Trump Attends College Football Game in South Carolina

Frank Fang
By Frank Fang
November 26, 2023US News
Trump Attends College Football Game in South Carolina
(L-R) Former President Donald Trump joins South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 25, 2023. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday went to South Carolina, where he attended a college football game alongside more than 80,000 fans.

President Trump attended Saturday night’s Palmetto Bowl, an in-state rivalry between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. This year, the annual competition was held at Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium, home of the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Clemson Tigers won the game 16–7.

“If you ever wondered what’s happening in SC politically, listen to the crowd at a Carolina game. ELECTRIC!” wrote Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.) on X, also sharing a photo of him and the former president at the stadium’s press box. “SC is Trump country!”

The 45th president was a guest of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. His trip to Columbia comes less than 100 days before South Carolina voters head to their Republican primary to select their pick for the 2024 presidential election.

The 2024 presidential candidate arrived at the stadium to chants of “We want Trump! We want Trump!” from fans attending the game. A video shared by his campaign shows President Trump distributed boxes of popcorn to an enthusiastic crowd, many holding up their cellphones to take pictures of him.

Another video shared by his campaign showed the 2024 frontrunner waving to fans at the game from the press box, many of whom waved back and cheered.

At halftime, President Trump walked onto the field with Mr. McMaster, with the crowd erupting in loud cheers alongside some isolated boos. The former president walked around, posed for photos, and waved to the fans.

Aside from Mr. Fry and Mr. McMaster, others joining President Trump at the game included South Carolina’s First Lady Peggy McMaster, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, South Carolina Treasurer Curt Loftis, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.S.C.).

Saturday’s Clemson–Carolina game is not President Trump’s first college football game this year. In September, he attended the annual Cy–Hawk matchup between Iowa State University and the University of Iowa in Ames. Before the game, the he stopped by Iowa State Cyclones’ Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house, threw footballs to a crowd, and flipped burgers.

It was also not the first time the former president attended a Clemson football game. In January 2020, the he and his wife, Melania Trump, attended the college football’s national title game between Louisiana State University and Clemson University in New Orleans.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, a Clemson alumna and trustee and a former South Carolina governor, did not attend the Clemson–Carolina game on Saturday. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is scheduled to hold a town hall at the University of South Carolina Beaufort on Nov. 27.

President Trump is leading Ms. Haley in her home state by a hefty margin in FiveThirtyEight’s GOP presidential primary poll average. As of Nov. 15, the average shows the President Trump with 49 percent support and Ms. Haley at a distant second with 19.5 percent, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 12.1 percent.

Hours before kickoff, President Trump’s campaign announced he’d received more than 30 new endorsements in South Carolina, including some who had previously endorsed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for his 2024 bid, such as state Sen. Ronnie Cromer and state Rep. Bruce Bannister.

“South Carolina saw its best years under President Trump and the McMaster-Evette Administration,” Mr. Cromer said in a statement. “Tim Scott is a dear friend, and now that he is out of the race, I strongly urge South Carolina’s voters to join me in rallying behind President Trump.”

“After supporting South Carolina’s own beloved Senator Tim Scott, I am excited today to wholeheartedly endorse President Trump as the best candidate to defeat Joe Biden in 2024,” said Mr. Bannister. “He is a proven leader who will turn around the economy, protect our border and make America energy independent once again.”

Mr. Scott, who announced his White House bid in May, withdrew his 2024 campaign on Nov. 12.

President Trump first unveiled his 2024 South Carolina leadership team during an event at the State House in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

From The Epoch Times

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