Recalling what he described as his “beautiful win” in the 2016 New Hampshire Republican Primary, President Trump told a raucous crowd at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport Sunday that “we are going to keep it going” by winning on Election Day next week.
Trump touched on several pet issues in hour-long remarks to the several thousand people gathered outside a hangar, including minimizing the threat of COVID-19, issuing false claims of voter fraud, and boasting of his own bargaining skills.
But much of his attention was focused on predictions for the outcomes of next week’s election. Trump argued the crowds he’s drawing are a better barometer of his standing than swing state polls, many of which show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden. But while he predicted victory, Trump stressed that he remains leery of widespread voting by mail.
“You know the biggest risk we have are the fake ballots,” Trump said. “They send millions of ballots all over the county. They found some in a garbage can, military ballots, the name 'Trump' was written in by the military.”
Trump has made similar claims, with no evidence, throughout this year’s campaign season. Mail-in and absentee voting has been widely found to be safe and secure, over many years. And while some irregularities have occurred in this year’s early vote, Trump has frequently mischaracterized or exaggerated those cases.
In addition to false claims on absentee ballots, Trump said the country was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, despite the fact that many states have reported record number of infections in recent days. And he said Democrats, from Biden on down, will do the country nothing but harm in their efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
“They will shut down your jobs, shut down your schools, your businesses, your police department, your energy,” Trump said. “They will shut down your freedom.”
Citing an estimate that the coronavirus was projected to kill millions in the U.S. if left uncontrolled, Trump said he deserves credit for a death toll that now stands at more than 220,000.
“Remember: 2.2 million people were going to die,” Trump said. “We saved 2 million people.”
The crowd cheered throughout Trump’s speech, which bounced from a lengthy discussion of Air Force One, to critiques of Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, to claims that his defeat would plunge the country into the worst depression since 1929.
After Trump described his recovery from the coronavirus, a chant of “Super Trump” broke out in the crowd.
Michelle Churchill, who lives in Rochester and works for the IRS, said she wanted to turn out for what -- win or lose next week -- will likely be Trump’s last visit to New Hampshire as a candidate.
“I don’t trust anyone else,” Churchill said. “And that is definitely why I’m here.”