FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Former president Donald Trump took the stage Saturday night at a rally in Florence.
“Wow, what a crowd this is,” Trump said as he took the stage. “It’s freezing out here.”
The first guest speaker was MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who repeated falsehoods of election fraud in 2020.
Several Trump-endorsed candidates also spoke before he arrived, including State Rep. Russell Fry. Fry spoke of his efforts to primary US Rep. Tom Rice for voting to impeach the former president.
“On June 14th, it is our turn to vote,” Fry said. “And this time, we conservatives of the Grand Strand and Pee Dee are going to vote to impeach Tom Rice at the ballot box.”
During the rally, Gov. Henry McMaster criticized the Biden administration and praised Trump for his time in office. He called on South Carolinians to vote more Republicans into power.
“It’s our country and the best is yet to come,” McMaster said. “So God bless you, and South Carolina and Donald J Trump.”
Other guest speakers at the event were former state Rep. Katie Arrington, South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick, Brandon Judd, college football hall of fame Coach Lou Holtz and entrepreneur Graham Allen.
Two hours after the guest speakers wrapped up, Trump’s motorcade arrived and he began his hour-long speech.
Editor’s note: Due to technical difficulties, a brief portion in the middle of the rally is not available.
“Hello to South Carolina,” Trump said. “What a place, what a victory we had!”
He skewered the Biden administration for its handling of the Ukraine crisis, gas prices, COVID-19 policies and more.
“We have a president representing our country at the most important time in history who is physically and mentally challenged,” Trump said.
He touched on a wide range of subjects, from the “fake news media” and big tech to transgender athletes.
“We have to get political correctness out of our military,” Trump said. “The woke generals should be fired immediately.”
He urged his supporters to vote for the candidates he endorsed and continued to push unfounded claims of election fraud. Though he hasn’t yet announced a run, he spoke of the race for the Oval Office in 2024.
“I ran twice, I won twice,” Trump said. “I did much better the second time than the first, getting 12,000,000 more votes- and now, we may have to run again!”
Following the rally, Rep. Tom Rice, put out a statement.
“Trump is here because, like no one else I’ve ever met, he is consumed by spite,” Rice said in a statement. “I took one vote he didn’t like and now he’s chosen to support a yes man candidate who has and will bow to anything he says, no matter what.”
Trump supporters had already been waiting at the airport ahead of his scheduled event, and a large crowd was already gathered early Saturday afternoon.