By Janice Hisle
Former president Donald Trump spent much of his latest campaign speech drawing contrasts between himself and, as he put it, “Crooked Joe Biden.”
Trump, a Republican, bestowed that moniker on the Democrat president on April 27, two days after Biden announced he would seek re-election–”four more disastrous years,” in Trump’s words.
Speaking for more than an hour, Trump invoked Biden’s name–minus the “crooked” title–more than two dozen times, describing how he differs from Biden in style as well as substance.
After naming 51 Granite State politicians who are endorsing his presidential bid, Trump joked that he would reveal a “major announcement.” He said he is “retiring” the nickname he gave former rival Hillary Clinton, so he could transfer it to Biden.
“He’ll be known from now on as ‘Crooked Joe Biden,’” Trump told a capacity crowd of 1,500 people at a small Manchester meeting hall. “There’s never been anyone in the history of American politics so crooked or dishonest.”
Contrast With China
He later backed up that assertion by stating that Biden and his family raked in millions of dollars from foreign interests, including some in China. “You wonder why he does nothing about China,” Trump said.
In contrast, amid a U.S.-China trade war during Trump’s presidency, Trump said he provided U.S. lobstermen with “hundreds of millions of dollars in relief straight from the money we were taking in from China,” boosting an important industry in several states, including New Hampshire.
“Joe Biden cares only about enriching his own family. I care about enriching your family and you,” Trump said.
Trump said he knew how to stand his ground and gain respect from China’s leader, Xi Jinping, while Biden waffles.
“I got along with a lot of people. That’s why we had no wars,” Trump said, repeating his pledge to avert World War III.
“A Biden victory will be bad for you, good for China, and truly great for these globalists,” he said. “A Trump victory will be bad for the globalists … the Marxists, but it will be great for the hard-working people.”
Trump said he would lower taxes and enact policies that would help lower inflation and gasoline prices that are hurting many Americans’ wallets. He intends to spearhead the construction of a natural-gas pipeline through New England; people in New Hampshire consistently pay the nation’s highest energy prices, Trump said.
He reminded them that gasoline prices were around $1.87 per gallon during his presidency. On April 27, the average national price was $3.64 per gallon, according to AAA Gas Prices.
“When I left office, we handed Joe Biden the fastest economic recovery ever recorded, all with no inflation,” Trump said. “He took that booming economy and promptly blew it to shreds.”
In previous speeches, Trump said Biden has inflicted more damage than the five worst U.S. presidents combined. But Trump revised that statement, saying: “I really believe if you took the 10 worst presidents and added them up, they would not have done what this man and what this administration has done.”
The gross domestic product, a key economic indicator, is now anemic at 1.4 percent growth. Energy costs are up, and so is inflation. Real wages are down 24 months in a row—a record, Trump said. “We have to rescue America from the wreckage of the Biden economy,” he said.
Justice Or Injustice?
Trump says he would enact policies to restore safety and order to American cities, including beefing up immigration enforcement and restoring funding to police agencies that were “defunded” in recent years. He also would counteract “radical” district attorneys’ attempts to “weaponize” our justice system as they turn a blind eye to violent crimes and persecute political enemies—like him.
Although he didn’t directly discuss his recent indictment in New York and multiple investigations targeting him, Trump accused prosecutors and the Biden administration of “using the criminal justice system for massive election interference.”
He half-joked, “If I fly over a state that happens to be Democrat-run, they send me a subpoena to go before a grand jury. These people are sick!”
“And by the way, after this speech, they’re gonna be comin’ after me big-time.”
But, he said: “In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you, and I’m just standing in the way.”
Nevertheless, Trump seemed unfazed by his recent legal woes. “The harder they hit, the better we do,” he said.
Noting Biden was caught using a “cheat sheet” to prepare himself for a news reporter’s question this week, Trump offered to take impromptu questions from the audience—something he doubts Biden would do.
But the sad reality is that Biden’s well-documented public gaffes are hurting America’s standing in the world, Trump said.
Biden bungles foreign affairs because “he doesn’t have a clue how to speak,” Trump said. “He’s too tough when he should be soft. He says things that are so bad–provokes and then shows weakness.”
Biden announced his re-election bid with “a prepackaged video,” Trump said, incredulous that he lacked the confidence to announce his candidacy in a live broadcast.
After touting opinion polls showing him as the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Trump predicted he would “crush” Biden if they face each other in a rematch on Nov. 5, 2024. Trump told people they need to cast so many votes that the totals would overwhelm any attempt at cheating.
“The choice in this election is now between strength and weakness, between success or failure, between safety or anarchy, between peace or conflict, and prosperity or catastrophe,” he said.
After his speech, Trump spent about 15 minutes fielding a half-dozen questions. Instead of exiting the stage as normal, Trump took advantage of the smaller venue and mingled with the crowd, shaking hands and chatting, as he made his way to the opposite end of the room.
This marked Trump’s second campaign speech in New Hampshire; he last spoke there in January.
“This was a great day. I enjoyed it so much,” he said. “God bless you all. I’ll be back.”
New Hampshire is considered a key state because it holds the nation’s first primary election, setting the stage for contests across America.