Donald Trump is back in campaign mode, with just as little of an understanding of irony as ever.
The former president held his first major campaign rally of 2022 in Florence, Arizona, where he returned to number of his favourite talking points, as well rolled out new conspiracies, outrageous claims, and rambling, non-specific points. He also promised to “Make America Great Again, Again.”
Ahead of his speech, the latest steps towards a potential 2024, presidential comeback, a reporter from Newsmax asked Mr Trump what he wanted to communicate to the country.
“It’s a message of love. Our country is going to hell,” Mr Trump said.
Elsewhere, the reporter asked the former president what Republicans should do if they take back Congress, and Mr Trump had little to offer by way of specifics.
“Number one, take it back, that’s what has to be number one,” he said. “These are radicalised, horrible people who hate our country,” he added, speaking of his political opponents.
The former president also railed against Dr Anthony Fauci and Joe Biden’s handling of the Covid crisis, arguing the two had done a “horrible job” stopping Covid, while also arguing to open the country further because “the mandates are a disaster and people just aren’t working.
Before he ran for president, Mr Trump suggested many immigrants from Mexico were rapists and drug dealers, and he continued this contempt for immigration, claiming. “The United States is a dumping ground for a lot of people that are not the people we want.”
During his speech itself, Mr Trump leaned more on the “going to hell” part of his agenda than the “message of love.”
Despite many recounts, partisan audits, and numerous failed election challenge lawsuits, Mr Trump continued to argue, without valid evidence, that he had actually won the election.
“The Big Lie is a lot of bulls***,” he said. “I ran twice and we won twice and we did better the second time. We did much better the second time.”
He also made the claim, again without proof, that liberal states are keeping the vaccine from white people.
“The left is now rationing lifesaving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating, white people to determine who lives and who dies,” he said. “If you’re white, you don’t get the vaccine, or if you’re white, you don’t get therapeutics.”