Former President Donald Trump Wisconsin visit; Racine campaign rally

With the White House on the line, Former President Donald Trump rallied in Racine on Tuesday, June 18. At the beginning of the speech, he told the crowd he loved Milwaukee, days after reports he called it a "horrible city."

"These lying people that say, 'Oh, he doesn't like Milwaukee.' I love Milwaukee. I said, ‘You gotta fix the crime.’ We all know that, you gotta make sure the election is honest, but I'm the one that picked Milwaukee," Trump said. 

Republican National Committee members, in the summer of 2022, picked Milwaukee as the host city for the 2024 Republican National Convention. The former president did not launch his campaign until months later. 

House Republicans who were in a private meeting with Trump last week told FOX6 the words "horrible city" were taken out of context, and he was talking about crime or elections. Still, several of those lawmakers hadn't denied he used the phrase. In an interview that same day, the former president said his message was clear and he was worried about those two topics. On Saturday, Mr. Trump posted to social media the story was "false, a complete lie." He reiterated that in Racine.

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Former President Donald Trump campaigns in Racine

The campaign rally was the former president's first visit to Wisconsin since he was convicted in his New York hush-money case last month. Trump faces the threat of years in prison following the New York verdict. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee

"I got indicted more than Al Capone all because I ran for office. If I didn’t run for office, I’d be enjoying life. But you know, I enjoy this better because we’re going to make America great again," Trump told the crowd of supporters. "I’m being indicted for you. Never forget, our enemies want to take away my freedom because I will never ever take away your freedom."

Campaign rally for Donald Trump in Racine

He said he would not give money to schools for several reasons, including if they have vaccine or mask mandates.

"On day 1, I will sign a new executive order to cut federal funding to any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content on to the lives of our children."

"Some of these things, it’s embarrassing to say, I will keep men out of women’s sports…..Why would you have to say that?"

The former president criticized President Joe Biden and his handling of the economy, the border and global issues.

"I will prevent a thing called World War III. And you are closer to it, you are closer to it than you have any idea."

Mr. Trump again spoke about the 2020 election.

"Do you remember in 2016, we won and then we did much better here in 2020, but you know lots of things happened, and then in the end, we won, but by that time it was a little late."

In fact, recounts, random audits and Trump's own court challenges found Joe Biden won the state by roughly 20,000 votes.

The former president also reiterated his support for Republican Senate Candidate Eric Hovde, who joined Trump on stage for a portion of the rally.

"Eric will vote to crack down on illegal immigration and fix Joe Biden’s border disaster, support out police and turn back the wave of violent crime."

Temperatures in the 80s couldn't keep large crowds away. Hundreds lined up all Tuesday morning to get inside the venue, Racine's Festival Park, right on Lake Michigan, where a cool breeze and cloud cover brought relief from the heat.

"I just wanted to make sure I could get in line," said one person waiting in line seven hours before Trump's speech was set to begin. "I just wanted to make sure I could get in there and show my support."

As people were lining up for the event, ABC7 Chicago reported Trump would be staying in Chicago, not Milwaukee, during the RNC. In a statement to FOX6, Trump National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt responded that the former president is staying in Milwaukee during the RNC. 

The road to the White House comes down to a handful of swing states, including battleground Wisconsin. The Real Clear Politics average of polls now shows a race that is almost a tie. 


Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler

"Today, Donald Trump returns to the scene of his Foxconn failure for the first time since 2018—when he stuck a golden shovel in the dirt and promised Wisconsinites the eighth wonder of the world. Trump’s Foxconn boondoggle saw the largest attempted government handout to a foreign company in American history, reflecting perfectly what the MAGA Republican Party is all about: sweetheart deals for wealthy special interests at the expense of everyone else. In contrast to Donald Trump’s insults and broken promises to the people of Wisconsin, President Biden and Governor Evers have delivered for Racine and southeast Wisconsin with a $3.3 billion investment by Microsoft in new data centers already under construction on the site of Trump’s Foxconn failure. Trump’s Foxconn failure illustrates the core of this election: Trump is a con man, all talk and no action, and Biden delivers for Wisconsinites."