Amid an ongoing battle with four freshmen Democratic congresswomen over racist tweets he sent over the weekend, President Donald Trump took his 2020 campaign roadshow to Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday night. He played to an adoring crowd, some of whom at one point chanted, “send her back!” in reference to Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who is a naturalized American citizen.
While that might have been the low point — for America — of the rally, it was far from the only cringeworthy moment, most of them provided by the President of the United States. I went through the transcript of his 90+-minute speech and pulled out the lines you need to see (even if you might not want to see them). They’re below.
1. “We can have a lot of fun tonight. I have nothing to do. Nothing. Nothing.”
Said the President of the United States. And away we go!
2. “I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in — the resolution, how stupid is that? — on impeachment.”
Trump is referencing the House vote on Wednesday night to table an impeachment resolution offered by Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green. I am not sure why Trump sees the attempts to impeach him as “the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in” but, well, there it is.
3. “We passed the largest tax cuts and regulation cuts of any president or any administration in history.”
For the billionth time: This is false.
4. “Our economic policy can be summed up in three very beautiful and simple words: jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Trump really loves the word “beautiful.” It’s a very beautiful word, after all.
5. “You remember North Carolina? That was going to be the Clinton firewall. She spent a fortune here and I kept coming in and coming out. They called it earned media. I earned it.”
Barack Obama’s victory in North Carolina in 2008 was the first time since 1976 that a Democratic presidential candidate had won the state. So no, it was never going to be a Clinton firewall. Also, “they called it earned media. I earned it.”
6. “November 8, that was a big deal. Donald Trump has won the great state of North Carolina.”
The 2016 election was 982 days ago.
7. “Remember they wouldn’t announce the numbers in Pennsylvania. So there was 1% of the vote remaining. If I lost every one of those votes, we still win by a lot and they wouldn’t announce it. They wouldn’t announce it.”
Two things. First, the election was 982 days ago. Second, “they” wouldn’t announce who won Pennsylvania because the margin was so incredibly close. Trump wound up beating Hillary Clinton by fewer than 50,000 votes out of almost 6 million cast.
8. “You remember certain hand (sic) on that beautiful board and they said, you know this board is getting awfully red.”
Trump on the electoral map. I told you he liked the word “beautiful”….
9. “That was one hell of a night. I think it was maybe, you know, there are those that say one of the most extraordinary and exciting evenings in the history of television and the history of anything.”
Donald Trump on his election night: “One of the most extraordinary and exciting evenings in the history of television and the history of anything.” The history of anything!!
10. “Can you imagine if we didn’t have to go through that hoax? I don’t know that we would have done any better.”
Tremendous logic here. Trump suggests that if the investigation into Russian interference hadn’t been going on during the first half of his first term, he could have done so much more. Then in the next breath — literally! — he says there’s nothing more he could have done. Good time. Very cool and very legal.
11. “But can you imagine what it could have been if we didn’t have the witch hunt — you said it. You said it. I won’t say it because it’s a terrible word. So I will not say that this guy said, if we didn’t have the bullshit.”
“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country.” — Donald Trump, Tuesday
12. “You remember last election, Donald Trump will never, ever get the women. Then we got this tremendous number of women.”
13. “We got this tremendous number of women and during the election night they said, ‘What’s going on?'”
Trump got 41% of the women’s vote. (And absolutely no one said “what’s going on?”)
14. “Leaders come in from other countries, prime ministers, presidents, kings, queens, dictators sometimes. I hate to say it, dictators and they all start off by saying Mr. President, I’d like to congratulate you on the incredible economy that you’ve created. The greatest anywhere in the world by far.”
Count me as VERY skeptical that this actually happens. But if it does, isn’t this simply an acknowledgment by Trump that world leaders know that flattery gets them everywhere with him?
15. “He goes home now to mommy and he gets reprimanded and that’s the end. Sorry mommy. Sorry mom. Didn’t mean to embarrass you mom.”
This is how Trump reacted to being interrupted by a protester. And, yes, it reveals in plain sight how much of a bully he is by nature.
16. “Omar laughed that Americans speak of al Qaeda in a menacing tone and remarked that, you don’t say America with this intensity. You say al Qaeda makes you proud. Al Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.”
This is not accurate. Read Daniel Dale’s fact check for the full context.
