OAN’s Noah Herring
10:47 AM – Monday, July 3, 2023
Former President Donald Trump hosted a rally in a small South Carolina town on Saturday drawing a massive crowd of “somewhere between 50-55,000,” according to Police Chief Randal Beach.
Trump kicked off the Fourth of July weekend with his rally in Pickens, a town of around 3,400 residents, drawing in massive lines prior to the event. Many of the other GOP hopefuls had already held events in the state, but none reportedly drew an audience with the size and magnitude as Trump did.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be to kick off the Fourth of July weekend than right here on Main Street, with thousands of hardworking South Carolina patriots who believe in God, family and country,” Trump said to a rowdy crowd as the temperature soared into the 90s.
People surrounded the small town from surrounding counties and states to get a chance to see the former president, whose team worked with the 3-square-mile city to shut down the main business strip for the planned rally.
The event was an ominous sign for the DeSantis campaign as their event just a week prior drew in a much smaller audience as the Florida Governor took questions in a North Augusta community center.
“The Supreme Court decisions ending racist college admissions, protecting religious liberty, and stopping an illegal student loan forgiveness scheme were a reminder of how President Trump kept the promises he made to voters,” CEO Taylor Budowich said in a statement. “Mind you, the tens of thousands of patriots that turned out in Pickens, South Carolina did it on a day with temperatures over 90 degrees. The Trump train has left the station and is not stopping until President Trump is seated behind the Resolute Desk.”
In anticipation of the event, vendors set up days in advance, homeowners tried to sell $50 parking spaces in their yards, and some people attending slept outside the entry gate overnight. The line snaked through the city early Saturday and as the heat rose prompting Trump’s team to frantically hand out pallets of water and Gatorade to the crowd.
Trump’s plane flew above the crowd at around 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The school choir from Greenville, who was stopped from singing The National Anthem inside the Capitol, performed at the event. Following the performance, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) spoke at the event.
In the former president’s address, Trump spoke about the criminal cases against him, criticized Biden, and attacked DeSantis for his record on farming.
This is not the first major rally the 45th has held during his 2024 campaign. In March, Trump had held a rally in Waco, Texas, drawing in more than 25,000. In May, another rally had been scheduled in Iowa, but was canceled due to weather concerns.
The massive event in Pickens comes as Trump’s lead on DeSantis and other GOP candidates has been continuously growing. According to FiveThirtyEight polls, Trump is leading DeSantis by 30 points in the GOP primary election as of June 28th.
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