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Trump at Tampa rally: 'I'm not like other politicians'

President touts 'promises kept,' promotes Voter ID and immigration plans

August 01, 2018 - 7:50 am
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TAMPA (ABC) -- Hitting the campaign trail Tuesday in the Sunshine State, President Donald Trump touted the economy, discussed his attempts at diplomacy with North Korea and patted himself on the back for his decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

Trump traveled to Tampa, Florida, to hold his first campaign event this election cycle, speaking to a raucous crowd of thousands for more than an hour.

"I'm not like other politicians," Trump said. "You see what happened. I've kept my promises."

The president also promised "tremendous border security that's going to include the wall," and he called for voter I.D. cards.

"In some states, Democrats are even trying to give illegal immigrants the right to vote," Trump said. "Which is why the time has come for voter I.D., like everything else. If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card ... in this country, the only time you don't need it, in many cases, is when you want to vote for a president, when you want to vote for a senator, when you want to vote for a governor or a congressman. It's crazy. It's crazy. But we are turning it around."

Trump provided no evidence to back up the claim that Democrats were encouraging undocumented immigrants to vote. Trump has claimed multiple times, and written on Twitter multiple times, that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally in 2016. There's no evidence of that either.

A study last year by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law found only 30 incidences of non-citizen voting among 23.5 million votes casts in select jurisdictions with the highest populations of non-citizens. That is 0.0001 percent. Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by more than 2.8 million votes.

On tariffs and its effects on Floridians, Trump announced U.S. Steel was set to build six news steel mills across the country. The President added the Nucore is planning to build a $240 million steel mill in the very state he was campaigning in.

"That's a big one," said Trump, adding, "Democrats want to raise your taxes, they want to destroy your jobs, they want to crush our industries with crippling regulations."

On a more personal note, the president acknowledged turnover in his cabinet, admitting he hasn't always picked the best appointees.

"We have a great cabinet now, a couple of little changes, but we have a great cabinet," Trump said. "But I made some choices that I wouldn't have made."

The president stuck to the script when it came to his get-out-the-vote efforts for his endorsees, glancing over at the prompters to ensure the message was on point.

"With every promise we keep, every record we break, every factory we own, we are restoring strength and American pride," he said. "This may be, and in fact it probably is, the greatest movement in the history of our country."

A few protesters briefly caught the President's attention after the shouted at him but they were immediately whisked away.

Trump also trumpeted Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis, a staunch defender of the president against the Mueller probe looking into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump first endorsed DeSantis via Twitter back in December, before DeSantis even announced he was running. The president made it Twitter-official in June, even though many believed Vice President Mike Pence's close relationship with DeSantis' primary opponent, Florida Agriculture Commissioner and former Rep. Adam Putnam, meant Trump would support Putnam.

Ahead of the president's rally, the Democratic Governors Association released a statement that said, "DeSantis is the latest Trump wannabe catering to the fringe-far right while everyday Floridians wait to hear a real plan for Florida."

The president's visit also included an economic round table with Gov. Rick Scott at Tampa Bay Technical High School. Scott is running in a competitive race for the Senate against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

Florida's primary is scheduled for Aug. 28.

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