Air Force One landed at the Pitt-Greenville Airport around 1 p.m. on Oct. 15, as President Donald Trump spoke to a large crowd at an outdoor Make America Great Again Rally, where he focused on overcoming COVID-19, the upcoming election and his Supreme Court nomination.
Prior to the gates’ opening at 10 a.m., supporters lined up outside of the venue to secure a spot, some of whom arrived around 6 a.m. Food trucks were available for refreshments and merchandise stands were set up outside of attendant parking at the Pitt County Fairgrounds as well as outside of the Pitt-Greenville Airport.
Air Force One landed shortly after 1 p.m. When Trump took to the stage, he began his speech and discussed topics such as his response to the pandemic, reopening states, the presidential election, his opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and the economy.
“I’m not a politician,” Trump said. “I don’t seem to play by the rules of the Washington establishment.”
Trump asked the crowd to “tell your governor to reopen the state,” in reference to Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC), who has kept North Carolina in phases of reopening since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. earlier this year.
Trump said his son, Barron Trump, recovered quickly from the coronavirus after both himself, Barron Trump and his wife Melania Trump all contracted the virus earlier this month. Trump said his administration expects there to be a COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.
“We got the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for fast approvals, they would have taken years and years, but they’re doing it,” Trump said.
A vote for the Republican Party is a vote for great jobs, safe communities and a limitless future, Trump said. He said the Democratic Party is ashamed of America, while the Republican Party is proud of the country.
The president spoke on the Supreme Court nomination of Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett, which became possible after a seat opened up on the court after former Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18.
“These are the most respected people, they believe in a thing called the Constitution, which Biden’s people won’t believe in. In another week, the full senate will be voting. The next president will have anywhere from one, two, three or four picks. If they (democrats) put on two, three or four, that means they will override and that’s good for 30, 40, 50 years,” Trump said in regard to his Supreme Court nominations and Biden’s potential nominations.
Trump said anyone who wants to pack the court shouldn’t win, and said Ginsburg said that. Trump said Biden can’t pack the court, and must put up a list of potential Justice nominees if he plans to.
As Confirmation Hearings continue, Barrett is “toying with the democrats,” according to Trump. He said she has great intellect and was recommended by a former professor of Barrett’s.
“They said ‘he should not be able to do this,’ I said why? I’m in my fourth year, but they say ‘he should not be able to do this,’” Trump said while he spoke about his appointment of Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Trump said he has appointed three Supreme Court justices in his time as president: Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett. Barrett is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks, giving the Republican Party the majority of the court seats.
The president spoke about his opponent in the upcoming election, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, where he critiqued their plans and Biden’s past as vice president to former President Barack Obama. Trump spoke on Biden’s 47 years in government and claimed multiple times that he has done more in 47 months than Biden has in 47 years.
“There will be a woman who breaks the glass ceiling but it’s not Hillary… and it won’t be Kamala,” Trump said.
Trump extended his best wishes to Harris as she was recently exposed to coronavirus through close colleagues, and said giving his best wishes to her was “more than what they gave to me,” in reference to his recent coronavirus diagnosis on Oct. 2.
The president voiced his opinion against illegal aliens, as he criticized his opponent Biden on his recommendation of “free healthcare for illegal aliens.” Trump said Biden would “suspend removal of illegal aliens,” which Trump said is dangerous for American citizens.
“Somebody said to me the other day, you’re the most famous person in the world by far. I said no. He said, ‘who’s more famous?’ I said Jesus Christ,” Trump said.
This statement elicited a strong response from the crowd, which responded with cheers.
Chants of “four more years” were repeated by the crowd early on, and when Biden’s name was initially mentioned by Trump, the crowd began to boo.
The second presidential debate was originally planned to be held on Oct.15, but was cancelled after the announcement that it would proceed with a virtual format. The president will speak at the NBC Town Hall at 8 p.m. ET on Oct.15.