‘The time has come for voter ID,’ Trump said Tuesday night at a rally in Tampa, Fla., which earned him a roar of approval and sustained applause from the crowd. ‘If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need I.D. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need I.D. And you need your picture. In this country the only time you don’t need it in many cases is when you want to vote,’ he said.
Most grocery stores don’t require identification unless the customer is buying something age restricted, like alcohol. Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt. They waved signs that featured Trump’s new campaign slogan ‘Keep America Great,’ ‘Trump, Pence,’ ‘Women for Trump,’ and ‘Blacks for Trump.’ He failed to address Robert Mueller’s ‘witch hunt’ or Paul Manafort’s trial, which began today, during his speech. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall.
The Sunshine State will also be critical to the president’s reelection efforts in 2020. Scroll down for video President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, Florida Trump was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Florida rally. In his remarks, Trump endorsed Republican candidates in Florida’s crucial and competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this fall Supporters cheer as Trump arrives for the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he was happy to remind the crowd of. But he also talked about his own time in office, reassuring the crowd he would occupy the Oval for seven years. He reminisced about the inauguration and mentioned his family – Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump were with him – as was Eric’s wife Lara – but he also talked about the first lady and how ‘everybody loves Melania.’ He also gave shout-outs to two former campaign officials who were with him: ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and his former deputy campaign manager David Bossie. He even got in a dig at ‘Crooked Hillary,’ prompting the crowd to shout ‘lock her up’. And he touted other victories such as ending the war on Christmas – making that claim on a muggy day in July in Florida. Trump acknowledged it was early in the year to be talking about the holidays. ‘it’s awfully early to be thinking this, but I always think it,’ he said. ‘Remember the attack on Merry Christmas? They are not attacking it anymore. Everybody is happy to say Merry Christmas,’ he said. ‘You have these big department stores that say happy holidays. They say where’s the Merry Christmas. Now they are all putting up Merry Christmas again.’ He also teased the crowd, which had filled the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, and been hyped up since before his arrival.
Supporters swarmed CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the media area to scream ‘fake news’ before the president began his remarks and they were on their feet for all of Trump’s speech, often cheering and shouting. ‘I said we might be a little bit wild, they say he’s not acting presidential and I would say it’s a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do. Anybody can act presidential,’ he said as the crowd cheered him on. ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the state of Florida, thank you very much for being here. You are tremendous people and I will leave now because I am boring you to death, thank you,’ he joked as the crowd gave him sustained applause. Trump’s call for a national voter ID system came he railed on Democrats for their stance on illegal immigration, an issue the president has lasered in on in the last few weeks, claiming it was a policy stance that got him elected in the first place. His first called for voter ID in January after he disbanded his controversial commission investigating allegations of voter fraud. Trump created the commission after claiming that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election — enough to make up for Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote. Election season was clearly on the president’s mind at his Monday rally, which featured a friendly crowd clad in Make America Great Again hats and t-shirt Supporters waved signs that featured Trump’s new campaign slogan ‘Keep America Great,’ ‘Trump, Pence,’ ‘Women for Trump,’ and ‘Blacks for Trump’ A supporter of President Donald Trump heckles CNN Jim Acosta, left, during a Trump rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa Supporters cheer as US President Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa A man holds a sign that reads: ‘CNN sucks’ during the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa However, states wouldn’t hand over their voter data over privacy concerns and there have been no reports or proof of voter fraud on a massive scale. Voting rights groups have been challenging voter ID laws for years, arguing they disproportionately impact voters of colour. Thirty-six states request or require voters to show ID at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2000, 14 states had such laws. Trump claimed the system was needed to keep illegals from voting. ‘In some states, Democrats are trying to give illegal immigrants the right to vote,’ he charged. ‘The Democrats are not doing what we want them to do. They’re not voting our values and what we want to do in the country,’ he said. ‘If you want safety.
