People nodded their heads, agreeing with former President Donald Trump as he reminded them of the economic conditions they enjoyed while he was in office.
Gasoline was $1.87 per gallon. Families had $6,000 more, on average, in their pockets. Homebuyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates, under 3 percent.
Now, Mr. Trump says, because of policies that President Joe Biden put in place, gasoline typically costs $3 to $4 per gallon and, at times, has climbed as high as $7 in some places. Average family income has dropped by $7,400. And mortgage rates are now approaching a “brutal” level, 7 percent.
Yet, at the same time, the Biden family has reaped millions of dollars from foreign sources, Mr. Trump said, citing bank records that congressional investigators revealed. Mr. Biden has brushed off allegations of bribery and influence-peddling as nonsense.
Speaking to a full house at a South Carolina GOP fundraiser on Aug. 5, Mr. Trump declared: “Crooked Joe Biden cares only about enriching his own family…I care about enriching your family.”
That message resonated with the audience, drawing cheers and applause. About 1,200 people came to the Silver Elephant Dinner, a black-tie affair at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds.
That was the largest crowd in the event’s 56-year history, State GOP Chair Drew McKissick told the audience, whose members were decked out in suits, tuxedos, cocktail dresses and sparkly gowns.
Mr. Trump’s South Carolina appearance marked the second day in a row that a state GOP reported record-breaking crowds coming to hear the former president’s message.
On Aug. 4, the former president drew 2,700 people to a dinner that raised $1.2 million for the Alabama GOP.
Mr. Trump won Alabama and South Carolina by wide margins in both of his prior presidential runs.
His GOP speeches in those two states come on the heels of Mr. Trump’s not guilty plea to his third criminal indictment in Washington on Aug. 3.
Several South Carolina attendees told The Epoch Times they believe Mr. Trump has proven that he champions America and her average citizens.
In 2015, he left behind his cushy life as a real-estate mogul and entered the political fray, putting himself in the crosshairs of repeated investigations. After being acquitted in two impeachments, Mr. Trump is confronting the biggest fight of his life: three criminal indictments and a fourth expected any day while he also campaigns for the presidency.
Legal Troubles Multiply Support
Many supporters have expressed their unwavering commitment. Opinion polls have shown support for the former president has increased with each succeeding set of charges.
He was first indicted in March on New York business-records accusations. A federal indictment related to classified documents followed in Florida.
The latest indictment, filed Aug. 1 in Washington, accuses him of unlawful acts while opposing the results of the 2020 election, which named Mr. Biden the winner.
A senior adviser to Mr. Trump, Andre Bauer, told The Epoch Times that mainstream news reports downplay or ignore “the depth of the love that he has for this country.” That, Mr. Bauer said, is what motivates Mr. Trump more than his ego. People who flock to Mr. Trump’s rallies appreciate hearing that message, unfiltered, Mr. Bauer said.
Involved in politics all his life, Mr. Bauer served as a South Carolina lawmaker and lieutenant governor, then worked for a time as a CNN political analyst.
“If you listen to Donald Trump or you listen to his accomplishments from someone who’s fair and unbiased, you can’t help but support what he’s done,” he said.
“Lots of people may not like the guy, but they still love his policies; results matter.”
Bidenomics vs. Trump Policies
Mr. Trump devoted much of his 80-minute, Saturday-night speech to two topics that rank among the most important in his reelection campaign.
Signaling a shift in his messaging, Mr. Trump delivered a detailed dissection of the “disastrous” effects of Mr. Biden’s economic policies, known as “Bidenomics,” intertwined with energy policies that affect people's daily lives.
But last month, Rasmussen Reports said polling showed "Bidenomics is a big bust" with the American public.
Meanwhile, the former president assailed Mr. Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecuting him in the thick of a presidential campaign. Mr. Trump is the Democrat president’s chief political adversary.
Mr. Trump sees the prosecutions as part of an orchestrated attempt to thwart his efforts to oust the Democrat president from the White House in the 2024 election. Mr. Biden denies steering the DOJ's investigations of Mr. Trump toward any particular outcome.