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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 11 November, 2019
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Inflatable baby Trump balloon stabbed and deflated during Alabama football game

The balloon has been flown at protests around the world, including in Dublin and London.

Image: Shutterstock/John Gomez

AN INFLATABLE BABY Trump balloon which has been flown at a number of protests around the world over the past two years has been stabbed and deflated as Trump attended an American football match in Alabama. 

The college football game saw fans for both teams playing in the game cheering and supporting the players but also cheering and supporting Trump. 

Outside, supporters also showed support for the president’s visit to the Republican-majority state. 

His reception at the showdown between Louisiana State and Alabama contrasted with the scene at Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, where he was booed, and the mixed response to his appearance at a martial arts fight in New York.

However, the inflatable baby that has been erected in places like London and Dublin has slashed and deflated during the events. 

The organizer of the group that “adopted” the balloon for the event told police a man with a knife cut an 8ft-long gash in its back, deflating it.

Tuscaloosa police said in a statement that a 32-year-old local man was charged with criminal mischief in the incident.

A protester carried a sign that said “Roll Tide Impeach 45″ and another held a sign saying she had sold her ticket and donated the money to the Alabama Democratic Party.

There were also pro-Trump signs. One woman wore an oversized red MAGA hat and carried a sign saying: “Make BAMA #1 Again.” There were flags emblazoned with “Trump 2020″ and banners that read: “Keep America Great Trump 2020.”

Presidents have long used sporting events to woo support, but these events also are a venue for fans to express their own political leanings.

On the flight to Tuscaloosa, Trump tweeted jabs at House Democrats, who launched the impeachment inquiry.

On the tarmac before boarding Air Force One, he told reporters: “It’s a witch hunt and it should never happen to another president.”

In Alabama, where he won 63% of the vote in 2016, the president generated some heat. Alabama’s student government association warned students against being disruptive, but said their First Amendment rights will not being muzzled.

Alabama

On Friday, US billionaire and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg paved the way for a shot at the US presidency, registering as a candidate in the Alabama Democratic primary race.

Although the billionaire has not publicly announced his run, his inclusion among a crowded field keeps his options open for mounting a concerted bid to topple fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.

His name was posted among 17 candidates on the Alabama Democratic Party’s website only hours before registration closed. 

US media on Thursday reported that Bloomberg was gearing up for a run for the role as commander-in-chief but no formal papers had been filed. 

He sent members of staff to Alabama to gather the necessary signatures required to register for that state’s primary ahead of the deadline today in anticipation of a bid, the reports said.

Additional reporting from © AFP 2019

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