National Republican chairwoman Ronna McDaniel took the New York Times to task for its efforts to claim enthusiasm for President Trump was not as high at his rally last week in Grand Rapids, Mich., as it had been at other rallies.
“The mood in the arena, however, was no more intense than at other Trump rallies,” wrote Mark Landler and Katie Rogers of the Times in “Trump Tells Grand Rapids Rally: ‘The Russian Hoax is Finally Dead.’” “If anything, the crowd seemed a bit sedate as he began speaking. Many held up signs that said, “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” reflecting the economic priorities that drive voting in this Rust Belt state” and further implying Trump’s ability to carry a rally with his charisma had slipped.
The following morning, McDaniel tweeted an 18-second video of Trump taking the stage. There were a variety of signs visible, and the “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” signs were affixed to walls mostly – not in the hands of rally goers. The crowd is anything but sedate, cheering wildly and chanting “USA! USA! USA!” as the president circled around waving at the crowd.
“More media bias from the New York Times …” tweeted McDaniel, who hails from Michigan. “They described @realDonaldTrump’s rally in Michigan as ‘sedate as he began speaking.’ There’s no disputing it: The crowd was on fire.”
This was not the only effort by Landler and Rogers to take shots at the president.
“In the first rally since the end of the 22-month investigation, the president gleefully disregarded the old saw about revenge being a dish best served cold,” they wrote. “He came onstage hot and served up one scorching zinger after another, taking particular delight in ridiculing Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who oversees the House Intelligence Committee, and other Democrats who have led calls to investigate Mr. Trump.”
Later, they tell us, “It was a calculated show of outrage by a president who has decided to seize on the Russia investigation to frame his ordeal as a conspiracy by his rivals to delegitimize him and diminish his achievements.”
The reporters noted Trump went a bit further with language that he commonly does. He has “always peppered his speeches with ‘hells’ and ‘damns,’ but on Thursday he crossed the line into cruder language.
“’The Democrats need to decide whether they will continue to defraud the public with ridiculous bullsh-t,’ the president said.”
Grand Rapids “holds special meaning” for the president “as the site of his final campaign rally before his upset victory in 2016,” the Times reported.
“Grand Rapids was also the hometown of another president, Gerald R. Ford, whose presidential museum sits across the river from the arena where Trump spoke – a monument to the moderate Republicanism that the president has banished and the Washington establishment that he has upended.”
There was tighter security around reporters, the Times wrote because “the timing of the rally so soon after Mr. Barr’s disclosures prompted greater-than-usual concerns about security, given Mr. Trump’s habit of stirring up the crowd and heaping abuse on reporters.”
The Times also reported that Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, “two former campaign advisers known for riling up Mr. Trump on Air Force One before his rallies,” flew with the president to Grand Rapids.
It then reported that “Inside the White House, aides were concerned about the two of them tagging along – and possibly having open access to the president – but ultimately did not take steps to limit their travel.” The Times had no named sources for this claim, attributing it only to a “person familiar with the planning.”
Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA, a pro-Trump group, saw the same crowd but with a different level of enthusiasm.
“The Trump Rally tonight in Michigan looks (and sounds) like the Super Bowl,” Johnson tweeted. “After being absolved of two years of baseless slander – it might as well be. What a vindication moment.”
Photo by Gage Skidmore