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WORLD NEWS | Trump returns to campaign rallies, drawing thousands to small South Carolina town ahead of 4th of July

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Streaks of light seen in California. (Photo credit: Video Grab)

PICKENS (UNITED STATES) July 2 (AP) – Former President Donald Trump marked a return Saturday to the massive rallies of his previous presidential campaigns, gathering in South Carolina on a hot day before the election. Thousands of people on the streets of a small city in the state spoke. 4th of July holiday.

Trump told the cheering crowd standing on the street: “The place I most want to be is on Main Street, where there are thousands of hard-working South Carolina patriots who believe in God, family and country, and make a name for themselves. Come kick off the National Day weekend.” As temperatures climbed into the 90s, problems with the asphalt began.

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It was not immediately clear how many people gathered on the streets in downtown Pickens. Pickens is a small conservative northern city of about 3,400 residents in South Carolina. Law enforcement officials told some outlets that about 15,000 people had gathered by 11 a.m., two hours before Trump spoke.

The Republican-majority district is a hotspot for Republican candidates as they aim to draw support for South Carolina’s first presidential primary.

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Other candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, have met upstate in recent months. event, along with two South Carolinians who are running: former Gov. Nikki Haley and the Senator. Tim Scott.

But none drew the crowds quite like Trump, whose presence effectively shut down Pickens’ typically southern downtown.

Trump’s efforts in 2024 are markedly different from his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, which drew thousands to state rallies across the country. Instead of addressing voters in a stadium or hangar earlier this year, Trump held his first South Carolina campaign event inside the Columbia State Capitol, the ornate hall between the House and Senate He launched his state leadership team room at an invitation-only gathering.

In other states, the former president has focused on smaller events, including a series of speeches before state party groups in an effort to boost his standing with representatives and local officials.

This is only the second major rally in Trump’s 2024 campaign. In March, he rallied in Waco, Texas, belittling prosecutors who were investigating him on hush money charges (for which he was later indicted) and predicting he would be exonerated. An outdoor rally planned for May in Iowa has been canceled due to a tornado warning.

Holding rallies has also been costly, despite Trump’s multimillion-dollar fundraising efforts following the indictment in New York and federal charges related to his retention of classified documents after he left the White House. Last month, Chris LaCivita, a top Trump aide, told the conservative “Ruthless” podcast that rallies “cost $500,000 each.”

Trump’s campaign also tends to make unannounced stops at restaurants — such as Friday at a famous cheesesteak restaurant in Philadelphia or Versailles, a famous Cuban restaurant in Miami — to show his strength among supporters. Strong appeal, despite multiple legal challenges.

In a broad Republican field that continues to grow, Trump’s campaign pointed to polls that show him ahead of many of his rivals by a wide margin, even though his campaign agenda is much weaker than that of many. He is also a frequent media interviewer and has appeared at many multi-candidate events so far in the primary season, including last week’s Freedom Moms rally in Philadelphia.

Still, Saturday’s rally drew thousands of people from across the Southeast for a chance to see the former president in person, with attendees lining up the night before, even from Florida. Greg Pressley and his wife, Robin, said they drove more than three hours from their home in eastern Tennessee to meet the candidate they have supported since their first campaign in 2016 .

“Donald Trump is the best president ever,” Greg Pressly said. “I love his policies. I love this man. First and foremost, I’m here to support him getting back to where he needs to be.”

Shelley Fox of Spartanburg, who said she has supported Trump since he entered the 2016 election, said she did not feel the need to consider any other candidate for next year’s election.

“I would write him in,” she said, when asked what she would do if forced to consider another hopeful. “No doubt about it — I would write him in.” (AP) )

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)


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