“Hello, Montana. This is going to be a lot of fun.” That, of course, is why President Donald Trump does these rallies, including tonight’s in Billings. And after rattling off his litany of self-congratulatory talking points and plugging SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, POTUS introduced state auditor Matt Rosendale, a senate candidate.
After the candidate spoke, Trump retook the podium and, predictably, tore in to his enemies list: Maxine Waters, Democrats in general, “left-wing haters,” “the fake news media,” “the Bush dynasty,” “Crooked Hillary Clinton,” NATO, Obamacare, immigrants, sanctuary cities, etc. He also bashed the Golden State — “I may move to California to get free health care,” he warned — and Wednesday’s New York Times op-ed that he said was written by an “anomonous” and “gutless coward.” (He repeated “anomonous” after messing it up the first time and botched it again with equal verve then gave up.) Trump didn’t spend much time on that topic but said he believes the author should be outed for national security’s sake.
In an off-camera interview with Fox & Friends‘ Pete Hegseth before the rally, Trump trashed the Times and its op-ed, saying per the White House press pool, “Virtually, you know, it’s treason.”
Notably missing from tonight’s hit list were the related and of-the-moment topics of Colin Kaepernick, Nike and the NFL. The only hint of a mention came well past the one-hour mark when Trump said, “We’re standing up for your values, we’re standing up for Montana, and we’re standing for our national anthem and our flag.”
Speaking of the Stars and Stripes, Trump reminded the crowd about how the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man caused a ruckus by not showing the American flag that was planted on the moon. “See, what they are missing is that that movie would have been a much bigger success if they had planted the flag like they were supposed to!” See, what Trump is missing is that movie doesn’t hit theaters for another month-plus.
“I’m a politician,” he admitted at one point. “I never thought I was gonna say I’m a politician. Can you believe — I guess I’m a politician. Think of it. One of the few times I said that.” He then reminded the decidedly not-raucous crowd that he’d been elected president. Just to make sure everyone knew. “Your favorite all-time president — me.”
He also resurfaced this neo-classic line, “How do you impeach somebody who’s doing a great job?”
Speaking of all-time favorites, Trump also lavished praise on communist kingpins Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. He waited for applause after mentioning the former, but the Montanans balked. Fox News’ Sean Hannity also got some presidential love from the stage.
For the record, he didn’t mention Burt Reynolds’s death today, which certainly would have drawn applause.