If you want a country, vote Republican,’ he told the packed auditorium. ‘We need more votes,’ he said. In his little more than hour-long remarks at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, the president offered a long defence of his record in the White House. ‘I ran for president with no experience and I won,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know anybody Washington but now I know everyone in Washington. I know the good ones. I know the bad ones,’ he added. Support: Ivanka, brother Eric and his wife Lara were at the rally to support their father. Lara shared this photo of the trio to her Instagram Trump, accompanied by Ivanka Trump, third from right, and Eric Trump, right, the children of President Donald Trump, and Eric’s wife, Lara Trump, second from right, steps off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after the Tampa rally Ladies in red! (L-R) Ivanka Trump, Lara Trump and Eric Trump exit Marine One as they return from Tampa Ivanka Trump arrives at the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Tuesday after the Tampa rally In a winding defense of his work, Trump proclaimed ‘we have the best economy in the history of our country now,’ attacked the press, praised U.S. steel, trashed the Democrats, and touted Republican gubernatorial and Senate candidates. Trump is seen arriving back at the White House after the rally His pro-America lines got the largest and loudest applause from the crowd while his attacks on the ‘fake news’ drew plenty of boos. His speech was also peppered with red meat lines intended to rally his core supporters, such as when he said: ‘We will never give up, we will never give in, we will never, ever back down and we will never, ever surrender.’ He added: ‘Because we are Americans and our hearts bleed red, white and blue.
We are one people. We are one family. And we are one glorious nation under God. And together we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again.’ The president spent considerable time talking about his trade policies, including tit-for-tat tariffs with China that he said would eventually pay dividends for the United States. The tariffs are causing unease among Republican lawmakers facing tough re-election battles in November, and Trump’s focus on them suggested he was concerned about their potential political impact. China and other top U.S. trade partners zeroed in on American farmers with retaliatory tariffs after the administration imposed duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminium from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. ‘China and others have targeted our farmers. Not good. Not nice. And you know what our farmers are saying? ‘It’s OK. We can take it,’ Trump said. The Trump administration announced a $12 billion farm aid package last week, prompting some farmers and farm-state lawmakers, including Trump’s fellow Republicans, to criticize the move, saying they would rather trade with no tariffs than receive government help. ‘I want to thank our farmers,’ Trump said. ‘Our farmers are true patriots.’ Trump won Florida in the 2016 presidential election, a victory that he reminded the crowd of during the rally Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall Trump shakes hands with US Representative Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, and candidate for Florida Governor, during the rally Trump, also defended the denuclearization deal he signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore after reports surfaced that North Korea was proceeding with its missile program. The Singapore summit was long on positive imagery but short on specific benchmarks for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. Trump said the fact that North Korea was starting to return the remains of American dead from the 1950s Korean War and that there had been no nuclear or missile tests were offshoots of the summit.’I think it’s going to work out very well,’ he said. ‘No tests, no rockets flying. But we’ll see what happens.’ Trump also repeatedly encouraged the crowd to vote for Republican Ron DeSantis for governor. Trump had previously endorsed the candidate via Twitter, a move that boosted DeSantis’ standing in the polls and pushed him past his GOP primary rival Adam Putnam, who has been twice elected statewide and has held various Florida offices for 21 years. He brought DeSantis on stage to speak. Trump also touted Republican Rick Scott, who’s challenging Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in the fall. ‘We have to make sure Rick Scott wins and wins big,’ he said. Scott was not at the rally but was at the president’s workplace development event at the Tampa Bay Technical High School earlier in the evening and was spotted getting off Air Force One with the president when he landed in Florida. Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for Trump, poses for photographs outside a signing ceremony for the ‘Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,’ at Tampa Bay Technical High School, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa Trump supporters watch through glass doors as the president speaks during the rally At the beginning of his remarks, protesters were pulled from the crowd, which the president used to get in a dig at the media: ‘One person and tomorrow it will be massive protests.’ At least three protestors were pulled from the crowd.
The Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall was filled to the rafters with the arena standing room only. The president pointed out: ‘Outside we set up for the first time a big movie screen because we have thousands and thousands who couldn’t get in.’ He added: ‘It’s a great place to be. If you have to be outside, be outside in the great state of Florida.’ It was actually raining outside when he made those remarks. He also touted a poll – without naming which poll – that he says calls him the most popular Republican president. ‘The most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump – can you believe it?’ he exclaimed, as the crowd roared and waved signs at him. ‘Seven more years. Yeah seven more,’ he concluded to the delight of the crowd. Abraham Lincoln, a Republican president, is consistently ranked by historians as the best leader in the country’s history. And polling wasn’t invented until the 1930s, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. Trump address that too. ‘I would say I can be more presidential than any president in history except for possibly Abe Lincoln with the big hat,’ he said.