President Donald Trump visited Greenville on Wednesday and rallied thousands of his supporters at Minges Coliseum in the wake of a failed impeachment vote and a continued push against his political rivals.
The president made his comments shortly after landing at Pitt-Greenville Airport for his “Keep America Great” rally, which drew a crowd so large that hundreds had to be turned away after waiting hours in triple-digit heat.
“We just received an overwhelming vote against impeachment, the left’s agenda,” the president said. “Let the Democrats get back to work.”
When the audience at Minges cheered and applauded the defeat, he urged them to save some applause for those in the Democratic party who joined the majority in the vote.
The House voted 332-95 to table a resolution introduced by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, to impeach the president for racist remarks he made about four Democratic congresswomen of color. The vote saw 137 Democrats join with Republicans to defeat the resolution.
“We built the strongest economy in history, the lowest unemployment, we rebuilt the most powerful military ... we passed the largest tax cuts and largest regulation cuts of any president or administration in history,” the president said. “And they want to try and impeach this president. What happened to me with this witch hunt should never be allowed to happen with another president.”
Trump touted the other achievement of his administration: the appointment of conservative Supreme Court justices and other members of the federal judiciary.
“Republicans know America is the greatest force for peace and justice in this world, but these left-wing ideologues see the United States as a force for evil,” he said.
The cheers and chants of the 8,000 who filled Williams Arena were so loud large portions of the president’s speech could not be heard.
The president ran down a list of statements Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan that he said showed their contempt and disdain for the United States, including Tlaib’s use of a profanity to describe him at one time.
The president, who at Wednesday's rally used an expletive himself to describe the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, accused Omar of supporting al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The audience began to chant, “send her back,” referring to tweets from the president that the congresswomen should return to the country they came from.
All were born in the United States except for Omar, who came to the United States as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.
Midway through his more than 90-minute speech, the president brought state Rep. Greg Murphy and state Sen. Dan Bishop to the stage to rally support for their campaigns in the special elections for the 3rd and 9th congressional districts, respectively.
“I will be a congressman who has our president’s back,” Murphy said before the cheering crowd drowned out his words. Murphy concluded with a pledge that the district wouldn’t elect progressive congressman.
Hundreds lined Charles Boulevard as the president’s motorcade made its way to Minges from the airport. While most cheered enthusiastically one individual held up a “Trump = Fascist” sign. Another man was seen making an obscene hand gesture at the motorcade.
As various state and local dignitaries were seated, the audience cheered.
“We are having some fun, this is a real enthusiastic crowd,” said Carolyn Ange of Williamston, who arrived at Minges at 1 p.m. “It’s great, even with the heat.”
Vice President Mike Pence arrived on Air Force Two with Bishop and Rep. Richard Hudson after visiting Fort Bragg.
“I am here for one reason and one reason only, North Carolina and America need four more years,” Pence said. “The campaign for America’s future continues tonight.”
Pence said the president promised to revive the American economy and delivered; 6 million new jobs have been created and confidence is back in North Carolina and the United States, he said.
“To keep America great we have to re-elect the president that is fighting for you every day,” Pence said.
America is respected again because he and his administration is finally putting American first, Trump said.
The president said North Carolina has had its best economic year, picking up more than 180,000 jobs.
Early in his speech a man dressed in a green shirt and red cap and sitting in the balcony area behind the president began screaming but was knocked to the floor. While the president tried to continue his speech the audience began chanting “USA” and the unidentified man was escorted out of the arena.
Throughout his comments the president emphasized the importance of returning Republicans to the leadership of the House and Senate and him to office.
“If we don’t win in 2020 everything we’ve done, your 401(K) ... will come down like a stack of cards,” he said. “With your drive we are going to keep on working, we are going to keep on fighting and we are going to keep on winning.”
Contact Ginger Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9570.