Trump holds a campaign rally

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McCormick’s campaign told CNN the candidate has a previously scheduled family event, having made the commitment long before Trump announced his planned rally in Schnecksville in the Allentown suburbs.
But despite the overture, Trump ultimately endorsed Oz and bashed McCormick on the campaign trail in his attempts to elevate his chosen pick.
People close to the former president point to McCormick’s endorsement of Trump last month as a sign that he will eventually get Trump’s support.
Trump regularly makes false claims about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, including the Pennsylvania result, and has promoted election-related conspiracy theories.
That dynamic helped stoke disinformation and false claims of election fraud by Trump and his allies.
Recent polls have shown a tight presidential race in Pennsylvania between Trump and Biden.
A fraught time for Trump Trump has been notably less active on the campaign trail in the weeks since he secured enough delegates to become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
While this is his first campaign rally in Pennsylvania in 2024, it’s not his first visit to the state this year.

NEUTRAL

The anticipated Republican nominee for Senate, Dave McCormick, is expected to be absent from the former president Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, just days before his hush money trial in New York gets underway.

As of now, Trump has shown little inclination to support McCormick, who is the front-runner in the GOP primary against Democratic incumbent Bob Casey in the crucial Senate race. The candidate, McCormick, has a prior family event scheduled, according to his campaign, which informed CNN well in advance of Trump’s announcement of his intended rally in Schnecksville, an Allentown suburb.

With the exception of Pennsylvania and Nevada, the former president has so far supported every candidate supported by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the major swing states. (Moreover, he stated on social media on Friday that the former president and Republican candidate Sam Brown were the “Clear Choices of Nevada’s Republican Voters and Donors,” despite the fact that he has not yet formally endorsed a candidate in the Senate race. “.

Some Trump supporters are perplexed by his reluctance to officially enter the Pennsylvania Senate race, especially in light of the fact that the former CEO of a hedge fund will have no opponents in the GOP primary on April 23.

While there was no sudden dislike for McCormick, one campaign adviser insisted to CNN that there was also no leap to support him: “We are going to work with him, and we’re going to support him.”. “.

There is a tense history between Trump and McCormick, going back to McCormick’s unsuccessful 2022 primary campaign against well-known heart surgeon Mehmet Oz for Pennsylvania’s other Senate seat, according to those close to the former president. For this reason, the absence of an early endorsement is not wholly unexpected.

With his wife, Dina Powell, a former Trump deputy national security adviser, McCormick was well-known to the former president when he ran for the Senate in 2022. McCormick met with Trump in private with the expectation of receiving his endorsement, or at the very least his neutrality during the primary.

But in an effort to elevate his selected candidate, Trump eventually endorsed Oz and attacked McCormick on the campaign trail, despite the overture. Despite defeating Democrat John Fetterman in the general election, Oz went on to win the Republican nomination by 951 votes following a recount.

Trump referred to McCormick as “not MAGA” and labeled him as “the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment” during a rally in May 2022. “.

According to a person close to McCormick, who spoke with CNN, McCormick has not contacted Trump this time to solicit his support. Though a Pennsylvania GOP operative acknowledged that the two would need to collaborate, he cautioned that McCormick might not benefit as much from a Trump endorsement as he would from that of other Republican candidates due to McCormick’s past and the likelihood that he would not receive the full support of Trump’s MAGA base, meaning he would need to appeal to suburban and independent voters.

The operative declared, “They are very different people with very different profiles.”.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the statement, Trump appeared to confess his disagreements with McCormick lately, claiming that the West Point alumnus was not “pro-Trump.”.

In May 2023, McCormick acknowledged that Trump might become a threat once more if he ran for office. This was during an event held at the American Enterprise Institute. While claiming that his 2022 campaign did not require Trump’s support, McCormick acknowledged that winning “would be harder” if the former president “went negative” about his bid.

