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Cocky Trump struts at Doral political rally: 'It doesn't matter who they nominate'

Max Greenwood, Syra Ortiz Blanes and Gabriela Henriquez Stoikow, Miami Herald on

Published in Political News

DORAL, Fla. — Donald Trump decamped to friendly territory on Tuesday, holding a rally at his sprawling Doral golf club where he let loose on President Joe Biden following weeks of turmoil within the Democratic Party. He didn’t hold back.

Speaking to thousands of supporters at Trump National Doral Miami, Trump piled on Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the entirety of the Democratic Party. He mocked Biden’s performance at last month’s presidential debate, and at one point, he challenged Biden to another debate — and then an “18-hole golf match.”

“The radical left Democrat Party is divided, in chaos and having a full-scale breakdown because they can’t decide which of their candidates is more unfit to be president. Sleepy Joe Biden or Laughing Kamala,” Trump said to loud cheers.

Biden, who beat Trump nearly four years ago, has spent the last 10 days trying to rehabilitate his image — and his party’s confidence in him — following a floundering performance in the first presidential debate that intensified concerns about his age and fitness for office.

Since then, Biden has faced growing calls from some in his own party — including donors, lawmakers and voters — to withdraw from the presidential race and make room for a new candidate to step in and challenge Trump, who vowed Tuesday to defeat any Democrat who runs against him.

“It doesn’t matter who they nominate because we’re going to beat any one of them,” he said.

While Biden has insisted that he will continue to seek a second term, some Republicans at Tuesday’s rally saw the debate flub as a chance to bury Biden’s campaign months before voters begin casting their ballots.

“We wanted to give the Democrats a little bit of time to self-destruct, and that’s exactly what’s happened over the past week and a half,” said Kevin Cabrera, a Miami-Dade County Commissioner and a surrogate for the Trump campaign. “They don’t even know who their nominee is going to be right now, and we’re here to rally around our candidate.”

In the leadup to Trump’s remarks, the rally more closely resembled a Fourth of July picnic rather than a political hypefest. Thousands of supporters sprawled out across the lawn of Trump’s Doral golf course, while hundreds more crowded in a line for water bottles, hoping for some relief from near-triple-digit temperatures.

Some attendees wafted themselves with American-flag-emblazoned paper fans. Taking the stage as the heat began to let up on Tuesday evening, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joked that “next time we need to do it indoors somewhere.”

Supporters decked head-to-toe in red, white and blue Trump merchandise expressed a sense of ease with the presidential race. Recent polls show the former president leading Biden both nationally and in key battleground states. Florida, a longtime swing state, has become friendly territory for Trump.

 

Even Miami-Dade County, a one-time Democratic bastion, and the state’s Hispanic electorate are within reach for Trump, said Jaime Florez, the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic communications director.

“Look around,” Florez said at the Doral rally. “You have Venezuelans, Nicarguans, Cubans — a really diverse group of Hispanic voters all here to support President Trump and Republicans.”

Adding to the sense of optimism at Tuesday’s rally was Biden’s debate performance. Several Trump supporters who attended the event said that the debate was proof that Biden isn’t fit to serve in the White House for another four years. What’s more, they said, the debate had tanked any remaining chance he had of winning a second term in November.

Gwen Buchel, 48, said that even if Biden ultimately backs out of his reelection bid, as some Democrats have urged him to do, any replacement would face an uphill battle against Trump.

“I think at this point in the game it might be too late, regardless of who they choose,” said Buchel, who made the three-hour drive from her home in Cocoa, Florida, to attend the rally. “Whoever they pull in at the last minute, it’s not going to be good for them. Biden’s just done. He should stay in for the next few months and just be done with it.”

Another Trump supporter, Greg Reed, said that he wants Biden to stick around in the presidential race, arguing that it would only make it easier for Trump to coast to victory in November.

“I want him to stay,” Reed said. “It’s an easy win for us but no matter who they bring in, I don’t think anybody stands a chance. There is nobody.”

Adding to the excitement around the rally is Trump’s highly anticipated announcement of whom his running mate will be. In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night, Trump said that he’d “love to” reveal his pick at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, which kicks off next week.

Among those he’s considering for the job is Rubio, a Miami native whose presence at Trump’s rally in Doral on Tuesday only intensified speculation that he could join Trump on the Republican ticket in November.


©2024 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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