President Trump’s Rally in the South Bronx

by Newt Gingrich

President Donald Trump’s rally in the South Bronx was an historic event.

If you want to see how much things have changed – and how far President Trump has come – watch then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s visit to the South Bronx on Aug. 1, 1980. His team clearly was much less professional and less prepared than Trump’s. Gov. Reagan faced an angry crowd mad that President Jimmy Carter had not followed through on his promise to rebuild their neighborhood. However, they were deeply brainwashed into believing that Republicans in general (and Reagan in particular) opposed them. They simply could not accept his presence in their community.

In a rare moment of losing his temper, Gov. Reagan ended up yelling at some of the demonstrators, saying “if I don’t get elected, I can’t help you.” His effort to get them to hear what he had achieved as governor in California fell on deaf ears. That crowd had a hard time caring what happened in Queens or Manhattan. California was simply a world beyond their imagination.

By contrast, the Trump rally was a stunning and powerful example of how good the Trump team has gotten at organizing successful large rallies. It also signaled that the residents of the South Bronx are frustrated by Democratic failure to improve things and open to an alternative.

Recent polls indicate black men are moving toward President Trump in the largest numbers for any Republican presidential candidate in at least 64 years. McLaughlin & Associates reported Trump is getting 28 percent support from black voters. For perspective, in 2020, Trump got roughly 12 percent of the black vote. In 2016, the figure was 8 percent. Republicans have not truly competed in the black community since Dwight Eisenhower.

Local officials estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people showed up for the Trump rally in the South Bronx. Something big is starting to happen. The facility in Crotona Park normally holds 3,000 people. As is increasingly normal with a Trump rally, the crowd overflowed the event and surrounded it while cheering and waving signs.

Fox News interviewed rally-goers who said that illegal immigration and inflation were the two biggest issues driving them away from President Joe Biden and the Democrats and toward President Trump. “Build the Wall” was a frequent chant among the rally goers.

While the rally site and the size of the crowd were important, President Trump’s speech was historic.

It was first and foremost a speech by a New Yorker, to New Yorkers, about New York.

It is easy to forget that Trump’s entire pre-presidential career centered on New York.  He was born in Queens and built his real estate empire largely in Manhattan. He was a remarkable businessman and an active citizen. As I wrote in “Understanding Trump,” He stepped in and got the Wollman Ice Skating Rink fixed in record time when the New York city government had spent millions of dollars and years of effort failing. He took on the challenge of the Ferry Point Golf Course in the Bronx and completed it in record time, after New York City had spent years and many millions of dollars trying and failing to build the course. With those activities, Trump improved the quality of life and the range of choices for his fellow New Yorkers.

A key turning point in the 2024 campaign was President Trump’s commitment to work with New York City Mayor Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul. Trump made it clear he was reaching out to them as fellow Americans and would work with them without consideration of their party affiliation. It was the first specific outreach to Democrats – and a clear commitment to work together for a better future and solve problems everyone faced.

Typical of the Democrats’ tone deafness and elitist isolation, Adams and Hochul attacked Trump after he offered to help them solve problems. A reconciliation-seeking Trump is likely going to attract more Americans than bitter, spiteful, and mean-spirited leftwing Democrats who reject cooperation.

Trump’s appeal to join efforts made this a truly historic speech. The tone and style of an inclusive, American oriented Trump will likely be better remembered than the harsh, hostile, and bitter reaction of professional Democrats and leftwing activists.

Watch the Trump speech in the Bronx. Then watch any Biden effort to speak in public. The contrast in energy, enthusiasm, free-wheeling spontaneity is startling.

President Trump clearly likes people. He also likes ideas and campaigning. It shows.

President Biden is an exhausted remnant of the politician who first ran for office 52 years ago – and it shows, too.

Let’s see if Biden goes to the South Bronx and if anyone will even notice.

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