fbpx

Trump to California Republicans: ‘No way we lose this state in a real election’

This story appeared on Calmatters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally in Fresno on May 27, 2016. Former President Donald Trump is set to make a personal pitch to California Republicans in a bid to solidify his support in a GOP presidential contest he has dominated for months. The leading GOP White House hopeful is scheduled to give a speech today at a state Republican Party convention near Disneyland. Photo by Chris Carlson, AP Photo

In summary

The former president railed against Democrats and again claimed the 2020 election was rigged in his speech to the California Republican Party. With him skipping the primary debates, the party convention may get the next best thing, with speeches also by Sen. Tim Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

ANAHEIM — Donald Trump railed against mail-in ballots and repeated falsehoods about a rigged 2020 presidential election in his speech to California Republicans today. 

“No way we lose this state in a real election,” said the former president, who lost California to President Biden in 2020 by a 63% to 34% margin.

Trump repeated many of the same talking points from his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, including criticizing California under “‘far left” Democratic leadership — Gov. Gavin Newsom (“He’s an environmental maniac, but only for political reasons”), “Marxist” district attorneys and “woke tech leaders.”

“I’m here to tell you that help is on its way,” he told more than 1,500 people crowded into an Anaheim convention center ballroom.

To roaring applause, Trump took the stage at the state Republican Party’s convention — the closest thing to a primary debate so far since he’s skipping the actual televised face-offs, including one Wednesday night in Simi Valley. 

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will speak at a mid-afternoon session, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will give the dinner address. Vivek Ramaswamy, a former biotech executive, is scheduled to speak on Saturday.

But Trump is the headliner, even if he did arrive an hour late. His stump speech included criticisms of various Californians — asking how former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was doing and describing the speaking style of Rep. Maxine Waters as “violent,” and Rep. Adam Schiff’s small neck.    

Trump’s courting of party activists — and not all voters in the debates — is central to his strategy to win the GOP nomination again. 

Winning over the base in California could mean winning all 169 delegates at stake in the state’s March primary — the biggest prize of any state and about 14% of the estimated total 1,234 needed to become the Republican nominee. 

That potential delegate sweep is a gift from the state party, which changed its rules in July to a winner-take-all system statewide, instead of divvying up delegates by congressional district. And that shouldn’t be too much of a struggle: In California, as in many other states, Trump has the loyal support of most of the party. In a Public Policy Institute of California poll this week, Trump came in at 48% among Republican likely voters — just short of the 50% plus one he needs to get all the delegates. DeSantis is the only other candidate in double digits, at 14%.

In a rematch with President Biden in strongly Democratic California, however, the PPIC poll suggests that Trump would lose handily, again: Biden leads 57% to 26% among likely voters. 

Trump’s support among Republicans is despite federal and state indictments he faces for interfering in the 2020 election, and for mishandling classified documents. 

For any of the other GOP candidates, it’s an uphill fight to gain public attention, much less votes.

From left to right, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, argue a point during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Sept. 27. 2023. Photo by Mark J. Terrill, AP Photo
From left to right, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, argue a point during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Sept. 27. 2023. Photo by Mark J. Terrill, AP Photo

Some of the seven who did show up at the Reagan presidential library for Wednesday night’s debate tried to highlight Trump’s absence. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie even tried to coin a nickname — “Donald Duck” — for ducking debates. 

But mostly, the candidates tried to tout themselves, when not taking shots at each other — and sometimes shading the truth to do so. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had one of the most talked-about moments, by saying of Ramaswamy: “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber from what you say.”

For his part, Trump told supporters at a rally Wednesday night in Michigan that debate participants are applying for a job in his next administration. And he claimed he isn’t impressed: “Does anybody see the VP in the group? I don’t think so.” 

Privacy Policy

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar