Former President Donald Trump painted a positive future for Republicans late Saturday at his first rally of 2022, held in Arizona.
“A great red wave is going to begin here in Arizona and is going to sweep across this country and it’s going to wash hundreds and thousands of Democrat socialists out of office with an unstoppable surge of Republican patriots, and they’re going to be doing it, you’re going to be heading to the polls,” Trump said at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds, in Florence, a Republican stronghold about 70 miles southeast of Phoenix.
“This is the year we are going to take back the House, we are going to take back the Senate, and we are going to take back America. This is so important,” he told the crowd that responded in loud cheers.
“This is maybe the most important election we’ve ever had. I do believe that 2024 will be even more important … In 2024, we are going to take back the White House!” he added.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
Thousands of supporters gathered at Trump’s rally, his second in Arizona since he left office.
The former president described the crowd as a “sea of people” that stretched “as far as the eyes can see,” and urged media members present to turn their cameras around. Trump used the crowd size to question the results of the 2020 election.
“I ran twice, and we won twice, and we did better the second time … This crowd is a massive symbol of what took place because the people are hungry for the truth, they want their country back,” the former president asserted.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
“A person that comes here and has crowds that go further than any eye can see … and has cars that stretch out for 25 miles—that’s not somebody that lost an election,” he later said. “And now because of it, our country is being destroyed.”
Trump deplored the current state of the nation but expressed hope the situation will change, outlining agendas that include to eliminate COVID-19 mandates, investigate the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and combat illegal immigration.
During his speech, Trump endorsed Kari Lake for Arizona governor while calling incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, a “terrible representative” of the state.
Lake, a former journalist, promised to eliminate mandates if she becomes governor. She also promised she would help to ensure election integrity and address illegal immigration, including to finish building the border wall.
Former President Donald Trump and Kari Lake, whom Trump is supporting in the Arizona’s gubernatorial race, speak during a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
The former president lobbied heavy criticism against the Biden administration’s mandates, which he said are “absolutely decimating our economy.”
Trump urged Americans to “tell Joe Biden the Americans’ health choices are none of his business, we can make our own choices.”
“With these decisions they’re making, they’re wrecking and devastating people’s lives; firing Americans from their jobs, forcing innocent children to grow up in masks, closing their schools—destroying education, crushing their development, demolishing their futures—[and] locking people in their homes,” Trump said.
“They’re truly hurting the American people … they’ve taken away their dignity, they’ve taken away their liberties. And I say enough is enough and we are not going to take it anymore.”
“This is the moment the Americans must take their lives and their future back,” he added.
“We have to do it. We have to be strong. It’s time for the radical Democrats to leave our families alone, leave our elderly alone, leave our children alone with their strong immune system.”
Supporters gather at a rally by former President Donald Trump at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
“Big Pharma is making a fortune. Democrats are putting corporate profits over the rights of the American people. These corrupt, power-hungry lunatics need to hear us loud and clear—we are done having our lives controlled by politicians and Washington bureaucrats. We’re done with the mandates, including the mandates for frontline health care workers.”
Trump said he had “fiercely resisted mandates, and always will.”
Jan. 6 Probe
The former president said that if Republicans regain control of congress, they will start an investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, the day when the U.S. Capitol was breached.
“We will immediately begin our own investigations into what happened—what really happened, because this is being totally whitewashed,” Trump said, while denouncing the current Democrat-led House committee investigation of Jan. 6.
“January 6 has become the Democrat Party’s excuse to justify an unprecedented assault on Americans’ civil rights and liberties,” Trump said.
A supporter wears a large button reading “Fighting for President Trump, January 6 We’re Coming” on his hat as he attends the first rally of the year by former President Donald Trump at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds in Florence, Arizona, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
He criticized the treatment of people who have been detained in the Jan. 6 investigation.
“Appalling persecution of political prisoners. What’s happening to those people in those jails … the blatant abuse of power to harass their political opponents is disgraceful, it’s never happened to this extent,” Trump said.
“When it comes to January 6 defendants, most of whom were charged with non-violent offenses, partisan Democrats have celebrated their indefinite detention without trial,” he said. “These people are living in hell. Let them fight, let them see their lawyers, let them go out … These people are being persecuted.”
Trump also denounced the shooting of Ashli Babbitt and the man who shot her. “Let’s see how he could do without the protections that he got,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace the way he shot Ashli.”
“The American people deserve answers,” he said. “The Jan. 6 rally was a protest against a crooked election carried out by unhinged Democrats, Big Tech, working with the fake news media, all working together to defeat Republicans, and your favorite president—me.”
Trump said that one of Republicans’ top priorities if they regain control of Congress will be to “stop the illegal flood of aliens across our southern border,” which includes human trafficking.
Trump said Republicans plan to increase the number of ICE and Border Patrol officers to detain and deport illegal aliens.
“We should also pass a law that says that sanctuary city officials who knowingly release criminals will be charged as accessories in any future crimes.”
The border situation changed from “best” to “worst” in the span of one year, he said.
“Over 2 million illegal aliens have trespassed across our borders—but that’s also a fake number given by the press and others,” Trump said, adding that he believes the number could be “10 times that amount.”
“I think we’re talking about tens of millions of people are pouring into this country,” he suggested. “We see certain people and we sort of lock it down, well that’s the number, but it’s not. I think that it’s tens of millions of people, and these are not necessarily people we want in our country.”
Trump noted a “record number” of undocumented migrant children arriving across the border. He accused Democrats of pushing “very cruel policies are pushing vulnerable youths into the arms of child smugglers, human traffickers, and very vicious criminal cartels.”
“What the criminal cartels are doing to women and children—unbelievable. The trafficking is mostly in women, [and] what they’re doing to women is horrible. Yet despite all of this … the radical left are still hellbent on passing mass amnesty for illegal aliens,” Trump said.