Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Trump in spotlight with speech on ‘radical left’


Former US president Donald Trump returned to the spotlight Saturday for his first speech in months, framing next year’s midterm elections as a battle for the “survival of America”, but keeping followers guessing on his own plans for 2024.

Trump lapped up applause from Republican supporters as he described the United States as “being destroyed before our very own eyes” since he was voted out, and launched bitter criticism of his victorious rival President Joe Biden.

“The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republican­s at every level, starting with the midterms next year,” Trump said. “We have to get it done. We have no choice actually. We’re going to defend our freedoms.”

Trump described 2024, the year of the next presidenti­al election, as “a year that I look very much forward to”, drawing loud cheers from the audience in Greenville, North Carolina at a Republican Party convention.

Addressing a crowd of about 1,250 for his first major speech since February, Trump, 74, appeared to lack much of the raw energy and enthusiasm that he often brought to his raucous, larger campaign rallies.

Verbal attacks against his favorite targets, including Biden’s border policy, China,

“radical left Democrats,” and “critical race theory,” all triggered wild cheers.

In contrast, the crowd fell largely silent during his claims of successful­ly tackling Covid-19 and of developing the vaccines that have helped quell the pandemic. Banished from social networks but no less influentia­l among the party faithful, Trump has remained politicall­y active since he left the White House in January.

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