President Donald Trump flew to one of the emerging epicenters of the coronavirus – Arizona – on Tuesday to speak to a conservative student group called Turning Point USA.
What the speech was not was any sort of actual turning point for Trump, whose botched handling of the coronavirus pandemic and tone-deaf response to the death of George Floyd have led to a significant polling slump.
Instead, it was sort of like a greatest hits album – as Trump dialed up the rhetoric against the media, Democrats, Joe Biden and anyone else he could think of. The crowd loved it, but they’re not swing voters.
Below, the lines you need to see from Trump’s speech.
1. “I’m thrilled to be in Arizona with thousands of patriotic, young Americans who stand up tall for America and refuse to kneel to the radical left.”
And also don’t wear masks or observe social distancing guidelines! And away we go!
2. “There is something going on. You feel it, right? You feel the spirit?”
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord. And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord. Phil Collins rocks.
3. “You know, the other night, a speech I made on Saturday night in a very good place, and we had a great evening and the ratings came out – you saw that – on television. It was the number one show in Fox history for a Saturday night. Unbelievable.”
There were 6,200 people at Trump’s rally on Saturday night in Tulsa. The arena fit 19,000. He said 1 million had RSVPed. So …
4. “Ratings. For them, it’s all about the ratings.”
Wait, wait. wait. For the media it’s all about the ratings? But you just said it was so highly rated so doesn’t that mean you care about the ratin– [head explodes]
5. “No, no, they’re very happy to see that Fox had the number one show. This is the number one show in the history of Fox News.”
Important caveat: The Tulsa rally was the largest Saturday night audience in the history of Fox News. But again, he’s not big on ratings.
6. “He’s good. And people like him. People like him a lot.”
Donald Trump on Donald Trump Jr. On a related note: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” – Stuart Smalley
7. “Now, the difference is they get everybody, even if they’re not registered, if they’re not citizens, if they’re here illegally. They get everybody.”
[narrator voice] There’s virtually zero evidence of widespread voter fraud in US elections.
8. “Check out – no, check out the deal that they signed with Judicial Watch. It was – I think Judicial Watch was like 1 million or 1.5 million people. They settled.”
I checked it out! What Trump is saying is totally false! Four Pinocchios!
9. “I was talking to somebody who says, ‘Well, you know the elite…’ I said, ‘What are you talking about, the elite? Who’s the elite? They’re the elite?’ They’re not the elite. You’re the elite. You are. You’re smarter, better looking. You have a better future.”
Trump, despite his stated disdain for “the elite” is totally and completely obsessed with them – mostly because he feels as though they never accepted him into their monied circles. It’s why he ran for president – to prove them all wrong.
10. “I get interviewed by people, and I’m sitting the other day in the Oval Office, and I didn’t like the tone. And I said, ‘You know, it’s really nice because I’m here and you’re not.’ The Oval Office.”
In which the President proudly demonstrates the emotional maturity of a 7-year-old.
11. “But the radical left, they hate our history, they hate our values, and they hate everything we prize as Americans.”
If he’s saying this in June 2020, what will Trump be saying in October 2020?
12. “And we’re right, because our country didn’t grow great with them; it grew great with you and your thought process and your ideology.”
Uh … the country wasn’t great for non-white males for a very long time….
13. “The left-wing mob is trying to demolish our heritage so they can replace it with a new repressive regime that they alone control.”
14. “The left is not trying to promote justice or equality or lift up the downtrodden. They have one goal: The pursuit of their own political power, for whatever reason.”
This feels eerily close to a description of someone I know …
15. “The problem we have is: States – they’re weak. They’re weak.”
Wait, wait. I thought the Republican Party was the one who believed in allowing states to make most decisions. Did I mix that up or?
16. “And he’s – he wouldn’t call the shots, belie- – he would have nothing to do with it. ‘Lock him in the Oval Office. Let’s just do what we want to do.’”
This is Trump suggesting, yet again, that Joe Biden is not fit to actually serve as president – and that his advisers would run the show. The evidence? Biden makes verbal gaffes. Which.…
17. “We were doing the greatest – we had the greatest economy we ever had, the greatest job numbers we ever had, the greatest of everything.”
We didn’t have the greatest economy we’ve ever had. We just didn’t. As for whether we had “the greatest of everything,” I am still checking on that.
18. “And then they said there’s a plague coming over from China. Here it comes.”
I know I ask this a lot, but who is “they” in this sentence? Seriously.
19. “And they are trying to do their best to keep the country shut down and closed, because they’d love those numbers not to be good.”
Just the President suggesting, with zero proof, that Democrats are purposely keeping states shut down in order to keep the economy from improving! Normal stuff!
20. “One of the great hoaxes, based on a telephone conversation that was perfect.”
The return of the perfect phone call! Oh, how I have missed you!
21. “She just stood out on television and it was like she popped. She did great.”
Trump is talking about Rep. Debbie Lesko (R) here. And yes he is doing so in the words of a TV producer. Lesko “popped” on TV in Trump’s eyes. Always remember that his lens on the entire world is cable news.
22. “And a man who is very understated – he just gets it done behind the scenes, never likes to go on television, never likes talking a lot, but he’s a great congressman from one of my favorite states, Florida: Matt Gaetz.”
Matt Gaetz minimized the threat from coronavirus by wearing a gas mask on the House floor in March HA HA, oh wait…
23. “We’re also joined by a man who became such a superstar overnight. You know, I put him there as a little bit of a filler, to be honest. He did a great job. He was the ambassador to Germany, right? And he was like – you know, I needed somebody to sit and warm out a chair.”
