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President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking during his re-election kickoff rally in Florida
President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking during his re-election kickoff rally in Florida
Image: Evan Vucci/PA Images

'Keep America Great': Donald Trump launches 2020 re-election bid in Florida

The US President warned against the rise of his rival Democrat party.
Jun 19th 2019, 7:16 AM 11,073 63

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has launched his campaign for a second term in the White House at a rally in the south-eastern state of Florida.

Addressing a crowd of thousands in Orlando last night, Trump said that he had been under attack from the first day of his presidency by the “fake news media”.

He also painted a disturbing picture of what life would look like if he loses the race in 2020, accusing his rival Democrats of wanting to destroy the US.

“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said.

Thousands of Trump supporters, many in red hats, gathered in Orlando from Monday night, with hundreds of anti-Trump protesters also gathering nearby.

During the launch, Trump spoke fondly of his 2016 run, calling it “a defining moment in American history”.

He also said that in the years since, he had fundamentally upended Washington, staring down “a corrupt and broken political establishment” and restoring a government “of, for and by the people”.

The president asked the crowd whether he should stick with “Make America Great Again” as his slogan or upgrade it, and his new slogan — “Keep America Great” — was greeted with cheers.

FL: President Trump 2020 campaign kick-off rally in Orlando Supporters of President Trump chant We Love Trump outside the venue for his campaign launch on Tuesday Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Trump’s use of language and finger-pointing suggested that his 2020 campaign could be similar to his successful run for the White House three years ago.

Those involved in his re-election campaign believe that his brash version of populism, combined with his mantra to “drain the swamp”, still resonates with voters.

Advisers believe that, in an age where support for the two main parties is becoming polarised, Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity.

They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that, despite more than two years in office, he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate.

Election 2020 Trump President Donald Trump supporters shake their fists at the media as Trump formally announces his 2020 re-election bid in Florida Source: John Raoux/PA Images

During last night’s launch, Trump also tried to make the case that he had delivered on his 2016 promises, including cracking down on illegal immigration and boosting jobs.

Near the end of the rally, he ran through a list of promises for a second term, pledging a new immigration system, new trade deals, a health care overhaul and a cure for cancer and “many diseases”, including the eradication of AIDS in America.

Florida is considered a near-must-win state for Trump to remain in the White House, and both Democrats and Republicans have been mobilising for a fierce and expensive battle in a state that Trump has visited as president more often than any other.

While Trump beat rival Hillary Clinton there in 2016, a poll released on Tuesday found that Democratic contender Joe Biden lead Trump by 50%-41% there, while independent senator Bernie Sanders leads him in the state 48%-42%.

With reporting from Associated Press.

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Stephen McDermott

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