Sunday, May 28, 2023

‘Swamp creatures’: Lara Trump bashes Democrats as first family continues focus on New Hanover

Lara Trump speaks at a rally held at the New Hanover County GOP headquarters. “Do not be fooled by Joe Biden. He might be a soft, old man, but he is the Trojan horse for these socialists who have now taken over the Democrat party.” (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — Stage lights were powered on at the New Hanover County GOP headquarters around sunset on Wednesday, as a a few hundred people waited in anticipation for the arrival of Lara Trump, Wilmington native and daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump. 

New Hanover County has been the backdrop of a Trump campaign blitz in recent weeks. President Trump gave speeches at the Wilmington International Airport and the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship in early September, when Wilmington was designated the nation’s first World War II Heritage City, and Ivanka Trump gave a “fireside chat” in downtown Wilmington on Sept. 14. Additionally, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. recently campaigned on behalf of their father in other North Carolina cities. 

“The Trump campaign has really identified New Hanover County as critical, and they’re showing that by their presence here,” Will Knecht, chairperson of New Hanover County GOP, said. “There’s a reason why three Trumps, including the president himself, have been here.”

The Trump campaign outfitted the rear parking lot of the GOP building with a stage, sound system and “Make America Great Again” signage above a podium. A line of supporters stretched onto Market Street, and trickled into an entryway manned by secret service agents and private security personnel. A man nearby sold custom MAGA merchandise to rally attendees. 

Gabrielle Barone, president of the Lower Cape Fear Republican Women’s Club, led the group in prayer prior to the arrival of Lara Trump’s motorcade. 

“We thank you for calling us to your service,” Barone said. “We also thank you, Lord, that you have healed our president. You are healing our first lady, and you are healing, through him, this country.Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, all of you. God Bless you, God Bless America, and God Bless Donald Trump.” 

Lara Trump took the stage to Carrie Underwood’s “All-American Girl.” She painted her father-in-law’s Democratic opposition, Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, as the most far-left ticket in the country’s history, calling them “swamp creatures.” She urged the crowd to help her father carry North Carolina in the upcoming race.

Her criticisms of the Democrats resembled national messaging pushed out by the Trump campaign as the Nov. 3 election draws near. 

“I know why they chose Joe Biden; they chose him because they can control Joe Biden,” Trump said. “Do not be fooled by Joe Biden. He might be a soft, old man, but he is the Trojan horse for these socialists who have now taken over the Democrat party.”

Lara Trump speaks at a rally held at the New Hanover County GOP headquarters. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump speaks at a rally held at the New Hanover County GOP headquarters. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

Trump argued the Democrats plan to use the vote-by-mail system to “cheat the American people.” 

Using a story about a ballot allegedly mailed to a dead cat in July, she argued the system is ripe for fraud, continuing the Trump family’s attack on the mail-in-ballot voting system as many in the country grapple with how to vote during a pandemic.

“We know that there are cats that have been dead for 12 years that are receiving ballots in the mail,” she said. “I want to put out there for the Democrats, I have two dogs that live at my house, Charlie and Ben. If they want to send a ballot to them they’ll be voting for President Donald J. Trump, just to throw it out there.” 

“Donald Trump on Election Day has to win by such a huge margin of victory that they can not dispute the results of this election,” she said. “That no matter how many dead cats they’ve got voting, we win fair and square on November 3. That is exactly how we have to do this.”

Statewide, voters have submitted nearly eight times more mail-in ballot requests this year compared to the last general election

Will Knecht, head of the county GOP, said he wouldn’t be surprised if another member of the president’s family made their way to New Hanover County before Nov. 3.

“We always knew we’d be important, but we never knew how important until recently” he said. “He doesn’t win without North Carolina. He doesn’t win North Carolina without New Hanover.”

View more pictures of the rally below. Click to enlarge and scroll:

Attendees talk to UNCW Seahawk reporters while standing in line for the rally. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Attendees talk to reporters for UNCW’s student newspaper The Seahawk while standing in line for the rally early Wednesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A Secret Service Police officer checks a man for metal objects before the rally begins. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Charlie Miller, the Republican candidate for the N.C. House of Representatives and a Brunswick County School Board member, arrives at the rally. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers wait for Lara Trump’s arrival. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Private agents from the Colorado Security Agency talk as the crowd waits for Lara Trump’s arrival. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Gabrielle Barone, president of the Lower Cape Fear Republican Women’s Club, leads the crowd in prayer prior to the arrival of Lara Trump’s motorcade. “We thank you for calling us to your service,” Barone prayed. “We also thank you, Lord, that you have healed our president. You are healing our first lady, and you are healing, through him, this country.” (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump’s motorcade arrives. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers await Lara Trump’s arrival. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump arrives at the rally. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers say the Pledge of Allegiance as they wait for Lara Trump’s arrival. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump speaks to the crowd. “I know why they chose Joe Biden; they chose him because they can control Joe Biden,” Trump said. “Do not be fooled by Joe Biden. He might be a soft, old man, but he is the Trojan horse for these socialists who have now taken over the Democrat party.”
The crowd applauds as Lara Trump speaks at the parking lot of the New Hanover County GOP headquarters. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A woman watches Lara Trump speak from the balcony of the AmeriVu Inn. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers listen to Lara Trump Wednesday night. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump speaks to the crowd as it grows dark Wednesday evening. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Members of the crowd stand up to applaud Lara Trump Wednesday night. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Lara Trump attacked Democrats throughout her speech, at one point telling a story about a ballot allegedly mailed to a dead cat in July. She argued the system is ripe for fraud, continuing the Trump family’s attack on the mail-in-ballot voting system as many in the country grapple with how to vote during a pandemic. “Donald Trump on Election Day has to win by such a huge margin of victory that they can not dispute the results of this election,” she said. “That no matter how many dead cats they’ve got voting, we win fair and square on November 3.” (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers who couldn’t find an open seat spilled into the grass lawn of the New Hanover County GOP headquarters complex. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers shop for Donald Trump merchandise in a tent set up outside the New Hanover GOP building on Market Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers shop for Donald Trump merchandise in a tent set up outside the New Hanover GOP building on Market Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
A man sells Donald Trump merchandise in a tent set up outside the New Hanover GOP building on Market Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Women look at a Make America Great winter hat in a tent set up outside the New Hanover GOP building on Market Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Rallygoers walk to the nearby YMCA parking Wednesday night. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

Send tips and comments to Preston Lennon at preston@localdailymedia.com

Related Articles