President Donald Trump's Duluth campaign rally featured the usual politician crowd work paired with the usual Trump-ish twists.
He viewed the "great state of Minnesota" in relation to himself. He'd have won the state with "one more visit" in 2016, he told them, and in 2020 it will be "really, really easy" for him.
Actually discussing local issues was a little harder. Trump offered a shoutout to the University of Minnesota Duluth's men's hockey team ("the Bulldogs," he called them), NCAA college hockey champions, saying: "I hear they're a great... team."
Trump welcomed a series of local Republicans, including GOP U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis, though as he got further down the list it appeared he didn't care. GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach (Paynesville) has a "big race coming along, it's going to do great." (That "big race" is for governor of Minnesota; she is Tim Pawlenty's running mate.) To Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Marys) Trump simply said: "Good luck," neglecting to mention she's running for United States Senate.
After inviting GOP congressional candidate (and hockey cheater) Pete Stauber to the stage, Trump stood by, visibly uncomfortable, as the candidate worked through a multi-page speech. When Stauber finished, Trump cleared the stage, shrugged, and said: "So I didn't know he was going to do that. And then he takes out a speech and reads it! I said, 'that's pretty good.'"
Other noteworthy moments from the speech, which felt a lot like the Trump campaign rallies of 2016:
- Trump made repeated references to "ice hockey," apparently making sure no one in Duluth, Minnesota, thought he was referring to field hockey.
- About mining, Trump mentioned "all of the different work you've had stopped," and said "so much work is going forward in Minnesota and other states."
- Trump pointed to the "very dishonest people back there, the fake news," so the crowd could boo them. They did, then broke out into a "CNN sucks!" chant.
- Kim Jong Un is "going to turn North Korea into a great, successful country."
- Democrats will "raise the hell out of your taxes, and the whole thing will go boom."
- Heckled by a protester, Trump said: "Goodbye darling," adding: "He's going home to his mom. Say hello to mommy."
- Interrupted by another protester: "Go home to your mom, darling. Go home. Get him out of here, out. Was that a man or a woman, because he needs a haircut more than I do. I couldn't tell! He needs a haircut. But the media never talks about American victims of illegal immigration, I know them well, I know so many of them."
- John McCain voting "thumbs down" to save the Affordable Care Act was "not nice."
- "Have you been seeing this whole scam? Do you believe what you're seeing? How, no matter what she did, no matter how many crimes she comitted, which were numerous, they wanted her to be innocent. With me, nothing, no collusion, nothing, and they just wanted to take all of us, they wanted to put us in trouble. And it's not workin' too well, I'll tell you. Disgusting. The phone witch hunt. But you look at the corruption, did you ever see anything like it, really? Today, more things."
- "They always call the other side 'the elite.' Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I'm smarter than they are, I'm richer than they are. I became president and they didn't. And I'm representing the greatest, smartest, most loyal, best people on earth. The 'Deplorables.' Remember that? The 'Deplorables.'" This got one of the biggest cheers of the night.