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Trump rallies thousands at Bronx’s Crotona Park



Trump rallies thousands at Bronx’s Crotona Park

Former President Donald Trump campaigned Thursday in one of the Democratic counties within the nation, holding a rally within the South Bronx as he tries to woo minority voters days earlier than a Manhattan jury will start deliberations on whether or not to convict him of felony fees in his legal hush cash trial.

Trump addressed supporters in Crotona Park, a public inexperienced house in a neighborhood that’s among the many metropolis’s most various and its most impoverished, a change from the majority-white areas the place he holds most of his rallies. Whereas the gang was not fairly as various because the South Bronx as an entire, it included massive numbers of Black and Hispanic voters; Spanish was heard all through the gang.


Trump, in his speech, forged himself as a greater president for Black and Hispanic voters than President Joe Biden as he railed towards Biden on immigration, a problem Trump has made central to his marketing campaign. He insisted “the largest destructive affect” of the inflow of migrants in New York is “towards our Black inhabitants and our Hispanic inhabitants who’re shedding their jobs, shedding their housing, shedding all the things they’ll lose.”

Some within the crowd responded by chanting, “Construct the wall,” a reference to Trump’s push whereas within the White Home to construct a U.S.-Mexico border barrier.

With Trump confined to New York for a lot of the final six weeks due to his trial, the presumptive Republican nominee’s marketing campaign has deliberate a collection of native stops throughout his hometown earlier than and after court docket. He visited a bodega in Harlem, dropped by a building website and held a photograph op at a neighborhood firehouse.

However the Bronx rally was his first occasion open to most people as he insists he’s making a play to win an overwhelmingly Democratic state that hasn’t backed a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Moreover making a spectacle of rallygoers and protesters, the rally additionally gave Trump a chance to focus on what he argues are benefits on financial and immigration points that might lower into key Democratic voting blocs.

“The technique is to display to the voters of the Bronx and New York that this isn’t your typical presidential election, that Donald Trump is right here to signify all people and get our nation again on observe,” mentioned Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds, a possible Trump working mate who grew up in Brooklyn and spoke on the rally.

The previous president opened his rally with an ode to his hometown, speaking about its humble beginnings as a small Dutch buying and selling submit earlier than changing into a glamorous capital of tradition that “impressed your complete world.” Whereas Trump established residency in Florida in 2019, he reminisced on Thursday about his efforts to revitalize Central Park’s Wollman Rink and other people he knew in the true property enterprise.

“Everybody needed to be right here,” he instructed the enthusiastic viewers. “However sadly that is now a metropolis in decline.”

“If a New Yorker can’t save this nation,” he went on to say, “nobody can.”

Hours earlier than Trump’s rally was set to start, a protracted line of supporters decked out in pink “Make America Nice Once more” hats and different Trump gear snaked across the park, ready for safety screening to start. Individuals had been nonetheless getting into the park nicely into Trump’s speech, with some keen supporters sprinting up a hill towards the rally website after getting by safety.

The Bronx Democratic Social gathering protested Trump’s look with its personal occasion on the park.

Members of a number of unions had been current, holding indicators that mentioned “The Bronx says no to Trump” in each English and Spanish.

“We’re used to elected officers, to authorities officers, to opportunists of every kind who come to our neighborhood and use our painful historical past,” mentioned Democratic State Rep. Amanda Septimo, who represents the South Bronx. “They discuss concerning the Bronx and all the things that’s improper with it, however they by no means get to the half that talks about what they’re going to do for the Bronx and we all know that Trump is rarely going to get to that half in his speech.”

NYC Assemblymember Amanda Septimo, in addition to civil rights activist Kirsten John Foy, instructed the New York Publish on Monday they don’t need Trump and his views on points corresponding to immigration to go unchallenged within the borough, so that they organized counter-programming.

Rep. Ritchie John Torres, a Democrat who represents New York’s fifteenth Congressional District – the place the rally is being held – says the one place within the Bronx the place Trump has any enterprise being is Bronx Legal Courtroom. He additionally blasted the previous president in an announcement to Fox Information Digital.

“The South Bronx has no larger enemy than Donald Trump, who’s on a mission to dismantle the social security web on which Bronx households rely for his or her survival,” Torres mentioned. “Trump is and has all the time been a fraud. The South Bronx – essentially the most Democratic space within the nation – won’t purchase the snake oil that he’s promoting.”

