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Trump launches second-term campaign

Over 20,000 people crowded into an Orlando, Florida, arena Tuesday to hear President Donald Trump announce he will seek a second term as president of the United States.

In Homewood, nearly a hundred Republicans gathered for a barbecue and watch the president as he extolled the accomplishments of his first 29 months in office and promised his supporters that he would “keep America great.” The Homewood watch party was hosted jointly by the Alabama Republican Party, the Jefferson County Republican Party and the Shelby County Republican Party. There were other Trump watch parties across the state.

“Our country is now thriving, prospering and booming,” Trump said. “And frankly, it’s soaring to incredible new heights. Our economy is the envy of the world, perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country. And as long as you keep this team in place, we have a tremendous way to go. Our future has never ever looked brighter or sharper.”

“The fact is, the American dream is back, it’s bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” he continued. “2016 was not merely another four-year election. This was a defining moment in American history. Ask them right there. By the way, that is a lot of fake news back there, that’s a lot. You know what I say, the amount of press we have tonight reminds me of the Academy Awards before it went political and their ratings went down the tubes.”

Much of his first term was marred by a special counsel’s investigation that ultimately did not yield any indictments against Trump or his family. Trump said when the Washington elites and their media allies came after him, they were really coming after his supporters and their movement.

“They tried to take away your dignity and your destiny, but we will never let them do that, will we?” Trump told the crowd and those watching at home. “Many times I said we would drain the swamp, and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now. We’re draining the swamp. And that’s why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently. For the last two and a half years, we have been under siege, and with the Muller report we won, and now they want a do over. They want a do over.”

“They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I’ve ever known or worked with, but they are really going after you,” Trump continued. “That’s what it’s all about, not about us; it’s about you. They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election, probably in the history of our country, and they wanted to deny you the future that you demanded and the future that America deserves and that now America is getting.”

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Former Alabama State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., R-Prattville, serves on the Trump National Finance Committee.

“It was an incredible rally. The excitement in the air was unbelievable,” Hooper said of the Orlando rally. “The Amway Center was filled with 25,000-plus great Americans from all over the country, while thousands watched outside the arena on large-screen TVs. Festivities began seven hours before the doors opened for the rally and lasted hours after the rally formally ended. Hundreds of watch parties were held all over the country, including at least four in Alabama. The president, as usual, was spot on about the issues that America truly cares about. I had a chance to speak to the president. He could not have been more pumped. The united voices of the ‘deplorables’ were heard from sea to shining sea.”

The rally also helped Trump’s finance team raise a lot of money in a very short period of time.

“The most unbelievable news out of the rally was the announcement of the historic amount of money raised in less than a 24-hour period,” Hooper said.

Hooper credited the job that Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts in his role as Republican National Committee Finance Chair had done raising money as well as the work done by Co-Chair Tommy Hicks and Roy Baily,

“Twenty-five million dollars was raised by the National Finance Committee for the re-election of our president,” Hooper said. “With a war chest now at 100 million plus, a field staff already in place and a never-seen-before, state-of-the-art data operation, the Democrats are in a deep, deep hole that they will never get out of. We must keep America great.”

The president trailed former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s running for the democratic nomination for president, by nine points in a recent poll. By comparison, former President Barack Obama was leading Mitt Romney by seven points at this point in the 2012 race. Democrats won control of the House of Representatives last year. Democrats have taken Senate seats in normally red states like Arizona and Alabama.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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