President Donald Trump kicked off his campaign to push through the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, telling his Pennsylvania rally Saturday night she will ‘defend your God-given rights and freedoms’, while claiming Joe Biden’s Supreme Court list would be ‘handpicked by socialists’.
Trump flew to Pennsylvania just minutes after announcing Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court, heralding the selection before a large outdoor, mostly unmasked crowd in the battleground state.
‘I’ve just come from the Rose Garden of the White House, where I proudly nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett,’ Trump said. He cited her ‘brilliant legal mind’ and said it was ‘a little better than Biden.’
‘She should be running for president!’ he told the crowd. He said Barrett ‘will defend your god given rights and freedoms.’
President Donald Trump kicked off his campaign to push through the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett – while giving his own campaign a lift from the nomination
Judge Amy Coney Barrett (pictured) was announced as nominee for the Supreme Court
But even if Trump is thrilled with his pick, he quickly moved on to other grievances at his rally.
He attacked his Democratic rival repeatedly – while venting about impeachment, the Mike Flynn Prosecution, and Barack Obama ‘spying’ on his campaign.
Trump said former vice president Biden’s own list of court picks would be ‘handpicked by socialists’ like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
Trump once again attacked mail-in ballots, after spending days under fire for comments where he declined to say he would accept a peaceful transfer of power.
‘The only way they can win Pennsylvania, frankly, is to cheat on the ballots,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go. back to Congress either – even though we have an advantage in Congress,’ Trump said – referencing a contested election.
Trump immediately flew to Pennsylvania just minutes after announcing Barrett as his nominee
At the rally, he heralded the selection before a large outdoor, mostly unmasked crowd in the battleground state
‘I guess it’s 26 to 22, because it’s counted by state,’ Trump said. ‘I’m sure they’re trying to figure out.’
Under a disputed election where there is no leader in the Electoral College, the decision is thrown to the House, where each state gets a single vote and Republicans have an advantage despite being in the minority overall. The new House, rather than the current one, gets to decide.
Trump has also been talking up legal challenges in the case of irregularities in the vote, and said the winner might not be known for weeks.
Trump talked up his selection – highlighting his nominee’s family and legal credentials.
His trip came after the Supreme Court vacancy and Trump’s nomination shook up the presidential race – with just six weeks to go before Election Day.
The White House is hoping the nomination galvanizes base voters, including social and religious conservatives in western Pennsylvania, in counties Trump is counting on to counter huge margins for Joe Biden in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Trump spoke a night after another campaign rally in Newport News, where he once again addressed the topic that roiled Washington after he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
‘We’ve got to watch this ballot scam, because they’re scamming us. And then they say, ‘He doesn’t want to turn over [power].’ Of course, I do. But it’s got to be a fair election,’ Trump said.
He railed against the ‘scam’ where ‘they’re losing ballots all over the place, when they’re losing ballots that just happen to be Trump ballots.’
Trump cited Barrett’s ‘brilliant legal mind’ and said it was ‘a little better than Biden’ (pictured on Wednesday)
Trump said Biden’s own list of court picks would be ‘handpicked by socialists’ like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
Trump said he wanted a ‘smooth, beautiful transition.’
He said the current scenario was a ‘disaster waiting to happen.’
‘And the only hope we have really other than going through a long unbelievable litigation at the end after it’s over, because we’re going to win. We’re not going to lose this except if they cheat, that’s the way I look at it,’ he said. He added: ‘We can’t let them cheat. ‘These people will destroy our country.’
‘We do want a very friendly transition but we don’t want to be cheated and be stupid and say let’s trans… we’ll go and do a transition and we know that,’ the president said Friday.
Trump took several trips down memory lane, blasting Hillary Clinton for her email scandal that was a major feature of the 2016 race.
‘Remember the emails. When Congress said we want 33,000 emails. And they deleted emails. They deleted everything,’ Trump said.
When the crowd erupted into ‘Lock her up!’ cheers, Trump interjected: ‘I used to say now, now, now, I’d try to stop it.’ Mimicking a scold. d
Now he doesn’t any more. ‘She’s crazy,’ he said.
Trump also revisited his own 2016 statement inviting Russia to get Clinton’s emails, a subject of the Mueller report.
‘Russia please get her emails or whatever the hell we were asking. Russia fi you’re listening,’ Trump said, recalling the incident. ‘The whole place cracks up,’ he said, implying it was a joke.
He tore into impeachment nemesis Rep. Adam Schiff of California. ‘What a sleazebag he is. What a jerk.’