President Donald Trump tore into Kamala Harris during a New Hampshire campaign rally on Friday night where he deployed his favorite 2016 talking points before hurling insults at his opponents and suggesting the California senator is not the kind of woman who should make history as the first female president.
That honor should be reserved for his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, he said.
“I want to see the first woman president also, but I don’t want to see the first woman president get into the position the way [Harris] would do it, and she’s not competent, she’s not competent,” he said, mocking Harris’ failed presidential bid and her subsequent nomination as vice president.
“They’re all saying, ‘We want Ivanka!’” he continued, pointing to supporters near the stage, who stood shoulder to shoulder and largely eschewed masks. Cheers erupted. “I don’t blame them.”
Most of his attacks, though, were reserved for former vice president Joe Biden.
Repeating a line from his speech that closed the RNC, he said, “Joe Biden’s agenda is made in China. My agenda is made in the USA.”
“The guy barely knows he’s alive!” he added.
He also continued to stoke conspiracy theories about Biden, claiming the former vice president is a “puppet” for some nefarious overlords. “It's not Biden. It's his masters. His masters tell him what to do,” he said.
Having spoken in Manchester during his 2016 campaign, he also returned to his 2016 mantra of “Mexico is paying for the wall.” Mexico’s government has repeatedly rebuffed Trump on the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the commander-in-chief has contentiously turned instead to Pentagon funds to finance its construction. He also repeated the lie that his administration passed the Veterans’ Choice Act, which was in fact passed under President Barack Obama in 2014. He asserted he stood against the Iraq War, when in fact he said on tape that he was in favor of it.
The rally follows Trump’s speech on Thursday concluding the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House. Much like attendees in New Hampshire, few of the White House spectators wore masks, and they stood close together, ignoring the six feet of social distance recommended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Though Trump had promised to put forward a positive vision of a potential second term at the RNC, Republicans who addressed the nation—Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, among many others—presented a gloomy message of doom that would follow a Biden presidency.
Intersecting crises have hammered the country in recent weeks. Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on the third night of the convention, killing six and rendering hundreds of thousands without power. California is facing some of the largest wildfires in its history far earlier in the fire season than expected.
Chief among the perils is COVID-19. More than 180,000 Americans have died of the respiratory disease, but Trump still took time at the start of his address to praise Pence’s response to the virus.
On Friday, He ignored public health experts and called for church services and football games to return. Most state governments and scientists have deemed both high-risk for coronavirus transmission.
“I want football back. I’m the one who wants it back,” he said. “Big 10, get with it! These are young, strong guys who won’t be affected by the virus.”
He closed his speech by saying he was the only option: “You have to vote for me, because you have no choice, I could say, right? Right?”