Trump tells Lansing: 'We're leading almost everywhere'

President predicts four more years as he addresses thousands in Lansing

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TUESDAY, Oct. 27 — President Donald J. Trump told thousands at an airport rally in Lansing today that he will win four more years.

"We're leading almost everywhere," Trump declared. "Now, I gotta say, I'm working my ass off."

"Seven days from now we're going to win the great state of Michigan — and four more years."

Arriving on Air Force One more than an hour after his scheduled 2 p.m. speech, Trump said, "Last night, we made history and confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court."

During his speech of a little more than an hour, Trump bounced from topic to topic.

He attacked Democratic candidate Joseph Biden as the nation's "most corrupt politician."

"Do you like Kamala? Do you like her to be your vice president," Trump continued, drawing boos at the mention of the name of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate.

"This will not be the first woman president," Trump said, after suggesting that she would replace Joseph Biden within three weeks through the 25th Amendment, which regulates succession, if Biden were to be elected.

"Our First Lady is doing a great job," Trump said, referring to Melania Trump's first campaign appearance on her own, which is happening today.

"Your governor is a disaster," he said. "You've got to open up this state."

"The radical Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices," he said.

"You will have a depression if Biden wins. He is the first president who is running on 'I will raise your taxes.'"

"This election is a matter of economic survival for Michigan," he went on.

Trump criticized Biden's plan to phase out the oil industry and fracking. He also criticized him for supporting war over his five-decade career in Washington in the Senate and as Barack Obama's vice president.

"I'm going to give you another major tax cut after passing the biggest tax cut in the history of our country."

Trump employed videotape that played on a large screen. It featured statements by Biden, including face-to-face challenges to Biden by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D- Vt, who lost the nomination to Biden, over Biden's record on Social Security and Medicare, which Sanders claimed Biden tried to cut.

Well into his speech, Trump briefly brought up the pandemic, saying 2 million would be dead if it were not for his actions. More than 225,000 have died, the highest in any nation.

"The vaccine is just around the corner," he said. "We just want normal life back."

If it were not for the pandemic, he said, "I wouldn't be here with you" because he would not have needed to campaign as hard. He said he has two more campaign stops after Lansing.

"It's a choice between a Trump boom or a Biden depression," he predicted, saying Biden would shut down the economy to fight the pandemic.

"It's COVID, COVID, COVID," he said. "On Nov. 4, you won't hear any more about it."

Trump plugged John James, the Republican candidate for the U.S.  Senate from Michigan, claiming he did not even know he was there. "That guy can be a star," he quoted himself as saying when he first saw James on television.

"Who the hell is Peters? Nobody has ever heard of him, even in Washington," he declared, referring to incumbent U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan.

After he criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her pandemic shutdown orders, the crowd chanted, "Lock her up."

"Defend the Second Amendment," he declared. "Defend our borders."

"It's freezing and it's raining," said Trump. "I'm just trying to keep up with the tough people of Michigan."

Before Trump appeared, the program kicked off with a prayer. Norm Shinkle, who chairs the 8th Congressional District GOP organization, led them in the national anthem. That was followed by a song performed by Michigan rock legend Ted Nugent.

"Let's make Michigan real Michigan again," Nugent declared, as he called for a moment of silence for the "heartbreak and embarrassment of what we let happen to Michigan" — possibly a reference to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's shutdown orders in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nugent said he should be in a duck blind but came to help Trump.

The next speaker was Paul Junge, the GOP candidate opposing Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin in the 8th Congressional District, which includes all of Ingham County. Junge led a "four more years" chant and then said if he wins he will tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to return to her San Francisco hair salon. Pelosi was criticized for getting her hair done when salons were supposed to be closed.

Junge was followed by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who said she voted today. 

She predicted that if Biden is elected, he will put Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court bench as part of packing it to balance Republican justices. Conservative Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in last night after the U.S. Senate approved her along party lines.

She also said to expect "dark days" with Biden through higher taxes and bad trade deals.

The last speaker before Trump was to appear was James.

"We must become disciples of the American dream," said James, whom Republicans hope can flip Peters' seat in a race being watched nationally.

As the event kicked off, it was raining lightly after a hard rain.

The Make America Great Again Victory Rally was called six days before the General Election. A traffic jam slowed entrance as the Trump campaign prepared for the president's scheduled 2 p.m. appearance. 

The crowd slowly made its way to outdoor seats near a hangar that will bring Trump to town on Air Force One.

Most people were not wearing masks as they waited in line to go through security. Campaign workers were passing them out. About half the people were masked after they cleared security.

Some attendees heckled CNN as they passed the news network's location. "CNN sucks," crowd members shouted. In the background, opera was being played over the loudspeaker system until songs by Queen replaced it.

City Pulse will update its coverage throughout the event.

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