17. “But Cortez, somebody said that’s not her name, it’s — they said, ‘That’s not her name, sir.’ I said, ‘No, no. I don’t have time to go with three different names. We’ll call her Cortez. Too much time, takes too much time.'”
The New York congresswoman’s full name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I don’t know why Trump is shortening it to just Cortez in front of his most rabid supporters. What could it be??? (Cough.)
18. “When Mike Pence went down just a few days ago with members of Congress and the media and you looked at those so-called horrible concentration camps. They said ‘Wow, these places are clean. Wow, they have air conditioning. They have water.'”
While the vice president toured one facility in Donna, Texas, that housed families and had air conditioning and more, here’s how CNN reported on Pence’s visit to a border detention facility in McAllen, Texas: “Pence toured a swelteringly hot room called a sally port with hundreds of men, a strong smell of sweat and overcrowding so extreme there was no room for cots, the migrants left to sleep on concrete beneath mylar blankets.”
19. “Can you imagine and according to the polls I won every single debate Republican and against Hillary? Can you imagine? Those are the polls.”
Two things: 1) The election was 982 days ago 2) Trump, I think, is referencing a “poll” conducted by the Drudge Report, a conservative link site, that allowed people to vote as many times as they wanted for their preferred candidate. Which is, uh, not a poll.
20. “And then you have a young, that Buttigieg, Buttigieg. They’re saying how to say his name. Buttigieg.”
This tweet can help with that.
21. “Buttigieg. You say boot and then add edge, edge. Buttigieg”
Yes, as I said: There’s a tweet for that.
22. “Nobody has been tougher with Russia than Donald Trump.”
23. “So Representative Ayanna Pressley, was she related in any way to Elvis? I don’t know. Who knows? You never know.”
You mean Elvis P-r-e-s-l-e-y? No, she is not.
24. “Because we’re going to win this election like nobody’s ever seen before.”
What would winning an election “like nobody’s ever seen before” entail, exactly?
25. “That’s why I say, hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave. Let them leave. Let them leave.”
To be clear: This is NOT the original message that Trump had for Omar, Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Michigan). Here’s what he tweeted on Sunday: “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
That’s very clear racist language: Go back where you came from! To attempt to transfer that to a “love it or leave it” message is not accurate.
26. “They’re always telling us how to run it. How to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.”
The idea put forward by Trump here is truly pernicious: That criticism of the way we do things is somehow anti-American. Dissent was literally the spark for the formation of the United States.
27. “They’re really into destroying our Second Amendment.”
This is another oft-repeated and false Trump trope: That, if elected, Democrats will abolish the Second Amendment and/or take away people’s guns. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton expressly said they would do nothing of the sort.
28. “With conducting brutal, medieval style killings, you know what medieval style is? OK. Little pieces. Little pieces. Little pieces, medieval style including the dismemberment of their victims and they enjoyed every minute of it.”
Uh, OK. (Trump is talking about MS-13 here.)
29. “So if you don’t want Democrats to raid your health care, to steal away your money, to bankrupt your country, then you have a choice. You must vote Republican.”
Wait, Democrats are going to “steal away” my money? How have I not heard about this before now?!?!?!
30. “He’s actually not even a Democrat. Isn’t he an independent? I don’t know.”
Bernie Sanders — who Trump is talking about — has spent most of life as a democratic socialist, which in terms of the Senate means that he was an independent who caucused with Democrats. Sanders changed his party affiliation to run as a Democrat for president in 2016 and then changed it back to independent when he lost that race. He has changed to be a Democrat, again, for this race. It’s a whole thing.
31. “I was watching Bernie and he’s screaming. His hair’s all crazy.”
32. “We haven’t had an empty seat in any event. I don’t believe that we’ve ever been too. I don’t think we’ve ever — we always have people — we haven’t had an empty seat.”
Never one empty seat at any Trump rally ever! Not one!
33. ” We’ve got 100 degrees out, but you still have thousands of people out there. We could have sold this arena out, you know that — we could have sold this arena out tonight 10 times, can you believe that? Ten times.”
[narrator voice] I don’t believe it. (Sidebar: Capacity for the arena at East Carolina University where Trump held his rally was 8,000. So, 80,000??)
