July 14, 2024

President Donald J. Trump walked up to the line to name his choice to be the Republican vice-presidential nominee, even teasing the crowd with the name of the state’s own Sen. Marco Rubio to the thousands gathered at the 10th hole of the Trump National Doral Miami golf course for his Tuesday evening rally.

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The tease came as the president was extolling his employment numbers compared to employment under President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Joe Biden’s sharp numbers are fake. They’re fake numbers, and the fake media — notice they don’t look at all of them,” Trump said before looking out at the media riser and the number of reporters and cameras.

Turning his head, he made an aside to Rubio: “Oh, that’s a lot, Marco. That’s a lot, Marco.” 

Then, to the crowd, he said: “I think they probably think I’m going to be announcing that Marco’s going to be vice president.”

Later, when the president was introducing the special guests attending, he explained to the crowd that he and Rubio had become friends despite their nasty exchanges during the 2016 primaries.

“We’re thrilled to be joined tonight by many fantastic Florida patriots, including a man who’s become really a friend of mine,” Trump said. 

“We had a vicious campaign for a while, and he was tough, and he was smart, and I got to really know him well over the years, and he was a fantastic guy: Senator Marco Rubio,” he said.

Barron Joins His Father at a Rally for the First Time

In addition to the politicians in the audience, Barron Trump attended what his father said was his first rally, and when the crowd reacted so enthusiastically, the president joked to his other sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, that Barron might be more popular than them.

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Rubio Takes the Stage Before Trump

Rubio spoke to the crowd before the president came out, and he made some of his most pointed criticisms of his former senatorial colleague. 

The senator said that as he watched the June 27 debate between Trump and President Biden, he grew anxious over the national security threat Biden’s condition posed to the country. “My gawd, that’s the president of the United States—who is running our country right now?”

Rubio said he then realized that the debate was being watched by our adversaries in Beijing, Moscow, Havana, and North Korea. 

“They’re watching it in Iran, and they’re saying: ‘That guy’s the president? We’re going to invade tomorrow.’ That’s what I would do,” he said.

Rubio said his second outrage from the debate was his realization that everyone close to Biden for the last three-and-a-half years was lying about his condition.

“Everyone’s known this,” he said.

“We’ve been seeing it for three years,” he said. 

“If you had said anything about Joe Biden 20 minutes before the debate, they would have said: ‘That’s a lie. It’s a conspiracy,’” he said.

“The only conspiracy here are the people in the shadow government that are protecting and hiding from the American people the condition of our current president—and it puts our country in danger.”

If this appearance by Rubio was his final audition to be Trump’s running mate, the senator made the most of it. 

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His ease with the crowd was endearing, and he broke up his serious policy talk with quips off the top of his head. At one point, he said that Vice President Kamala Harris was so leftist that she wanted to ban plastic straws. 

Rubio waited for a beat and exclaimed: “Those paper straws suck.”

My RedState colleague Levon Satamian also covered the Trump rally and the president’s charge that Biden chose Harris, as a protection against being deposed in his piece: “WATCH: Trump Comes Out Swinging, Torches Kamala Harris.”

Later, Rubio apologized for wanting to make some remarks in Spanish, but then when he was done, he explained to those who did not speak Spanish: “I said: ‘I saved a lot of money with GEICO.”

Trump Addresses Biden’s Mental State

In an incredible example of message discipline, Trump has remained mostly quiet as Biden and the leaders of the Democratic Party struggle to resolve what to do after Biden’s poor debate performance. 

Before the debate, Trump would ridicule Biden for getting lost on stage or not being able to find the stairs—sometimes even walking around as if in a stupor. 

This time, Trump held fire or rather held fire as best could be expected.

At one point, Trump was making fun of Biden’s constant talk of protecting democracy when he stopped, pointed to his head, and said, “This guy,” inferring that something was wrong with Biden’s head. 

Trump refrained from attacking Biden for being old, choosing instead to focus on Biden’s reputation for stupidity.

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RELATED: BREAKING: Trump Challenges Biden to a Debate ‘This Week’
and to 18 Holes of Golf


In a classic Trumpian aside, the president brought up a conversation he had with Sen. Edward M. “Teddy” Kennedy Sr. about Biden.

Trump said he became friendly with Kennedy because the senator used to spend time at the family’s Palm Beach compound.

The story came up as Trump was criticizing work ethic and making the point that Biden may seem mentally diminished now, but he was never considered bright.

“Kennedy was actually in front of a neighbor of mine,” Trump said. 

“I did him a favor, and he liked me,” he said. 

Trump said one time, he asked Kennedy who was the smartest senator. “He gave me a name, but I won’t say it because I can’t stand the guy,” then looking at Rubio: “I’ll tell you later, Marco, it wasn’t you because you weren’t there yet.”

Then, Trump said he asked Kennedy who was the dumbest senator. 

“He goes: ‘Probably Joe.’ This is like 20 years ago, I said: ‘Who’s Joe? He said, Joe Biden.”

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