Members of the Democratic and Working Households Social gathering, pro-immigration advocates and union activists will even be a part of the anti-Trump rally, the Publish reported.

What are current/former NY politicians saying?

A number of longtime figures in New York politics — each Republican and Democrat — argued there’s good purpose for Trump to go to the Bronx and different majority Black and Latino communities.

Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican Social gathering, famous that the GOP, in an upset victory, picked up a metropolis council seat from the borough final yr for the primary time in 40 years. He pointed to the present political local weather, with some voters pessimistic concerning the economic system and viewing Biden as weakened.

“As chairman of the occasion right here in New York, I’m not going to put in writing off New York. We’re going to go for it,” he mentioned.

Trump has typically pointed to the success of former Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who ran for governor in 2022 towards Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul. Zeldin in the end misplaced the race by an unusually shut margin.

Throughout his marketing campaign, Zeldin appeared within the Bronx alongside the Rev. Rubén Díaz Sr., a former state senator and metropolis council member who had urged Trump to carry a rally within the borough and held a pro-Trump occasion there Saturday.

Whereas different presidential candidates have visited and met with native leaders, Díaz counseled Trump for being “the primary and solely president or presidential candidate who has proven respect to minority communities within the Bronx” by holding a rally.

Díaz, who stays a Democrat regardless of backing Trump, mentioned he believes there are others within the borough who will even cross the aisle, pointing to considerations over an inflow of migrants that has dominated headlines in New York over price range and security considerations.

“Individuals are fed up,” he mentioned. “Democrats say they’re there to assist us … however our persons are doing worse underneath the Democratic management.”

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned that campaigning in that a part of the town is sensible for Trump.

“There’s a focus of Latino ministers who’re pro-life within the Bronx and they’re mobilized and energized,” mentioned Cuomo, who selected to seem with Diaz in 2022 as he floated a political comeback months after the Democrat resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by not less than 11 girls.

Cuomo, who has denied the allegations, mentioned: “It’s probably not indicative of New York, however there’s quite a lot of vitality on that subject in that a part of the Bronx.”

Bronx voting historical past

The Bronx was as soon as essentially the most Democratic borough within the metropolis. 

Barack Obama received 91.2% of the borough’s vote in 2012, the best anyplace within the state. Biden received 83.5% of the borough in 2020. Trump garnered solely 16% of the vote.

The realm Trump shall be visiting is overwhelmingly non-white — a departure from most of his rally areas. About 65% of residents are Hispanic and 31% Black, based on U.S. Census knowledge. About 35% stay beneath the poverty line.

Harlem bodega rally

Final month, Trump made a marketing campaign cease in Harlem, utilizing a bodega as a backdrop to slam Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg for what he calls smooth on crimes that matter. 

Former president Donald Trump visits a bodega retailer in higher Manhattan the place a employee was assaulted by a person in 2022 and ended up killing him in an ensuing struggle on April 16, 2024. (Picture by Spencer Platt/Getty Photographs)

Two years in the past, Bragg charged a bodega clerk with homicide and despatched him to Rikers Island after he killed a person who attacked him behind the counter. 

Wildwood, NJ rally

Earlier this month, Trump drew what his workforce known as a “mega crowd” of “tens of 1000’s” to a rally in Wildwood.

Individuals collect for a marketing campaign rally by former US President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Might 11, 2024. (Picture by JIM WATSON/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

Lisa Fagan, spokesperson for the town, instructed The Related Press she estimated the gang represented between 80,000 and 100,000 attendees, primarily based off her personal observations on the scene, having seen “dozens” of different occasions in the identical house.

Hours earlier than he was scheduled to take the stage, 1000’s of Trump loyalists donning “By no means Give up” T-shirts and pink “Make America Nice Once more” hats crowded onto the sand between the boardwalk and carnival rides to greet the previous Republican president.

The rally comes throughout a pause in Trump’s legal hush cash trial. Courtroom will resume following the Memorial Day weekend with closing arguments. 

The jury will then determine whether or not Trump will turn out to be the primary former president within the nation’s historical past to be criminally convicted and whether or not he would be the first main occasion presidential candidate to run as a convicted felon.

The Related Press wire companies helped contribute to this report.

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