Donald Trump electrifies fans at stirring launch of 2020 re-election campaign with 25,000-strong mega MAGA rally in Florida
DONALD Trump electrified fans at the launch of his 2020 re-election campaign with a 25,000-strong mega MAGA rally in Florida last night.
The president officially kicked off his campaign to retain the White House at the huge event – where he enlivened his fervent voters with his new election slogan: "Keep America Great!"
Crowds cheered "four more years" and "build the wall" as Trump whipped them in to a frenzy by slamming Democrats and the Russia "witch-hunt".
Mr Trump said that "for the last two-plus years we have been under siege" – but despite that he claims to have achieved more than any other administration.
Attacking special counsel Robert Muller's investigation into Russian meddling in 2016, Trump blasted: "We went through the greatest witch hunt in political history."
And he warned his Republican supporters the Democrats are out to destroy them, saying: "They are really going after you. That's what this is all about."
Mr Trump also vowed to continue taking on the "political machine" – adding that "the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently."
GATHERED FOR DAYS
Supporters had braved heavy rain and some camped for days to get a prime spot at the stirring Trump rally in Orlando on Tuesday evening.
Mr Trump – who launched his last campaign from Trump Tower – is hoping to replicate the dynamics that allowed him to sensationally capture the Republican Party and then the presidency in 2016.
In this campaign, he will again present himself as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo – despite the fact that he's now in the White House.
The president's advisers said he aims to connect the dots between the promise of his disruptive first-time candidacy and his goals for another term in the White House.
We're taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people
Earlier, Trump said in a video released by his campaign on Monday: "We're taking on the failed political establishment and restoring government of, by and for the people."
The businessman-turned-candidate successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by the US economy and demographic shifts.
On the eve of the rally in the must-win swing state of Florida, Trump again appealed to his base as he return to the hard-line immigration themes of his first campaign.
He tweeted that next week Immigration and Customs Enforcement "will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States."
His promise came with no concrete details and sparked condemnation from his Democrat opponents.
It seemed to offer a peek into a campaign that will largely be fought along the same lines as his first bid.
Early Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said on Tuesday that Trump's politics are "all about dividing us" in ways that are "dangerous – truly, truly dangerous."
But those involved in the president's reelection effort believe that his brash populism still has widespread backing across the US.
And Trump advisers believe that his main Democratic opponents are all career politicians.
They include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden.
HUGE RALLY CROWDS
The crowd of Trump supporters – many of them in red hats – began gathering on Monday outside the Amway Center arena in Orlando.
Live music and food trucks kept them entertained as the countdown to the campaign launch got underway.
They spent Tuesday braving downpours and listening to a cover band playing rock hits such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama as they waited for Trump's arrival.
Venders sold water as well as pins, hats and T-shirts with slogans including "Trump 2020" and "ICE ICE Baby."
In the scorching 30C-plus heat, some women wore Make American Great Again swimsuits.
Ron Freitas, a retired Merchant Marine and registered Democrat, said: "Trump has been the best president we've ever had."
Freitas said he was sure Trump would succeed no matter who Democratic opponent was.
Some members of the far-right hate group Proud Boys were spotted marching in Orlando.
And protesters set-up a counter demonstration that featured the infamous Trump Baby balloon.
But the president's supporters were focused on the history of the moment.
Trump supporter Rich Emery said: "We wanted to be here with our president when he announced his candidacy for 2020.
Alex Fuentes, 33, a mechanic, wore a shirt that read: "Make Democrats cry again."
He said he was an Iraq veteran who twice voted for Barack Obama – but parted company with Democrats such as Hillary Clinton over foreign policy.
Mr Fuentes added: "There's a lot of minorities that are hidden Trump supporters."
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