Former President Donald Trump has been back to making the rounds when it comes to the rallies he's so well-known for. On Saturday night, he spoke at the Turning Point USA Action "Rally to Protect Our Elections" in Phoenix. While the former president often shares his thoughts on the 2020 election results, he was especially afforded such an opportunity at this occasion.
Going with a theme of "to protect our elections," he shared with crowd that "with your help we will stand up for democracy and for justice. We will fight for truth, transparency, and accountability. And we will not stop until we have restored our American birthright of honest, fair, and free elections." In addition to showing support for "election integrity," Trump spoke of how the conference was about showing that support "for the brave and unyielding conservative warriors in the Arizona state senate."
He would go on to "send our profound and everlasting gratitude to every Arizona Republican who had the fortitude and the backbone to defy the lying media." He went on to list and thank multiple specific members, pointing out he was meeting some of them for the first time.
Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, Kelli Ward, was given her own special moment, at the expense of calling out Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ), who Trump said "doesn't do a damn thing," including and especially for his lack of interest in an audit. "He's not popular with me either," Trump said, also pointing out "he's not getting my endorsement" should Ducey run for the Senate.
An election audit in Maricopa county has garnered widespread attention as well as invited speculation about the 2020 election results in Arizona, but elsewhere. Trump, in thanking the state senate, noted "you've created a movement all over the country."
Trump presented such audits as a form of "election integrity," questioning why others would not "be happy" with such a method. He promised "the facts are coming out, the truth is being uncovered, the crime of the century is being fully exposed," to much excitement from the crowd.
He would go on to offer that dead people were voting and applying to vote, as well as mention signature matching and ballot invalidation. Another concern raised was that "the logs for the election management system software were wiped under highly suspicious circumstances."
In other cities, Trump pointed to poll watchers being sent off, such as in Philadelphia and Detroit, where he said they were "physically thrown the hell out and couldn't get in for days."
Trump also shared that "the election related data in Maricopa in 2020 has been illegally erase. It's been erased. The county has also refused to provide the authority for the information... needed to access vote tabulation devices to top it all off."
"You don't have to be a great scientist from MIT," Trump would offer, especially when it comes to those those who "were caught on camera illegally running ballots multiple times through voting, counting machines."
One addition to this speech was Trump addressing media outlets which regard his claims of election fraud as "unproven." Speaking of the 'Big Lie' line specifically, Trump said that "it's the opposite" from what the media says. "It's the election which is the Big Lie."
Trump even said, which he acknowledged he hadn't shared before, that if he lost the election, "I'm okay with it," but that "we know when we lose." He referenced Georgia as well, where he noted Republican voters stayed home because they were afraid the election was "rigged."
The reason Trump is not "okay with it," though, is because he says he knows deep down he didn't lose. "You know when you win, and when you lose. If I lost this election, I could handle it pretty easily. When they steal it from you and rig it. That's not easy and we have to fight. We have no choice," he told the crowd.
The former president referenced issues such as defund the police and open borders, as well as voter ID, though he reminded the crowd that Democrats are trying to backtrack and claim they've always been in support. Because of issues such as these, Trump shared "in my opinion, there's no way they win elections without cheating," emphasizing and repeating "there's no way."
He would later go on to express concerns that "we're becoming like a third world nation."
The former president knew he was in friendly territory when he reminded the crowd "as everyone here fully understands, the 2020 election was a total disgrace," to thunderous applause, which even momentarily cut him off in his speech.
Trump went on to address those who would rather he move on to future elections. "Let me tell you, you're not going to have a future," since "our nation is being destroyed" and so "you're not going to have a future in '22 or '24, if you don't find out how they cheated with hundreds of thousands and even millions of votes, because you won't win anything, you won't win anything," he emphasized. This directive especially applied to fellow Republicans, whom Trump refers to as "good meaning."
He would later remind the crowd when it comes to "the radical left Democratic communist party [which] rigged and stole the election," the time to hold them responsible and fix this broken and corrupt system is not in 2022, where it may be just as corrupt, and if it is, you're not going to win, or in 2024. The time is right now, here in Arizona," he said, as the crowd gave a standing ovation.
"You got to get going. We don't have the luxury to sit back and to wait until the next election," he told the crowd, expressing a sense of urgency of how "the survival of our nation depends on... holding those responsible for the 2020 election."
So integral is the election issue, that Trump considers it "the biggest issue there is" and that it is "even bigger than the border." Trump also tied and drew a distinction when it comes to inflation and gasoline prices, going on to once more remind the crowd that "it was the most corrupt, dishonest, and unfair election in the history of our country." The Democrats and "corrupt media" and "Big Tech" also know, in addition to "we the American people," with such line earning much applause.
While Trump has often pointed out that the Democrats stick together, on Saturday he drew an even deeper distinction between Republican and Democratic unity. "They play a different game," he said of their tactics. "But you know, ultimately we're much bigger than them. We have many more people, because when you go over their policies, the fact is, those policies are not a 50 percent of the vote. We have many, many more people. They're tough. They're mean, but they stick together. They do stick together, but their policies are so bad. They are so pathetic. If they ever had our policies, maybe there'd be no Republican party, I must be honest with you, because we haven't until now," he offered.
When it comes to "weak Republicans," Trump offered "they're worse than Democrats," though he does want for more loyal Republicans who were present to "can convince them to do what's right," otherwise "they'll be defeated by real Republicans."
While Trump lamented that "law enforcement did very little" when it came to concerning behavior, rising to the level of "criminal behavior," with places such as in Georgia," he did say "but now what's happening is I believe the courts are going to do a lot. It's a big deal going on."
Trump pointed to the 12 million more votes he got in 2020 compared to 2016, but he did so while pointing out "and that's with them doing counting so you can imagine what the real number is."
While much of the focus for a time was on Arizona, Trump made it clear that it wasn't merely that state. "The citizens of America deserve answers," he pointed out.
Throughout the evening Trump related election integrity to other issues of the day.
On cancel culture he suggested that "the biggest thing that they want cancelled, is they don't want you talking about the election that just took place because they say 'holy sh*t, they caught us," he said to applause and a standing ovation, also calling it "a scandal the likes of which we've never had." He did remind the crowd, though, that "the only way you get away with a scandal is if they don't talk about it," which they don't want to do, "but they're going to have to."
While those who don't want to talk about it "almost got away with it" and "may have gotten away with it," Trump assured that "we're going to find out because something is going to have to be done."
As he has done in the past, Trump sought to remind the crowd that he is "not the one trying to undermine American democracy," but "the one trying to save American democracy."
The speech concluded on a hopeful note, as the former president reassured and reminded the crowd of the accomplishments of his administration and what the Republican Party still stood for, as well as a promise that they would regain the majority in 2022 and the White House in 2024. This can be done by "working together," as "the whole country is watching."