President Trump holds “Keep America Great” rally in Tupelo

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On November 1, thousands of people packed outside of BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo for a “Keep America Great” rally ahead of Mississippi’s election day. Hours before Air Force One landed, vendors set up kiosks selling off-brand Trump merchandise; Lt. Governor Tate Reeves made his round of television interviews; and protestors, held “We Vape!!! We Vote!!!” signs to try and catch the media or even the president’s attention.

After waiting for hours in a long line and going through a Secret Service checkpoint, people were finally admitted into the stadium, where they fought for the best seats and the best view of President Donald J. Trump. 

Cass Rutledge
President Donald J. Trump speaks to rally attendees in Tupelo, MS.

After a prayer, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the performance of the National Anthem, some warm-up performances from Governor Phil Bryant and Senator Roger Wicker, and a few more hours of waiting, President Trump finally walked on stage to the song, “I’m Proud To Be An American.” He was met with cheers from over 10,000 people filling up every single seat and leaving a crowd of people standing as close as they could to the president and another crowd outside, watching the rally on a big screen.

President Trump began the rally talking about recent successes, including Mississippi’s lowest unemployment rate ever recorded, killing the Islamic State’s first and second ranking leaders, the new all-time record highs for the stock market, the 182 federal judges appointed and confirmed, and the rising value of 401(k)s.

The Tupelo rally was President Trump’s first since the House of Representatives formalized its impeachment inquiry, and he took the opportunity to fire back at what he called “an attack on democracy itself.” He blasted Nancy Pelosi, “Shifty” Adam Schiff, and the media for furthering “the deranged impeachment witch hunt,” while also praising the unified Republican Party. Trump then reminisced over the 2016 election, which he says is the only time he has ever seen Barack Obama work so hard.

President Trump also attacked his rivals, including Beto O’Rourke, who recently ended his presidential candidacy, making fun of and mimicking O’Rourke’s “flailing with the arms.” Trump also repeatedly attacked Former Vice President Joe Biden and his mental state, changing his nickname from “1% Joe” to “Very Slow, Sleepy Joe.” To make his point, Trump told a six year old girl in the audience that she was sharper than Biden. “I’m afraid if [Biden] gets the nomination, we’ll have the lowest rated debates in history, as opposed to the highest rated debates in history against Crooked Hillary.”

Trump then welcomed Lt. Governor Tate Reeves on stage, who recommitted to fighting for a Trump victory in 2020 and attacked his gubernatorial opponent, Jim Hood, by pointing out his anti-Trump record on border security and vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2016.

President Trump then invited on to the stage Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is also up for re-election in 2020, and Phil Bryant, who President Trump praised for ending sanctuary cities. In closing, President Trump endorsed all of Mississipp’s statewide Republican candidates. “It… sends a big signal to these radical, left, crazy Democrats. It’s very important that Tate wins.”

Vice President Mike Pence also came to Biloxi the day before election day to campaign for Tate Reeves and the rest of the Mississippi Republican ticket.