will go to Hillary Clinton.’ Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work out that way.”
What Trump is referring to as “suppression polls” are more commonly known as “polls.” His insinuation is that pollsters purposely released misleading data that showed Clinton ahead to keep Trump voters from turning out. He provides no evidence – likely because none exists – for this claim.
12. “So, do you remember that night? They wouldn’t announce Pennsylvania. There was 1% left. If I lost every single vote, I would win.”
Again, Trump is suggesting something nefarious – that the TV networks refused to call Pennsylvania for him despite the fact he had clearly won it – without a shred of proof that such a thing happened. (Pennsylvania was called for Trump at 1:35 a.m. the night of the election.)
13. “I did it, and now it’s beautiful. People not coming in, it’s beautiful.”
Told you Trump liked the word “beautiful.” And, he’s talking about the wall in San Diego here.
14.”Because we always win. Somehow we always find a way to win.”
Yeah, yeah, this all checks out. I did the math.
15. “You know, normally I could do other things tonight. I like you. I love this state. I figured, hey, it’s a Monday. We have an election tomorrow. Who the hell wants to sit around doing nothing on Monday night? Right?”
Monday is the new Thursday. Everybody knows this.
16. “And you know what, if we aren’t smart it will end for you with the Second Amendment.”
There is scant evidence that any Democrat running for president would abolish the Second Amendment. Plus, there’s this – from the National Constitution Center: “In simple odds, the chance of any constitutional amendment being repealed would be roughly the same as a person living to 80 years old being struck by lightning during their lifetime, according to National Weather Service data.”
17. “I don’t know if there are other races or not. Who the hell cares?”
18. “I never want to be called loser.”
The truest – and most self-aware – thing Donald Trump has said in a very long time.
19. “And maybe if we like it a lot, and if things keep going like they’re going, we’ll go and we’ll do what we have to do. We’ll do it three and a four and a five.”
Oh nothing – just the President “joking” about extending beyond his constitutionally-mandated two-term limit. Ah ha ha ha….wait.
20. “And you know, one of the things we’re talking about the greatest probably, I think, political slogan of all time is what you have on your hats. Make America Great Again.”
Humility has never been one of Trump’s strong suits.
21. “Do we keep our logo? Do we keep our slogan? Make America Great Again or it’s very risky. Changing the most successful slogan has to be.”
[scratches head, looks off in the distance] So, uh, well, yeah.
22. “Our military’s strong, our Second Amendment is good.”
Quick update on the Second Amendment: It’s “good.”
23. “They want to knock down all buildings in Manhattan and rebuild them without windows.”
No, “they” don’t. What New York City has proposed is retrofitting buildings of 25,000 square feet or more to make them more energy-efficient.
24. “This is a cheap poll but it’s better than any poll you could get. You ever see the yard and they interview like 103 people. I’ve got thousands here tonight.”
What’s he talking about? Oh, an applause “poll” on whether he should keep his slogan as “make America Great Again” or “Keep America Great.” Natch.
25. “Even with that powerful man’s voice, I love that guy. I think I’m in love.”
A real quote from the real President of the United States.
26. “Look at the thousands and thousands of people we have, now he said he had 600 people.”
If Trump loves anything more than his crowd sizes, it’s comparing those crowd sizes to other allegedly smaller crowds for his political opponents. In this case, the “he” refers to former Vice President Joe Biden – and his formal campaign kickoff in Philadelphia over the weekend. (The Biden crowd was estimated at 6,000.)
27. “We’ve lost 60,000, not jobs, listen to this. Sixty thousand factories, here’s the good news. We’re building them all back. They’re coming back. All coming back.”
All 60,000 factories Trump claims were lost by NAFTA are coming back? This seems like a big story!
28. “Our country is full. We don’t want people coming up here. Our country is full. We want Mexico to stop. We want all of them to stop. Our country is packed to the gills. We don’t want them coming up”
This probably goes without saying but: Our country is not “full” (and it’s not even clear what that would look like). Also: There’s a very big difference between saying that we don’t want any more immigrants to this country and saying we can’t fit any more immigrants in this country.
29. “What’s going on with Fox by the way? What’s going on there? They’re putting more Democrats on than you have Republicans. There’s s