SC Politics

Donald Trump Holds Valentine’s Day Rally in Charleston South Carolina

Palmetto State’s love affair with former president continues …

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Former president Donald Trump’s Valentines Day Message in Charleston, South Carolina was simple: Your life was better when I was president.

Trump addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday evening, beginning his oration with a lamentation of inflationary pressures which have made consumer goods, gas and real estate more expensive in recent years.

The beginning of Trump’s speech focused on general election issues. Trump told his supporters U.S. president Joe Biden was responsible for massive illegal immigration, adding that the incumbent “wants to have some phony legislation passed that actually makes it worse.”

That’s a reference to this widely panned piece of legislation …

Trump emphasized his aggressive trade policies, promising to revoke China’s most favored trade status so that “no company will ever want to think about outsourcing their workers” again, explaining that “the only ones who hate it are the globalists, because basically they hate America.”

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Many stood as seats quickly filled up in the arena (Via: Dylan Nolan/FITSNews)

After a concise version of his general election pitch, Trump reminded his audience of the looming February 24, 2024 “First in the South” presidential primary election in South Carolina. He referred to former Palmetto State governor Nikki Haley – his lone remaining rival for the GOP nomination – as “birdbrain,” and scored a massive round of applause when he noted that she “will never be running for vice president.”

Staying closer to his prepared remarks than he did in Conway, South Carolina, Trump avoided any further insulting references to Haley’s husband Michael Haley.

Trump explained that he appointed Haley to the United Nations “ninety percent” so he could make Henry McMaster governor of South Carolina.  Trump told the crowd McMaster was “unbelievable” when Trump asked for his support after being spurned by then-governor Haley during his 2016 run.

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Henry McMaster (Via Dylan Nolan/FITSNews)

Apparently unaware of McMaster’s recent economic development deal tied to electronic vehicles, Trump repeatedly bashed the technology – telling the crowd “they don’t work in the cold” and that under his presidency they could afford their “beautiful trucks.”

Trump specifically thanked U.S. senator Tim Scott – whom he said “was like a different person” after dropping out of the presidential primary.  Trump recounted watching Scott advocate on his behalf on a Sunday morning talk show and calling Scott afterward to tell him ”you are a much better candidate for me than you were for yourself.” 

Scott’s ferocity in his advocacy for the former president is undeniable, as was his overwhelming support by the rally’s attendees. The applause when Scott took the stage in North Charleston – his hometown – was second only to crowd’s adoration of Trump.

Congresswoman Nancy Mace’s rehabilitation in the eyes of Trump and his allies was also clearly underway, with the former president telling the crowd he and Mace had “come a long way, we’ve come a long way” since the 2022 election cycle. Trump supported a challenger to Mace in that election, but she won the primary convincingly en route to another rout in the general election.

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U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Mace (Via: Dylan Nolan/FITSNews)

Trump’s support may prove critical to Mace as former U.S. speaker Kevin McCarthy is currently attempting to exact retribution against Mace over her vote to oust him from the speakership.

Trump didn’t shy away from addressing an issue which ignited debate after his recent rally in Conway, S.C., telling the crowd America’s NATO allies have to contribute to their own defense.

“If they’re not gonna pay, we’re not going to protect,” Trump said.

True to his typical frenetic speech style, Trump was next on to his golf game, lamenting a picture published “with my stomach out to here” adding that a new, more representative photo made him look “I wouldn’t say slim, but not bad.”

Trump soon pivoted back to foreign policy, reminding his audience of the United States’ botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ongoing war in Ukraine which he said “never would have happened” under his administration. He also warned of the elevated likelihood of domestic attack from foreign enemies due to the open border.

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Rally attendees take a selfie as they wait for Trump (Via: Dylan Nolan/FITSNews)

FITSNews last attended a Donald Trump rally in Florence S.C. prior to the 2022 midterm elections. While the core elements of Trump’s speech have remained similar, one thing is clear, Trump is his most effective when he can make the debate a referendum on another candidate.

Trump continues to insist the 2020 election was stolen from him, but the issue didn’t dominate his address as it has in years prior, signifying Trump’s return to an election-focused stump speech style.

Trump remains the enigmatic political figure he’s been since his June, 2015 escalator descent began an unprecedented barnstorming of the political establishment. His Charleston speech was true to form – irreverent, bombastic and frenetic – heaping adoration on friends and scorn on foes.

Trump currently holds a large polling lead in South Carolina. The Republican primary election early voting period started on Monday, February 12, and ends Thursday, February 22, the Republican primary election will be held on Saturday, February 24.



(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.



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Lord Barfington February 15, 2024 at 10:46 am

Where’s Melania?

Nanker Phelge February 15, 2024 at 12:05 pm

He’s absolutely right that there wouldn’t have been a war in Ukraine if he were president; he’d have just let his good friend Vlad roll over them.

JAN February 15, 2024 at 1:34 pm

I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT DONALD TRUMP CALLED OUR WAR DEAD LOSERS AND SUCKERS!! Trump and the spineless cowards who support him are an embarrassment to this country and an insult to every American serviceman who has died in the defense of this GREAT NATION!!! God Bless the USA and to hell with Donald Trump!!

Frank February 15, 2024 at 3:28 pm

As the song goes, “Some gave all, all gave some”; except for the Trump family. They have been in this country for over 150 years. Trump’s grandfather fled Germany to avoid military service in the Bavarian Army and unfortunately for the US his native land refused to take him back when he tried to return because he was a “draft dodger”. In all that time not one single member of the Trump family has ever served one day in the US Military. They have no honor, no respect for service, no patriotism, and no shame.

A Name February 15, 2024 at 3:11 pm

Is this the same rally where Trump claimed he wrote legislation for veterans that Obama passed in 2014 and that the economy was doing fantastic three years ago (when Biden was President)?

Poor MAGA morons, whatever you try to project onto Biden or any other political opponent, Trump turns right around and does that thing, only 100x worse.

It would be nice if Biden could retire, but the GQP keeps making it so easy for him to keep getting elected ;-)


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