MANCHESTER, NH — Jobs. Jobs. And more jobs. That’s the main message President Donald J. Trump preached Thursday as the finest advancements his administration has made in the U.S. economy, especially in New Hampshire.
Speaking before a capacity crowd of diehard Trump 2020 fans at the SNHU Arena, the president lashed out — to ear-piercing cheers and foot-stamping thumps — against Democrats of all ilk whom he repeatedly equated with “Socialists and Nazis.”
“We are standing up for the people of New Hampshire,” Trump said, with about six months until New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary. The president stayed on message in his 94-minute address that was laced with equally robust roars of approval and predictable boos of distaste from the men, women, and children in the audience.
The Secret Service estimated the crowd inside the arena at 11,500, and a Manchester police officer said the number who didn’t make it into the arena was an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 more.
Just before Trump took to the stage, the lights in the arena were dimmed and music blared, almost like a rock concert.
The president spoke extensively about the need to curtail illegal immigration and promote U.S. superiority across the globe while promising to keep the country moving forward for Americans with his re-election in 2020.
“We’ve got to take care of our own … It’s called America first,” Trump said, describing his presidency and campaign as “the greatest political movement in the history of our country.”
Trump also gave a tremendous hometown boost to his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of Windam, who is reportedly mulling a campaign to be the 2020 Republican challenger to the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. There are already a handful of GOP candidates who have said they will run for the seat, including former House Speaker Bill O’Brien and retired Brig. Gen Donald C. Bolduc.
“Corey Lewandowski loves your state. He loves New Hampshire. He’s tough, he’s smart, and I’m hearing he’s thinking of running for the Senate from New Hampshire. He would be fantastic.”
Earlier Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Lewandowski to testify publicly on Sept. 17 in its obstruction of justice inquiry related to the Mueller Report that could lead to impeachment hearings led by House Democrats.
Trump also earned a tsunami of cheers each time he referenced the importance of the Second Amendment to his core constituents, many of whom traveled from as far away as Florida to attend the rally.
“It’s not the gun that pulls the triggers, it’s the person holding the gun,’’ Trump said, promising to create new facilities to treat mental health and other behavioral illnesses. “We will always uphold the right to self-defense and we will always uphold the Second Amendment.”
A new Fox News poll shows 90 percent of Trump voters support universal background checks, and 67 percent of American voters, more than two-thirds, approve banning assault weapons.
The president took time to thank several top Granite State GOP members for joining the rally, including Gov. Chris Sununu who just last week vetoed three gun-control bills passed by the Democratic legislature.
He took shots at the Democrats who want to run against him, promising to bring back the name he called Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas,” and referred to former vice president Joe Biden as “sleepy” Joe.
As chants of “USA” and “Four More Years” drowned out the president’s comments, Trump returned to the economy, noting the New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate and tax-free status.
“You have no choice but to vote for me,” he said. “We, in New Hampshire, have reached the lowest rate in 31 years. In a very short time, it will the lowest in the country … wages have been rising quickly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the president said that Democrats are “looking down on hard-working Americans who make our country run.”
“The United States today has the hottest economy of anywhere in the world. America is respected again like never before,’’ Trump said, noting that his administration has eliminated seven million Americans from the SNAP program, which includes food stamps.
Additional reporting for this story was contributed by Pat Grossmith of Manchester Ink Link.