Donald Trump plans to hold first post-presidential rallies in Ohio, Florida in coming weeks

Donald Trump plans to hold first post-presidential rallies in Ohio, Florida in coming weeks.Following a series of speeches to Republican conservatives over the past five months, former President Donald Trump will head to Ohio and Florida over the next three weeks to hold the kinds of mass rallies with rank-and-file supporters that fueled his White House campaigns.,228861.html,228860.html

Trump is expected to stage his first post-presidential rally in the Cleveland area on June 26, and follow up with an event in the Tampa area on July 3, said two aides familiar with the planning.

Trump, who has continued to protest his election loss to President Joe Biden and attack his political critics during his speeches, has long promised to conduct the more free-wheeling rallies in the months to come.

“We’ll be doing one in Florida, we’re going to do one in Ohio, we’re going to do one in North Carolina,” Trump said during a May interview with One America News.

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Two aides discussed the Ohio and Florida rallies on condition of anonymity because final details of the appearances are still being worked out.

Trump gave a more formal speech in North Carolina on June 5 to the state Republican Party convention, following similar appearances earlier in the year.

In late February, Trump spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Orlando, Fla. In April, he addressed a group of Republican donors who gathered at his home in Palm Beach, Fla.

The former president is expected to use the rallies to amplify themes he developed at these speeches.

At each of these stops, Trump continued to make false claims about election fraud in 2020, while generally avoiding discussion of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol inspired by those claims.

Trump has attacked Republicans over his impeachment for inciting the insurrection, a group that includes Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

Cheney, one of ten House Republicans to vote for impeachment, has said the party needs to move on from Trump. Republicans who still support Trump removed her from her House GOP leadership position earlier this year.

The former president has also attacked his former vice president, Mike Pence, for refusing to heed his request to block the counting of electoral votes that elected Biden.

Trump has pledged to campaign against Republicans who went against him on impeachment. That includes a GOP member from the Cleveland area that will host his first rally: Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, who like Cheney voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 riot.

Trump has also hinted at another presidential campaign in 2024, and the rallies could be used to gauge support for such an endeavor.

It’s the most stark stylistic difference between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden: The incumbent has surrounded himself with thousands of supporters at dozens of rallies while the Democratic challenger is literally keeping his distance.

But as Trump and Biden embrace strikingly different approaches to campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll finds that nearly two-thirds of likely voters prefer Biden’s low-key strategy to Trump’s raucous fanfare.

Nearly six in 10 Americans disapprove of Trump’s decision to continue to hold large rallies during the pandemic, according to the poll, while nearly 64% approve of Biden’s decision to jettison big events in favor of much smaller gatherings.

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Trump has held more than two dozen rallies since recovering from his own bout with COVID-19 this month – and he is expected to hold at least a dozen more before Tuesday’s election. The rallies are held outdoors, usually at airports, and supporters are packed in tight. While some rallygoers wear masks, many do not and Trump himself does not wear one.
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Ariz., on Oct. 28, 2020.

Biden has rarely gathered more than a few dozen supporters at a time, often enforcing recommended distancing with white, spray-painted circles for each participant. His campaign has insisted participants get tested before they show up and wear masks.

Eager to project the idea the nation has “turned the corner” on the pandemic, despite a recent surge in cases and hospitalizations, Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden’s events, joked about the paltry attendance and ridiculed the Democrat for wearing a mask. Trump tweeted a striking video on Wednesday showing Marine One hovering over a crowded rally compared with a masked Biden walking into a sparsely populated gathering of people who sat on chairs within white circles around them.

“He’s got like five circles. And he goes there, and people are standing,” Trump said during a rally this month in Georgia. “Number one, there’s no people there and the few people that are there are like what, 50 yards away.”

The message is clear. Whether it’s resonating with voters is not.

Almost all Dems balk at rallies

Biden held a steady 8-point lead over Trump in the nationwide poll, 52%-44%, which was taken after the final presidential debate last week. That gap reflects little change since the survey was taken at Labor Day, the unofficial start of the fall campaign season, when the former vice president led by 7 points, 50%-43%.

Trump and his aides have said the rallies are a chance for his supporters to exercise their right to free speech and they have compared the gatherings to Black Lives Matters protests that unfolded in many cities this summer.

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