By Frank Fang
Former President Donald Trump visited two early-voting states New Hampshire and South Carolina on Jan. 28, hitting the campaign trail for the first time since announcing his 2024 bid for the White House in November last year.
“The 2024 election is our one shot to save our country, and we need a leader who is ready to do that on day one,” Trump said in a speech in Columbia, South Carolina. “We need a fighter who can stand up to the left, who can stand up to the swamp, stand up to the media, stand up to the deep state.”
“Am I allowed to say stand up to the RINOs?” Trump continued, referring to an acronym for “Republican in Name Only.”
“To stand up to the globalists and China, and stand up for America. And that’s what we do, we stand up for America,” Trump added. “You need a president who can take on the whole system and a president that can win.”
The former president added, “Together we will complete the unfinished business of making America great again.”
Trump also unveiled his South Carolina leadership team, which is to be headed by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Others named to the leadership team include the state’s Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rep. Russel Fry (R-S.C.), Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), former U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy, and Trump’s former ambassador to Switzerland Ed McMullen.
“This campaign will be about the future. This campaign will be about issues,” Trump added, before criticizing President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies, such as border control, the drug crisis, and the economy.
“Joe Biden has put America on the fast track to ruin and destruction, and we will ensure that he does not receive four more years,” Trump added.
‘Marxist Hands Off of Our Children’
One particular issue that Trump said he will address if elected is education.
“We’re going to stop the left-wing radical racists and perverts who are trying to indoctrinate our youth. And we’re going to get their Marxist hands off of our children,” Trump said. “We’re going to defeat the cult of gender ideology and reaffirm that God created two genders, called men and women.”
“We’re not going to allow men to play in women’s sports,” he added. “We’re going to save the dignity of women and we’re going to save women’s sports itself.”
Trump also said he will work to keep South Carolina’s presidential primary as the “first in the South,” which has taken place on Super Tuesday.
“It’s a very important state, first in the South,” Trump said. “And there were people wanting to move it. I said, ‘we’re not moving South Carolina.’”
‘More Committed Now’
Before his speech in Columbia, Trump spoke at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual meeting in Salem, New Hampshire. He dismissed suggestions that he was off to a slow start in his campaign since announcing his third bid for the presidency.
“They said, ‘He’s not doing rallies, he’s not campaigning. Maybe he’s lost that step,’” Trump said in Salem.
However, Trump said, “I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was.”
Trump announced Stephen Stepanek, the outgoing chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, would be joining his team as a senior advisor for his campaign in the Granite State. Chris Ager, a Republican National Committee member, has been elected the new chairman to replace Stepanek.
The former President criticized the Democrats’ efforts to change their primary calendar.
“From the very beginning, I’ve strongly defended New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status. I have been your defender,” Trump said. “I refuse to let any Republican, and there are some you know who they are. even think about taking that cherished status away.”
Honoring Biden’s wishes, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee passed a proposal in December making South Carolina the first vote in the party’s presidential nominating calendar. Under the proposal, South Carolina’s primary would be held on Feb. 3, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on Feb. 6, Georgia on Feb. 13, and Michigan on Feb. 27.
Iowa is historically the first state to have a closed caucus, followed by New Hampshire with the first primary.
“Ｗe will root out the deep state and stop the weaponization of federal agencies because there’s a weaponization like nobody’s ever seen,” Trump added.
“We are going to take back our country, and we’ll take back the White House, and we’re going to straighten out the United States of America.”