Trump’s Massive Rally Draws a Crowd in the Liberal College Town of New Hampshire’s Seacoast

Former President Donald Trump picked up two influential endorsements in New Hampshire leading into his mega-sized rally at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham on Saturday. The former president was powered up by former Senate President Chuck Morse, now a gubernatorial candidate, and Elizabeth Girard, president of the New Hampshire Federal of Republican Women at the massive event. “You are here today because you’ve had enough. Am I right?” said Ms. Girard, charging up the crowd. The massive Whittemore Center Arena was packed, with barely a seat unoccupied.

Outside the arena, a group of UNH students chanted “free Palestine” and displayed anti-Trump signs, while many participants wore masks. Inside, the maskless crowd cheered loudly at President Trump’s promised policies, including defunding schools that implement vaccine and mask mandates, ending funding to schools pushing critical race and gender theory, and the proposed Reciprocal Trade Act. President Trump also re-dubbed President Joe Biden’s fossil fuel alternatives program as “The Green New Scam,” which drew wild cheers from his supporters.

President Trump took pokes at his GOP rivals, especially against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. However, there was no mention of who President Trump would choose as his vice president, and speculation about Ms. Haley’s potential as running mate dominated. Prior to President Trump’s rally, his New Hampshire campaign co-chair expected the former president to lean more toward someone like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis charged that Mr. Trump would slow progress in advancing party objectives because he would be a lame-duck president as he can only serve one term. However, Trump’s camp viewed being a lame duck as an advantage, with the lame duck president being not worried about what happens in the future in terms of courting donors and traveling around the country for the sake of getting votes.

Despite the protest outside and social distancing concerns, the rally drew a large crowd. The former president’s policies resonated well with the audience, and his potential VP choice remains a hot topic. We’ll have to wait and see who will join Trump’s campaign as his VP, but for now, it’s clear that his rally has energized his base and solidified his standing within the GOP.

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