SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Former President Donald Trump delivered remarks during a sold-out campaign rally in Summerville on Monday afternoon.
Trump, who is the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 race for the White House, spoke to a large and enthusiastic crowd of supporters while at Sportsman Boats alongside Governor Henry McMaster.
“It’s a great honor to be here at Sportsman Boats. We just took a tour and they are beautiful boats. I think I might have to order one,” he said. “Every single inch of these beautiful boats is designed and built right here in South Carolina by very skilled South Carolina hands … and proud South Carolina hearts.”
He took a moment to praise Governor Henry McMaster’s leadership and support while throwing jabs at his opponent and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “Henry McMaster and Peggy, thank you for being here. This is a great couple, they are great people- what a great governor he’s been. He was one of the reasons I got her out of here so I could make him governor of the state,” he said. “Let her move and get Henry there. People are very happy about that.”
The former president talked about how on his first day back in office he would terminate every open borders policy and begin the largest deportation process in history. He said he was going to send children home to their parents in other countries as well.
If elected president, he plans to close the federal Department of Education and send it back to the states to run. He said South Carolina would run their own schools and basically said it could not be any worse than the way they are run now.
Trump also touched on gender issues and said boys will not play in girls’ sports, and he will sign a federal law prohibiting what he called child sexual mutilation in the United States.
Governor Henry McMaster introduced the former president at Monday’s rally. While on stage, Trump discussed some of the accomplishments between the two.
“We created 20,000 manufacturing jobs right here in South Carolina. We delivered $140,000,000 to ensure that Charleston has the deepest water port on the east coast. Henry would drive me crazy- “Sir, we need that money” right Henry? He would call me and say “Sir, we gotta make that the deepest port.”
Supporters began lining up for the campaign event hours early on Monday morning — there was a sea of people wearing Make America Great Again attire and even t-shirts with the former president’s mugshot, and flags waving with TRUMP 2024 written across them.
“He is for us. He’s not for only one group. He’s not a clique, and I think he’s good for us. And because he didn’t make it the last time because of who else is in the office right now, that’s why we’re in this shape that we’re in now,” said Pamela Williams who lives in Moncks Corner.
“He’s got a bad attitude, but hey, I moved down from New York state and everybody in New York City has got a bad attitude,” said supporter Doug Smith. “But he knows how to manage a business and that’s what the country is — it’s the biggest business concern in the world — and we need somebody in there that knows how to run it like a business. I think we were a lot better off with Trump, even with his mouth, than we are now.”
Trump landed at Atlantic Aviation in North Charleston around 12:45 p.m. and traveled to his campaign headquarters where he greeted supporters and those working locally to re-elect the former president.
“This is going to be an incredible campaign. Lindsey and everybody, the governor, everybody is with us. We have unified support in South Carolina, but we have it all over,” the former president said.
Trump then traveled to Palmetto State Armory where he previewed some of the firearms on display at the business alongside its founder, Jamin McCallum.
“We’re just looking at this store. This store is amazing. It was built from scratch. It started in the garage, what about 20 years ago probably? Twelve years, that’s incredible. Boy, you work quickly,” said Trump.
McCallum later told Trump about returning from his second deployment in Iraq and spending time watching the President’s television show ‘The Apprentice’ while gearing up to open the store.
“That whole year after I got back, we spent Sunday evenings watching The Apprentice, and I love The Apprentice. That was my absolute favorite show,” said McCallum.
“That’s very nice. It was a big hit,” Trump replied. “The question is, would I have become president without it? A lot of people they debate that question- would he have become president without it? I don’t know, I think the answer is yes, but a lot of people disagree.”
McCallum then asked Trump if he was elected again, he would quickly take care of a pistol brace issue. Pistol braces were marketed in 2012, which help attach a pistol to a shooter’s forearm for stabilization.
“I’ll take care of all issues. We will take care of that. We’ll take care of all issues. We’ll take care of the border issue, we’ll take care of the energy independence. We were energy-independent just a short time ago. Think of it, three years ago we had so much energy we were going to be energy dominant. Now we’re going to Venezuela and begging them for energy. And they sell us their tar. There’s tar that they sell us. So people who believe in the atmosphere, they got a big problem. It’s so horrible what’s happening. We’ll take care of a lot of problems. That problem is easy.”
Attorney General Alan Wilson and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green joined for the visit.
Republicans in South Carolina have long supported the former president. He won the state during the February 2016 primary in the race for the party’s nomination and again surged in support during the election against Hillary Clinton. He kept the state red during the presidential contest against Joe Biden in 2020.
But he will face two candidates with strong South Carolina ties in the upcoming February 2024 primary.
U.S. Senator Tim Scott is a Lowcountry native who began his career in politics serving on Charleton County Council and worked his way to serving in the United States Senate. Nikki Haley represented South Carolina House District 87 from January 2005 until January 2011 when she was elected the state’s 116th governor and served until January 2017.
Haley left the governor’s office to serve as the 29th U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump Administration.
Trump currently leads Haley by 28 points in South Carolina, according to a poll of likely 2024 Republican primary voters.
A poll from Monmouth University-Washington Post earlier this month shows 46 percent of likely GOP primary voters in South Carolina said they plan to vote for Trump in the February primary, while 18 percent said they plan to vote for Haley.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) came in third place, with 10 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed at 9 percent.
The South Carolina Republican presidential primary will be held on February 24, 2024.
Meanwhile, ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the Lowcountry, the South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) held a call blasting the former president’s record on abortion which enabled the 6-week abortion ban recently upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
SCDP chairwoman Christale Spain detailed how Trump’s appointment of three Supreme Court justices, who voted to overturn Roe V. Wade, led to many conservative states – including South Carolina – implementing near-total bans on abortion.
She said if given another chance in the White House, Trump and his supporters would continue executing such laws. “Let’s be clear. If Donald Trump gets back in the White House, he’s going to do everything in his power to ban abortion nationwide. Just look at who stands with him in South Carolina … as Trump heads to Summerville today, we can’t afford to forget who he really is,” she said.
The Hill contributed to this report.