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Trump Says I Love Milwaukee After Apparently Using the Word Horrible for RNC Host City

Trump Says I Love Milwaukee After Apparently Using the Word Horrible for RNC Host City
Trump Says I Love Milwaukee After Apparently Using the Word Horrible for RNC Host City

 


RACINE, Wis. (AP) Former President Donald Trump repeatedly praised Milwaukee Tuesday just weeks before it hosts the Republican National Convention, playing cleanup after apparently using the word horrible when speaking about the largest city in Wisconsin, the swing state.

I love Milwaukee, Trump told the crowd in nearby Racine, Wisconsin. He reportedly used the word during a closed-door meeting with Republicans in the House of Representatives. Several of his allies at the meeting then suggested he was talking about crime and election fraud.

Wisconsin is one of a handful of battleground states likely to determine this year's presidential race. It was one of the so-called Democratic blue wall states that Trump narrowly won in 2016, paving the way for his surprise victory. Biden flipped the state in 2020, and both campaigns are heavily targeting him this year.

Trump's Tuesday event in downtown Racine had the feel of a small-town Fourth of July celebration. Before the Republican candidates' presumed arrival, country music blared from the speakers while Trump and U.S. flags flew near a harbor overlooking Lake Michigan. Families gathered under trees, trying to avoid the 83-degree heat while eating tacos and sipping lemonade.

Wisconsin is Trump Country was written on a large sign as supporters began to gather on the grass, dressed in red, white and blue.

In a separate television interview, Trump also denied reports Tuesday that during the convention he planned to spend the night in Chicago, Milwaukee's rival 90 miles to the south, where Trump also owns a downtown skyscraper along the Chicago River.

Trump, in his speech, hammered Biden on immigration and borders, including announcing Tuesday that his administration would in the coming months allow certain spouses of American citizens without legal status to apply for permanent residency and possibly citizenship.

The move, which could provide relief to hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the United States, came after Biden announced his own aggressive crackdown at the southern border earlier this month, angering advocates and many Democratic lawmakers.

Trump has often described the record number of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as an invasion, suggesting without evidence that Biden is encouraging illegal border crossings to help Democrats win elections.

Our country is being invaded. We should not talk about amnesty. Instead, we should be talking about stopping the invasion, Trump said, calling the plan an attack on American democracy.

The crowd responded by chanting “Send them back!” »

Trump also denied calling Milwaukee horrible during a closed-door meeting with Republican members of Congress in Washington last week, blaming radical left lunatics who lie, lie, lie.

Last week, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung did not deny that Trump had used the word, but said it had been taken out of context and was talking about the horror of crime and electoral fraud.

Several members of Congress who support Trump and attended the meeting also said he was referring to crime and voter fraud, which he said tainted the state's 2020 election.

Trump frequently denounces Democratic-run cities as dangerous, even as the latest FBI statistics show violent crime is down nationwide, and repeats lies about his 2020 defeat.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin as a radical who voted 100% with Biden to the cheers of the crowd. He thanked his likely opponent, Eric Hovde, who faces nominal opposition in the Aug. 13 Republican primary, for speaking at the rally, calling him the dynamo Wisconsin needs.

Eric will defeat your radical left senator, he said.

Hovde called on the crowd to fire Joe Biden and Tammy Baldwin.

The likely contest between Baldwin and Hovde is expected to be one of the most competitive and costly Senate races in the country, with Democrats clinging to a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Hours before Trump took the stage, a line of hundreds of supporters snaked around the block between rows of street vendors selling Trump T-shirts, hats, signs and flags.

Most of the dozen or so Trump supporters surveyed said they were focused on the economy.

Among the waiting supporters was Emmanuel McKinstry, a 58-year-old businessman from Racine, who said, “The economy is my priority.

McKinstry said black-owned small businesses like his were booming in Racine under the Trump administration.

Everything was more affordable under Trump, he said. But inflation has exploded under Biden and his businesses are suffering from it.

He also said he was concerned about crime in Racine after losing two brothers to gun violence.

Dimple Navratil, 58, originally from Bombay, India, has lived in Racine for 25 years and runs a small gift shop downtown called Dimples Imports. She said she would speak about her experience as a female business owner at the rally.

Under President Trump, small businesses were thriving, she said. I am very sure this will happen again if he is in power.

Samantha Cross, 35, drove nearly two hours from Radford, Illinois, to attend the rally. With four children, she said the cost of groceries, school supplies and clothing for her children has skyrocketed amid inflation under Biden. A few years ago, she said she could feed her family of five on about $500 a month. Today, that cost has doubled, she says.

I am here for the future of my children, she said.

And Matthew Brown, 56, said he struggled to pay rising rent in Racine while caring for his mother, who has dementia.

I hope Trump will clean up this mess or at least try, he said. Brown wore a shirt that said I Vote for the Criminal in bright red, white and blue.

___ Colvin reported from New York.

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