Trump holds New Hampshire campaign rally on the eve of primary

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Trump held a campaign rally here on the eve of the nation’s first 2020 presidential primary, offering counterprogramming to the Democrats barnstorming the Granite State in their efforts to replace him.

“Who is their weakest candidate? I think they’re all weak,” Trump said Monday. “They’re all fighting each other. They’re all going after each other.”

He also took multiple shots at the party’s handling of last week’s muddled Iowa caucuses amid the ongoing fallout over the irregularities in the final delegate calculations. 

“The Democratic Party wants to run your health care, but they can’t even run the caucus in Iowa,” Trump said. 

“Does anyone even know who won Iowa?” he continued to laughter, even directing the question to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-K.y.). 

Trump appeared to suggest, as he has in the past, that the Democratic Party is rigging the primary against progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

“I think they’re trying to take it away from Bernie,” Trump said. “They’re doing it to you Bernie. They’re doing it to you again.” 

The rally, which took place in downtown Manchester, went on largely interrupted, with no noticeable protesters in the venue. The arena was nearly filled, with lines of people left outside in case more space was made available. 

Trump also visited Iowa on the eve of the caucuses in hopes of stealing thunder from the Democratic candidates in that state. 

While Democrats were reeling last week over the chaos surrounding the caucuses, the president had a week of positive headlines, including delivering his third State of the Union address the day before being acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial. The week was topped off with the news that the economy added 225,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations.  

Trump made mention on Monday of his State of the Union — and the evident tensions with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Ahead of the annual speech, Trump snubbed Pelosi when she went to shake his hand, and the Speaker later went viral when she tore up her copy of the address once Trump was done. 

“I had somebody behind me who was mumbling terribly. Mumbling,” Trump said. “Very distracting.”

“No, it was very distracting,” he added. “I’m speaking, and a woman is mumbling terribly behind me, angry.”

In response, the crowd broke out into chants of “lock her up.” 

While Trump will all but certainly win the Republican primary in New Hampshire tomorrow, the visit underscored his reelection campaign’s interest in growing his support in the state, which he won in the crowded 2016 Republican primary but narrowly lost to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election. 

“We firmly believe that New Hampshire is a state that we can put in the president’s column in 2020,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told The Hill. “This is all about getting the Trump ground army ready for November.” 

Tags 2020 2020 campaign 2020 New Hampshire primary Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Lindsey Graham Nancy Pelosi New Hampshire primary Rand Paul
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