The President of the United States describing his decision to install Richard Grenell as the Director of National Intelligence. At least he takes this stuff seriously, right? Right?!?! RIGHT?!?!?
24. “Everyone in this room is bound together by a shared set of moral principles and enduring truths. We believe the United States of America is the greatest and most righteous nation that has ever existed.”
It’s so jarring in these speeches when Trump actually reads something written for him off the teleprompter – like these lines. It’s so different than his extended riffs – and yet the crowd seems to just drink it all in.
25. “We just created another branch. We’re going to have a general – a nice general – we have right now, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for full – full deal.”
Space Force! Also, I dare you to decipher the meaning of this sentence: “We have right now, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for full – full deal.”
26. “Space is going to be so important. That’ll be one of our most important of all. And it’s an honor.”
You might even say space is the final frontier.
27. “We’re now doing a hydrosonic [sic] – I call them ‘super dupers’ – missile.”
“Super dupers.” – The President of the United States
28. “It’s one of the reasons we did so well before the plague and we’re doing so well after the plague. It’s going away.”
Trump is touting his tax cut here. But he is also suggesting that the coronavirus is “going away.” There is no evidence for that and, in fact, the virus is on the rise in at least half the states.
29. “We have sensors on it. It is just great. Thirty feet high. It’s very hard. Very hard. We have anti-climb provision on the top. We have the whole deal, and it’s very powerful. “
Trump on the border wall: “We have the whole deal.”
30. “‘Kung flu,’ yeah. Kung flu. ‘Covid.’ ‘Covid-19.’ ‘Covid.’ I said, ‘What’s the ’19’?’ ‘Covid-19.’ Some people can’t explain what the 19 – give me the – ‘Covid-19.’ I said, ‘That’s an odd name.’ I could give you many, many names.”
“Kung flu” is, without question, racist. Period. Also, literally anyone can explain why the virus is known as “Covid-19.” It’s because it emerged in 2019. It’s really not very complicated.
31. “Some people call it the ‘Chinese flu,’ the ‘China flu.’ Right? They call it the ‘China,’ as opposed to ‘Chi-’ – the ‘China.’ I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Neither have I.
32. “And what he did – where is Hunter? Remember, I said, ‘Where is Hunter?’ They came out with a T-shirt, and some guy made a fortune. ‘Where’s Hunter?’ By the way, where is Hunter?”
“Where’s the boy, String … Where’s Wallace? That’s all I wanna know!” – D’Angelo Barksdale
33. “And I charged them a little thing called ‘massive tariffs.’”
I’m more of a Massive Attack guy myself.
34. “So now we did a deal, but, you know, the ink wasn’t dry when the – when the plague flew in….Two hundred and fifty billion dollars’ worth of purchases over a short period of time. All great. But the ink wasn’t dry, and we got hit by the plague, so I’m not too happy about that.”
Trump suggests here that the coronavirus was intentionally unleashed to slow the economy (in the wake of a trade deal with China) and hurt his chances of winning a second term. His evidence for such a huge charge? Oh, he doesn’t have any.
35. “Our black communities know it. And I think you’re going to see something really great happen because they understand it. They really understand it.”
In a new New York Times/Siena College national poll, Biden led Trump by 74 points among black voters.
36. “And the United States will be the first nation to plant our beautiful American flag on planet Mars.”
37. “You know who’s lost it? Sleepy Joe has lost it. Sleepy Joe.”
It’s June 24. Just wait. This is all going to get so much worse.
38. “Now, look, we want to do testing. We want to do everything, but they use it to make us look bad. But because of it, our mortality rate is so low. It’s so great what’s happened.”
I wouldn’t describe what’s happened with coronavirus as “so great.” Maybe that’s just me.
39. “And we did ventilators, and we did – we came up with tests that nobody has – we have so many different types of tests. We have the five-minute test, the 10-minute test. We have tests – you send them to a public lab, a private lab. We have tests – it’s a lot of tests.”
[looks around, makes sure everyone is hearing this]
40. “You know people get sick from the other also. It’s not just from the virus. They get sick from all of the other things that happen. You know what I mean.”
Um, I do?
41. “So, before the plague came in, we had the best of the everything.”
We had “champagne wishes and caviar dreams?”
42. “We got hit by something that should have never happened because they could have stopped it.”
It’s not all clear that China could have stopped Covid-19.
43. “Because Joe Biden has no control over what’s happening. They won’t even be talking to him.”
Trump’s casting of Biden as a mindless dupe is going to be a major theme in the next few months.
44. “They send out millions of ballots. Who’s getting them? How are they delivered? Who’s not getting them? Think of it. It’s going to be fraud all over the place.”
REMINDER: There’s virtually zero evidence of widespread voter fraud in US elections.
45. “This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country. And we cannot let this happen. They want it to happen so badly.”
Trump is, very clearly, laying the groundwork to a) contest the election and b) never concede if he loses.
46. “People went to the polls and voted during World War I. They went to the polls and voted during World War II. We can safely go to the polls and vote during Covid-19.”
Were World War I and World War II contagious?
47. “And there is tremendous evidence of fraud whenever you have mail-in ballots.”
[narrator voice] There isn’t.
48. “Anyone who dares to speak the truth is canceled, censored, de-platformed, fired, expelled, harassed, abused, boycotted, deprived of a livelihood, or even physically assaulted.”
May I recommend to you CNN’s database of all the things Trump has said that aren’t true?
49. “You can judge a movement by its behavior.”
Yes, yes you can.
50. “So we’ve done a lot, and we’ve really gone very far. We’ve taken it to a level that nobody has ever taken it.”
Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.