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Trump in Las Vegas: ‘We are not going to allow this horror to continue’ — PHOTOS

Updated January 29, 2024 - 6:56 pm

Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in Las Vegas on Saturday that he’ll secure a “gigantic win” in the upcoming Nevada caucuses and then a victory in the state later this year in the presidential election.

“We are a nation that has quite simply lost its way, but we are not going to allow this horror to continue,” the former president and 2024 presidential hopeful said at the Commit to Caucus Rally at Big League Dreams, a sports complex at East Washington Avenue and North Pecos Road.

“Three years ago, we were a great nation, and we will soon be a great nation again,” Trump said.

Trump is one of two candidates participating in the Feb. 8 caucuses, scheduled two days after the legislatively mandated state presidential preference primary. Ryan Binkley, a Texas pastor, joins Trump on the caucuses’ paper ballots.

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and GOP candidate, who is second in popularity to Trump, is participating in the primary instead of the caucuses, though she will receive no delegates.

“Don’t worry about the primary,” Trump told his supporters. “Just do the caucus. … It’s the only way you can vote for President Trump.”

Speaking before Trump, conservative commentator and former Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Wayne Allyn Root said there were 5,000 people at the venue Saturday. The Review-Journal estimated there were at least 2,000 at the event.

Lines wrapped around the sports complex, with some supporters waiting hours to get inside. People were decked out in “Make America Great Again” hats, onesies and other clothes. As they stood outside, a plane flew over the site, dragging behind it a banner that read “Donald Trump: Ban Abortion Punish Women.”

Inside the complex, Root rallied up the crowd before the president spoke, encouraging attendees to fight for Trump leading up to November.

“Drop everything,” he said. “This is our mission. This is our gift from God. … This is why we were born. This is a nine-month run for the history books. Be relentless, be tenacious. Fight like cornered wolverines. Attack. Like Gen. George Patton, we will never accept defeat.”

‘Standing in the way’

During his speech, Trump touted his recent wins in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries and took swings at Haley, calling her “basically a Democrat” and criticizing her for pushing to increase the retirement age.

The GOP front-runner, however, took a lot of time lambasting President Joe Biden, whom Trump will most likely face off in a 2024 rematch. Trump called Biden corrupt and promised he will be “tried in the ballot box in November.”

Trump criticized the Biden administration’s immigration policies and called the border a “big, gushing wound.” He expressed support for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his fight with the Biden administration to keep razor wire in place along the southern border. The former president also repeated past claims that drug dealers and rapists are crossing the border, and he said it is a conduit for human trafficking.

“Our borders have become a weapon of mass destruction,” he said, promising to have the largest deportations if re-elected.

He continued to repeat unfounded claims that the 2020 election was rigged against him, and he said he will push for one-day voting and paper ballots and will do away with mail-in ballots.

Trump — who is embroiled in multiple legal battles, including one in which he was ordered Friday to pay $83 million in damages to writer E. Jean Carroll for repeatedly defaming her — talked about his other recent indictments, calling himself the victim of weaponized law enforcement.

“I’ll never let them take away your freedom,” he said. “They want to silence me because I will never let them silence you. They’re not after me, they’re after you. I just happen to be standing in the way.”

Hitting on more social issues, Trump promised to sign an executive order to cut funding for schools pushing critical race theory. He said he will keep men out of women’s sports — a swipe at transgender athletes — and will not give funding to schools that have vaccine mandates.

The 77-year-old also advocated that every candidate running for president, vice president and other races take cognitive and aptitude tests, alluding to a common criticism that Biden, 81, is too old.

“I feel sharper now than I did 20 years ago,” Trump said. “I think anybody running for president should take an aptitude test.”

Supporters: Trump can get it done

Supporters of Trump think the biggest issues facing Nevadans are border security, crime and the economy, and they think Trump can fix them if re-elected in 2024.

“I just think we’re in a lot of trouble,” Las Vegas resident Paula Morningstar said. “There are very few people who can do this job effectively, and I think Trump is the No. 1 guy to get it done.”

Morningstar thinks Trump can give people a higher standard of living.

“We’re getting killed at the gas pump, we’re getting killed at the grocery stores,” she said. “Without working a second or third job, there’s a lot of people that aren’t able to get by.”

For Las Vegas resident John Grannan, the biggest issues facing Nevadans are corruption and education. He came out to show his support for Trump with son Zzyzx. Although Grannan comes from a liberal family and had caucused for independent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Trump made him Republican through his honor.

“I think he’s very brave and facing the establishment,” Grannan said. “It’s our duty to support him because he’s trying to do something for us. He’s a very wealthy man. He doesn’t have to. … He’s honestly the closest thing to a martyr we have in society. … There’s this huge judgment against him.”

Democratic response

The Biden-Harris for Nevada campaign reiterated Nevada’s voting record in regard to Trump, emphasizing Nevadans rejected Trump every time he has been on the ballot.

“Our communities are still recovering from the last time Trump was in the White House, when he left tens of thousands of Nevadans out of work,” said Shelby Wiltz, state campaign manager, in a statement. “While President Biden is fighting to bring down costs and create good-paying jobs, Trump is rooting for our economy to crash once again.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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