What We Learned From Trump’s Orlando Rally – The New York Times

Mr. Trump turned to familiar turns of phrase by telling his supporters that he was fighting on their behalf, giving them a sense of ownership over his election. He described them as part of a movement that helped sweep him into office and helped “restore” power to voters in 2016.

But he was at his most specific when he described efforts to investigate him as a way to undermine his voters. “They are really going after you,” Mr. Trump said of efforts in the Democrat-led House to investigate his finances and allegations of malfeasance in his administration. In one of his most poignant moments, he said that when he walked into the White House for the first time, “I have never forgotten who sent me there.”

And he told attendees that their collective “political opponents” looked on their values “with hatred.”

The president has a front-runner in former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and more than 20 other candidates in the Democratic primary race whom he could target as foils. But he made clear in the first 11 minutes of his kickoff rally that the news media would be his main target for the next 17 months. “The fake news” was a phrase that he uttered at least four times in those minutes, pointing to journalists and egging on the boos and jeers of his supporters.

The news media, in Mr. Trump’s telling, is denying him credit he is due. The news media, in Mr. Trump’s telling, is helping spread the “Russian hoax,” which is what he has called the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference in the election and whether the Trump campaign was involved. The overarching theme? Mr. Trump has been mistreated.

Mr. Trump’s victory in Florida in November 2016 was a piece of the puzzle in beating Mrs. Clinton, and his campaign is aware of the need for a show of strength in the state. So is Mr. Trump, who in his remarks described it as his “second home” where he owns a private resort, Mar-a-Lago, and a golf club.

The state is notoriously hard to poll and elections in Florida are always close, as anyone who recalls the 2000 presidential race can confirm. Mr. Trump is mindful that he needs to be in the state early and often.


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