The former president’s allies cite McCormick’s endorsement of Trump last month as evidence that Trump will ultimately back him. However, it is acknowledged that McCormick’s choice to abstain from endorsing in the GOP presidential primary and wait to do so until former South Carolina Gov. Not that it has helped that Nikki Haley withdrew from the race.

The nation’s “microcosm”.

McCormick stated at the 2023 event that he thought of Pennsylvania as a “microcosm” for the nation and that any successful Republican candidate needed to win over both moderate Republicans who still adhere to traditional conservative views and Trump supporters in the Republican base.

Trump’s team must also consider this as it attempts to repeat his historic triumph in the Keystone State from 2016. This victory, along with his victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, caused a seismic fracture in the so-called blue wall of states that Democrats had relied on in every election since 1992.

Due in large part to his influence over blue-collar voters, which his 2024 campaign is actively courting ahead of November, Trump’s success in those three states that year was credited to this group.

According to Trump’s campaign advisors, the campaign’s efforts to win all three of the states that Joe Biden flipped in 2020 will mostly center on messaging related to the economy, inflation, and immigration. It is anticipated that Trump will touch on many of these topics in his remarks on Saturday in Schnecksville.

Additionally, the former president could discuss his erroneous allegations of past and future election fraud, which served as the centerpiece of both his campaign and the Republican National Committee in 2024. Trump expounded on this topic extensively on Friday during a joint news conference with House Speaker Mike Johnson at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Trump has propagated conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and frequently makes untrue statements about its results, including Pennsylvania’s.

With almost 7 million votes cast in 2020, Biden won Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes. Due in part to that narrow margin, the presidential contest was declared too close to predict on election night, with Biden emerging as the victor several days later. Millions of mail-in votes were cast in Pennsylvania during the pandemic, but they weren’t counted until Election Day, which was a major contributing factor. This relationship fostered misinformation and fabricated allegations of election fraud made by Trump and his associates.

According to recent polls, Trump and Biden are in a close race for the presidency in Pennsylvania. A CNN survey conducted last month found the two tied at 46% each.

During his own campaign swing through Pennsylvania the following week, Biden is anticipated to highlight his plans to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, drawing comparisons to his predecessor’s economic policies. Trump recently informed supporters that he intended to prolong the massive tax cuts that Congress Republicans had enacted the previous year.

a delicate moment for Trump.

In the weeks since he gained enough delegates to be assumed as the Republican presidential nominee, Trump has been noticeably less active on the campaign trail. During that period, he has chosen to primarily organize and participate in a number of high-profile, private fundraisers, as his team struggles to bridge a significant financial divide with Biden and the Democratic Party.

Trump will start the day on Saturday by going to a fundraiser in Newtown, a suburb of Philadelphia, and then continuing north to Schnecksville, in the Lehigh Valley.

Although he is making his first appearance in Pennsylvania for a campaign rally in 2024, this is not his first trip there this year.

In February, the former president gave a speech at a presidential forum hosted by the National Rifle Association in Harrisburg. A few months later, he appeared at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia to introduce a new collection of sneakers. The “Trump Sneakers” were revealed the day after a judge in his New York civil fraud case ordered the former president and his businesses to pay close to $355 million, plus an additional roughly $100 million in interest. Trump is appealing the decision and was required to post a $175 million bond.

The rally on Saturday is strategically scheduled because it’s Trump’s final political appearance before jury selection for his hush money trial in New York starts on Monday. The former president’s prepared remarks for his speech on Saturday do not heavily center on the trial, an adviser to the Trump campaign told CNN as of Friday night. Nonetheless, Trump has a reputation for winging it during his campaign rallies, and a lot of his remarks are criticisms of his legal issues.

Sources close to the former president told CNN that Trump has been consumed for days by his impending trial, which will keep him off the campaign trail for several weeks during a crucial time for his White House bid.

The upcoming weekend will provide an early look at his team’s delicate balancing act between the courtroom and the campaign trail. According to a source familiar with his plans, Trump is scheduled to fly directly to New York City after the rally, where he will be briefed on court protocol and messaging by law team members on Sunday.

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