34. “It’s like when I called Pocahontas, Pocahontas. They should have waited six months because she then went out and got that test. 1,024th. And I’ve always said I have more Indian blood in me than she has in her and I have none. I have none, but it’s more than she has, 1,024th.”
Minor point here — and I am no math major — but I am pretty sure that 1/1024 > 0.
35. “He checked her blood and found out that many, many, many, many, many, many years ago, there could have been somebody and he could have been Indian. And then the Indians got together and they said, we don’t want her.”
Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to clear up whether she was of Native American heritage was, slightly, more complicated than Trump’s description.
36. “So we did through our friend Dan Scavino, we did a Time Magazine cover. I was on so many times I don’t even read this thing and it says Trump, 2014, 2018 right? But it says 20, here’s where we go. We start at ’16. We go to ’20. We go to ’24. Did you see it? Then it says ’28. ’32, ’36, ’40, ’44.”
Ah ha ha … the President joking — again — about staying beyond the two-term limit. Oh man, that is a knee-slapper. Also, Trump’s obsession with being on the cover of Time magazine is a whole other thing.
37. “And you know it’s very interesting though, they — there are really people out there think I’m not leaving. Can you believe it? Hey, maybe that is a good idea. Let’s think about that.”
Where did those people get such a crazy idea???? Oh wait….
38. “If we don’t win in 2020, everything that we’ve done, seriously though, everything that we’ve done, your 401’s — the whole thing’s going to crash. The whole thing, it’s going to come down like a stack of cards.”
So, if Trump loses in 2020 the “whole thing” is going to crash? Like, the economy? Or, uh, everything?
39. “[Trump’s] actually made certain promises and he’s actually kept more promises than he’s made.”
This GIF was made for that statement.
40. “I said, you know, you don’t like me and I don’t like you. I never have liked you and you never liked me but you’re going to support me because you’re a rich guy. And if you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor you’re not going to believe it.”
This is all very legal and very cool.
41. “Everybody calls me Mr. President. It’s true. It’s a funny thing.”
That is funny.
42. “And it is funny, you know, with the name Mr. President. I have friends, really good friends and they’ve always called me Don, Donald, DJ, they called me anything.”
Trump’s friends called him “DJ”? I find that intriguing.
43. “I have guys. I have wonderful friends. New York developers, tough guys, smart guys, they’re rich. They’re this, that. I have middle of the road. I have poor. I have everybody.”
The President of the United States would like you to know he has “poor” friends, ladies and gentlemen.
44. “This is a guy that used to go, ‘Hey Don, how you doing? Let’s go to dinner.’ Now you’re ‘sir,’ is everything. ‘You’re doing good, sir.’ I said, ‘Richard, call me Donald like you always did. Call me Donald, always call me Donald.’ ‘OK. Thank you Donald. Thank you very much.’ And then two minutes later. ‘Mr. President, it’s been so great to…'”
This all makes total sense and is extremely well-stated.
45. “We had 14 seasons, think of that. The Apprentice. I proudly signed four bipartisan human trafficking laws securing $400 million to support victims of human trafficking.”
These were two sentences that the President said back to back. And, no, I have no idea what he believed the connection to be — or if he believed there to be one.
46. “These guys are central casting, like from a movie except better. They’re stronger, bigger, tougher, meaner and actually better looking in a certain way. But they’re like from a movie, there’s nobody in Hollywood plays a role like this.”
How someone looks is of HUGE import to Trump. He views his government as one big reality show. So, looking the part is as important (more important?) than being able to do the job.
47. “My generals did a great job.”
48. “Look at that beautiful baby. Look at that beautiful baby. Wow, what a baby. What a baby. Wow. That is a beautiful baby. That’s like from an advertisement. Perfect. Look how happy that baby is, so beautiful.”
Offered without comment.
49. “We are one movement, one movement. Think of that. We are one big, beautiful movement.”
50. “So pretty soon, I hate to say. I don’t want to ruin the rhetorical scale but that is sort of like getting a little obsolete.”
Word. Salad. (I think what Trump is talking about is that saying “we will make America great again” is obsolete because he has made America great again. Or something.
51. “Look at her beautiful hat. Looks very good on you, but look at this. Look at those beautiful hats.”
“Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh? Oh, it looks good on you though.” — Al Czervik. This feels like a very good place to end.