With the 2020 election looming ever closer and the cloud of the impeachment probe hanging over his head, Trump claimed that he can do what no Republican presidential candidate has done since 1972: win Minnesota."It’s been a long time since a Republican won. We have a 20,000-seat auditorium,” the president said of Minneapolis' Target Center, which was still filling up as he spoke. “You know, we have the – it’s essentially Madison Square Garden. And it’s sold out… I don’t know who’s going, but it’ll be totally sold out. If you’re not going to be there, I’m going to miss you. But they have a line now that’s many blocks long. It’s amazing. We have a line, right now in Minnesota, that’s many blocks long. I think I can win in Minnesota.”It's certainly no coincidence that the rally was held in the hometown of Rep. Ilhan Omar, the freshman congresswoman and member of "the Squad," who Trump has painted as the face of the Democratic Party, and with whom he has been feuding for months over her outspoken criticism of his administration. A few days before the rally, Trump was verbally feuding with Omar over Twitter, calling on Minneapolis to "dump" the congresswoman and the city's liberal mayor.Omar responded that "Minnesota stands for peace, equity, and justice – everything you are against."She added that: "While you spew hate, we will keep fighting for the America we deserve."
Minnesota stands for peace, equity, and justice -- everything you are against.While you spew hate, we will keep fighting for the America we deserve. https://t.co/b3YQZx5Yow— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 8, 2019
Though some have criticized the president for painting Omar as the face of the Democratic Party, Trump maintains that Omar is helping him win."I think Omar is helping us win in Minnesota and other places," he said.While it may seem unlikely for Trump to win such a decidedly blue state, the 2016 elections were very close, with Hillary Clinton winning the state by only 1.5% – around 45,000 votes. In fact, since July, Trump has made it clear that he fully expects to be able to win the state in 2020.Currently, Trump is still in for a hard fight for the crucial state. The latest polls released Wednesday indicated that 52% of registered voters in Minnesota will vote Democrat in 2020. However, the president maintains that he is off to a great start in stealing the state from Democrat hands."This is a great state," said Trump. "We are going to win this state."The Minneapolis event was Trump's first campaign rally since House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry on September 24 against him on accusations that he sought Ukraine's help to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son, businessman Hunter Biden.While the impeachment probe hangs over him, Trump maintains that this will only serve to help drum up support for his 2020 reelection."The Democrats’ brazen attempt to overthrow the government will produce a backlash at the ballot box the likes of which they have never ever seen before in the history of this country," the president said at the rally to cheers. He added: "Democrats are on a crusade to destroy our democracy. We will never let it happen; we will defeat them."Trump's visit generated local backlash. Jacob Frey, the city's Democratic mayor, was criticized for initially suggesting that Trump was not welcome. The Minneapolis police union began selling pro-Trump T-shirts after the police chief said off-duty officers could not wear their uniforms to political events.Reuters contributed to this report.
At his rally just now, Trump called me an “America-hating socialist” and a “disgrace.” He shouted xenophobic conspiracy theories about me. He scolded my district for voting for me.His hate is no match for our movement. Stand with me by donating now: https://t.co/QdUrT9zJsr pic.twitter.com/Ik8I9zlRTf— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 11, 2019