Trump hits Biden, Democrats in post-presidential return to rally stage

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE took the stage in his first post-presidential rally in Ohio on Saturday evening, lambasting President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE’s administration, touting the actions of his administration and urging his supporters to back Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. 

"After just five months, the Biden administration is already a complete and total catastrophe. I told you," Trump told a crowd in the northeast Ohio town of Wellington. 

The speech, which lasted more than hour, highlighted a number of issues amplified in Republican circles, including opposition to critical race theory and rising crime rates. 

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“You see these generals on television?” Trump asked the crowd, appearing to reference Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyAides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims Mullen defends Milley's conversations with China as 'routine' Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake MORE’s defense of studying critical race theory this week. “They’re woke.”

Trump also homes in on immigration, praising his administration’s policies at the border before hitting the Biden administration on the issue. 

“We have to defund his reckless immigration policies and restore our southern border to where it was,” Trump told the crowd. 

The former president also criticized Vice President Harris’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border last week, claiming the trip occurred after he announced his decision to visit the area. 

Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Harris facilitates coin toss at Howard University football game Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE, your vice president, only went to the border yesterday for the one simple reason: that I announced that I was going,” Trump said. “If I didn’t do that, I don’t know if she was ever going to go.” 

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The address was reminiscent of past Trump rallies, with the former president hitting the news media and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE. His crowd of supporters erupted in familiar chants of “CNN sucks” and “Lock her up.” 

Trump also repeated his unsupported claims that the 2020 election was rigged, calling the 2020 election “the big lie.”  Several state and federal election officials, including former U.S. Attorney General William BarrBill BarrVirginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE, have stated that the 2020 presidential election was not tainted by widespread voter fraud. 

The Ohio rally was held in part to support Max Miller, a former White House aide and ally of Trump. Miller is running against Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezOf partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders GOP senator: Republicans will lose if they relitigate the past The Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out MORE (Ohio) in the state's Republican primary for the 16th Congressional District. 

Gonzalez garnered the wrath of Trump earlier this year when he voted to impeach the then-president for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. 

At Saturday’s rally, the former president claimed Gonzalez asked to fly on Air Force One during a trip Trump took to Ohio during his presidency before he hit the congressman and his other Republican critics. 

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"He’s a fake Republican and a disgrace to your state," the former president said. "And he's not the candidate you want representing the Republican Party. He's the candidate of [Rep.] Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out Kinzinger says Trump 'winning' because many Republicans 'have remained silent' 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE [R-Wyo.], [Sen.] Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFive questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds MORE [R-Utah]."

Trump also highlighted next year’s Ohio Senate race, which will likely play a major factor in determining the balance of power in the upper chamber. The former president name-checked Republicans running in the primary, including Jane Timken and Josh Mandel, and labeled Democratic candidate Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHawley endorses Vance in Ohio Senate race Congress should know what federal agencies are wasting  Trump administration trade rep endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race MORE (Ohio) as a “total stiff.” 

The rally will be the first of many, as Trump plans to campaign for Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The president is slated to hold a rally on July 3 in Florida, another state with a potentially competitive Senate race. 

The question of whether Trump would run for another term as president loomed over the rally, with a number of the event’s other speakers, including Miller and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio), voicing their support for the idea. 

A number of other Republicans have been floated as potential 2024 GOP contenders, including former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally The Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out 'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement MORE, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisPresident Biden's vaccination plan is Constitutional – and necessary Faith leaders call on Congress to lead the response to a global pandemic Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE and South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemWhite House debates vaccines for air travel South Dakota lawmakers release petition to impeach state attorney general OSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate MORE, who was in attendance at the rally. 

Trump himself teased the idea of running a third time while falsely claiming he won the 2020 election. 

"We won the election twice, and it's possible we might have to win it a third time," he said.