Former President Donald Trump headlined the New York Young Republican Club’s Annual Gala on Saturday evening, telling the cheering audience that so many people had come out to support him that he’d seen the spillover crowd on his drive to the Wall Street location.
“It is great to be back in New York and it’s a true honor to address the oldest and largest Young Republican Club in the United States,” he said.
“I want to express my tremendous gratitude to all of you for being one of the very first organizations in the entire nation to endorse my 2024 [run],” he said, being interrupted by cheers. “It’s happening, it’s happening. You shouldn’t have had to wait this long. But you know, things like that happen.”
“I’m telling you, this is a place that can be won,” he said.
He revealed his optimism stemmed from the fact that the majority of his supporters are average Americans. According to President Trump, the bulk of his campaign funds has come not from megadonors, but regular people and families who give an average of $61, adding up to “millions and millions of dollars each week.”
“We’re taking in numbers that nobody’s ever seen before,” he said.
“And if we win New York … then we win the election very, very easily,” he said. “If we win New York and we’ll counter all of the cheating that will go on because we have to catch them.”
He made several references to alleged election fraud during the 2020 general election, and then added that he initially hadn’t planned to make President Joe Biden a major campaign point. But then “once I got indicted, the first time, and then the second, third, fourth … what’s happened is, since they’ve done it, the gloves are off.”
President Trump ran through his campaign, contrasting it to the Biden administration policies.
He touted his record on foreign policy, and said he would end the wars in Ukraine and Israel without sending American soldiers into war. He touted his border plans, which had gotten him elected in 2016, and said he would reinstate travel bans and add ideological screening in the immigration process.
“If you want to abolish Israel, if you want to sympathize with jihadists, then we don’t want you in our country and you are not getting in,” he said.
He also criticized President Biden’s economic and energy agendas, which he said has put the country on the brink of a depression.
“While Biden is devastating opportunities for young Americans, I will fight for young Americans like no president has ever fought before,” he added.
He mocked his political opponent’s speech wherein President Biden said “MAGA extremists” needed to be stopped, using a popular abbreviation for “Make America Great Again,” a campaign slogan of President Trump’s.
“Yeah, I’m extreme about making America great again,” he said.
He also criticized the establishment media, which he said have taken part in “waging an all-out war on American democracy … with one hoax, witch hunt, and abuse of power after another,” pushing back on recent reports and commentary in several media outlets that have pushed a narrative that President Trump would threaten democracy.
“No I’m not a threat, I will save democracy,” he said. “I’m running to liberate America. We want to liberate America because we’re the country that’s in a lot of pain … This is a righteous crusade to rescue our nation from a very corrupt political class.”
Speakers also included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.). President Trump thanked his supporters and allies in the audience at length, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is President Trump’s codefendant in a racketeering case that accuses both of them of interfering with the 2020 election in Georgia.
“He’d go to the different legislatures and and talk to legislators and they all agreed with him,” President Trump said. “But then the courts would hold them back because judges didn’t have the courage to do what they should have done. But Rudy is a warrior, he’s a brave guy, and he’s a brilliant man.”
President Trump faces a total of 91 criminal charges in four separate jurisdictions, and dozens more civil lawsuits on top of that.
In New York, he is currently on trial for fraud. On Sunday afternoon, he announced that he was no longer planning to testify before the defense rests its case the coming week.
New York Attorney General Letitia James had brought the civil suit against President Trump and his Trump Organization, claiming he defrauded the state by artificially claiming his net worth and depriving banks of some $250 million in interest. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, presiding over a bench trial, found President Trump guilty a week ahead of the trial and ordered the dissolution of the president’s holding companies. An appeals court has since paused that order, and the defense is expected to be mounting an appeal as they streamline their case for trial to end it quickly.
“The whole world is watching my trial where I’ve been proven innocent every day,” President Trump said at the gala. “The case going on right now in New York State Supreme Court is a ridiculous, never-brought-before case.”
He suggested the several cases against him did not present unwinnable odds, noting that his poll numbers rise whenever new legal action against him is announced, and that he’s faced greater odds before.
In October 2016, President Trump said that his chances had looked bad, and he called on nearly a dozen advisors to ask what he should do. Every single person told him to resign even though he was the party nominee, with the exception of Steve Bannon, who told him he would win “100 percent.”
“If we lose, we lose,” he thought. “It’s horrible, but it’s not historic … I didn’t like the concept of that.”
“Nobody felt we could win … and now they’re starting to say that we can,” he said. “So we’re going to give it a shot. I’ll tell you what, I’ve never seen enthusiasm like I’m seeing right now.”
From The Epoch Times