In the first presidential speech to the National Rifle Association convention since 1983, Donald Trump today hinted that he thinks Elizabeth Warren will be running against him in 2020 and declared that his election victory was the bigger than any sports win ever.
“I have a feeling in the next election you are going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host told the audience of around 10,000 at the gun group gathering Friday in Atlanta. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you are going to say, ‘No sir, no thank you,’ ‘no ma’am.’ Perhaps ‘ma’am’; it may be Pocahontas. Remember that?” he added, using the deliberately mocking nickname he coined for the progressive Massachusetts senator during last year’s White House race. She has claimed Native American heritage in the past.
“But she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you,” Trump tacked on to applause about Warren, who has ruled out or declared what many think is a likely run in the next presidential election.
Warren is on a book tour and will be in L.A. tomorrow for two public events. She also is expected to meet quietly with at least a couple of potential deep-pocket donors, sources tell me.
On the 99th day of his administration, a clearly combative Trump on Friday took the stage to cheers of “USA! USA!” and launched into a mainly from-the-teleprompter speech that touched on many otherwise expected topics besides attacking Warren.
The president talked about his surprise election win, his plan for a border wall and immigration, his strong Second Amendment support and his speeches to the gun group as a candidate. As he has many times before, and to the pleasure of the NRA audience, Trump rolled out his “Make America Great Again” tagline and also touched on law and order, terrorism, the credentials of his cabinet choices and the successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
“Big sports fans said that was the single most exciting event they’ve ever seen, that includes Super Bowls and World Series and boxing matches,” Trump boosted of his November 8 victory over Hillary Clinton. “That was an exciting evening for all of us, and it meant a lot.”
No guns were allowed in the Georgia World Congress Centre today while Trump was addressing the NRA, according to Secret Service. The speech came as news broke that two Army Rangers were killed in a gun battle with ISIS in Afghanistan, likely by friendly fire.
On Saturday, Trump aims to celebrate his 100th day in office with a rally in Harrisburg, PA. In typical tactical Trump style, POTUS will be counterprogramming the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, an elite gathering that he and his top crew are boycotting. Then again, while Trump is avoiding being insulted and mocked to his face at the Washington Hilton this year, he told Reuters earlier this week that he might attend the WHCD in 2018 — or not.
Trump also will be making his first direct POTUS foray into congressional elections with a big-bucks fundraiser for GOP standard bearer Karen Handel in the Peach State’s 6th District. A past critic of Trump, Handel faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in a June 20 runoff election to replace Tom Price, who took a post in the president’s Cabinet.
In what many term as a referendum on Trump himself, the seat in the traditional GOP stronghold for decades is hotly contested. Ossoff, a 30-year-old political novice, came very close to winning it outright in the first round when he got 48% of the vote in a cramped field of candidates.