In the heart of downtown Dallas on Thursday night, approximately 50,000 people gathered inside and outside the American Airlines Center as President Trump held a campaign rally for his 2020 presidential run.
Addressing an energetic and galvanized crowd who frequently broke into chants of “four more years” and “USA! USA!,” President Trump spent much of the evening critiquing Democrats in Congress as well as Democratic presidential candidates whose ideas he credited with being too “radical” to be effective.
“The radical left tolerates no dissent, it permits no opposition, it accepts no compromise, and it has absolutely nor respect for the will of the American People. They are coming after me, because I am fighting for YOU!” the president said via Twitter.
This was accompanied by a photo of a cheering crowd packed into the American Airlines Center.
The president also took the opportunity to address the impeachment inquiry currently being conducted by House Democrats by defending his phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
While he did not specifically discuss accusations against him regarding his request for an investigation into members of the Biden family, the president chose instead to focus on what he described as the “foreign corruption of the Bidens.”
Additionally, President Trump discussed his recent foreign policy decision to remove troops in Syria, describing the brokering of a five-day ceasefire agreement with Turkey as a “tremendous success.”
Despite receiving criticism from both prominent Republicans and Democrats regarding the controversial decision, he attributed his decision to wanting to save military resources and his desire not to embroil the U.S. in what he described as “endless wars.”
The president also took the opportunity to boast unemployment rates that he claimed have reached their “lowest level in 51 years” and reinforced his support for American energy and natural gas production in Texas specifically.
Of the Democratic candidates President Trump challenged, he specifically called out former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke for his advocation of so-called “mandatory buy-backs” of privately-owned guns and recent comments stating religious institutions and churches should lose their tax-exempt status if they choose to practice the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
“Beto, in a few short weeks got rid of guns and got rid of religion. Those are not two good things in Texas to get rid of. I will never allow the federal government to be used to punish Americans for their religious beliefs. I will never allow the IRS to be used as a political weapon, except in the case of myself where they use it against me,” the president said.
Just fifteen miles away at the Theatre in Grand Prairie, O’Rourke simultaneously held a counter-rally to the president’s titled “Rally Against Fear” accompanied by Democratic Senate candidates and local Texas music acts.
In a strategic political move, O’Rourke spoke of fighting fear and division in the country, which he attributed President Trump with instigating through both his rhetoric and policy decisions.
Prominent Texans in attendance at President Trump’s rally in Dallas included Sen. Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and former Texas governor Rick Perry who just yesterday announced his resignation as Secretary of the Department of Energy.
In a statement addressing his resignation the same day President Trump planned to hold a campaign rally in his home state of Texas, Perry said via Twitter, “Serving as Secretary of @ENERGY under @realDonaldTrump has been the honor of a lifetime. Today the U.S. leads the world in energy production, we launched AI & Cyber Security Offices, & made environmental progress unseen for decades cleaning up the legacy of the Manhattan Project.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also tweeted his support of the President by saying, “Amazing energy in Dallas as @realDonaldTrump closes out his packed re-elect rally. Texans are seeing the powerful results being delivered – more jobs, higher wages, & protecting our constitutional liberties.”
Joshua Rojas, a local Trump supporter from the Dallas area, said of the event, “It was incredible. The entire arena was excited to be there and to show our support for the president…I felt lucky to be there and be a part of history.”
Attributing his decision to attend the event to wanting to be able to tell his grandkids he was there, he continued by saying how inspiring it was as a Texan “to see the love between President Trump and Senator Ted Cruz.”
In true Texas fashion, President Trump ended the night with a quote straight out of Texas history.
“From Dallas to El Paso, from Houston to Austin, from the Red River to the Rio Grande, this state was settled by some of the toughest men and the strongest women ever to walk of the earth. Texas. This is the state where William Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett made their last stand at the Alamo. This is the state where a small band of patriots at the Battle of Gonzalez, armed with a single canon, stared down a foreign army and declared, ‘Come and take it.’”
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Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.