Former President Trump speaks at rally for Kari Lake, others in Prescott Valley
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Thousands of people packed an arena in northern Arizona on Friday for a rally, including former president Donald Trump and his allies. The political event started around 4:30 p.m., and several Arizona names in the MAGA part of the Republican Party spoke, including Arizona GOP Party chairwoman Kelli Ward and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. The Save America PAC put on the rally at Findlay Toyota Center. Trump hit the stage around 8 p.m., nearly an hour after he was supposed to speak. He spoke about his candidates, Kari Lake for governor, Blake Masters for Senate, Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem and more.
After harshly criticizing the Biden Administration over inflation and the border, Trump took aim at Gov. Doug Ducey. “He’s all talk and no action and you’ll see what can happen when Kari Lake becomes your governor. It’ll be like day and night,” Trump said. The crowd then started chanting, “Kari! Kari! Kari!” Lake eventually joined Trump on stage, greeted by a hug. “She will do whatever it takes to protect the people of Arizona and she’s the only person strong enough to get it done,” Trump said.
Lake then took the microphone and praised Trump on how he handles a campaign and politics. “President Trump taught us how to fight and I took a few notes. That’s why I go after the fake news because he showed us how to do it. He gave us the gameplan and he showed us exactly how to stand up and fight. Republicans need to fight back,” said Lake.
Before Trump’s speech, Masters opened up his speech, taking shots at Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly. “You ask this guy [Kelly] a question about border security or inflation, and he’ll say ‘good question. You know when I’m up on the International Space Station and I look down about that beautiful little blue planet, I just realize we’re all in this together.’ And I’m like shut up, ‘Mark, do your job!’ Mark Kelly is completely disconnected,” said Masters.
He continued alleging Kelly was “detached” from reality. “Whatever it is that an astronaut does these days, special space research, I don’t know. I’m sure Mark Kelly is really good at it. Let’s send him back to space, he can take care of all of that,” said Masters, drawing applause and cheers from the crowd. “Because as a senator, he’s a complete disaster.”
Masters then pushed for building the wall, stopping election fraud and breaking up big tech companies. “Arizona, make me your nominee so we can put America first and finish the work president Trump got started!” he said.
Lake took the stage following Masters, opening her speech by talking about mothers backing the MAGA movement. “They came after us moms. And the effect of that? What happened is what drove us straight into the MAGA movement where they care about our families and kids,” she said. Lake then praised the young people in the crowd backing the GOP. “We’re going to see the largest movement of young conservatives this country has ever seen. Because these young people have been living through hell with this COVID nightmare and they know who’s responsible,” she said.
One of the moments from the rally that drew an enormous reaction from the crowd was Lake speaking about open borders and drugs in Arizona. “So we’ve got a wide open border. We got a governor who is weak and won’t do a darn thing. I call him Do-Nothing Ducey,” said Lake. She explained how she would combat drugs coming into the state by sending troops to the border. “And then we’re going to blow up the drug tunnels. I don’t care if there’s a narco terrorist in there when we do it,” she said as the crowd clapped.
The parking lot was full of people hours before the rally started. There were plenty of Trump flags, hats, t-shirts and other apparel linked to the “Make America Great Again” slogan. Some traveled from other states like California and Nevada just to see Trump in person. Many in attendance were focused on being close to the 45th president of the United States. “He’s Pro-America. He’s for protecting our borders, he’s for the Second Amendment. He’s for everything I’m for,” said Wanda Dennis from Prescott.
The support for Trump at the rally was pretty much unanimous. But that wasn’t the case for all the candidates. “Kari Lake I’m a little bit iffy on, I don’t know yet. I’m not quite sold there. On a lot of his endorsements, I don’t necessarily agree with all of that,” said Pamela Audis from Paulden, Arizona.
Some have suggested Trump will run for president again, and he hinted at it during Friday night’s rally. “I ran twice and I won twice and I did much better than the second time than the first, getting millions more votes in 2020 than in 2016,” said Trump. “Any now, we may have to do it again.”
Others speculate former vice president Mike Pence will do the same. If Trump does run, those at the rally don’t expect or want Pence to be his running mate again. “There’s RINO (Republican In Name Only) Republicans. I believe they’re actually liberals. I’m not going to name them Democrats or whatever. They’ve been bought up, and unfortunately, I think Pence has been bought off,” said Audis.
Speaking of Pence, he was in Peoria on Friday, holding a rally for his nominee for governor, Karrin Taylor Robson. Joined by Gov. Doug Ducey, he said Robson is the one true conservative in this primary fight. “She’s a rock ribbed conservative that is pro-life, pro-gun and pro-wall,” he said. “She didn’t just arrive on the scene and doesn’t make things up.” Pence also campaigned in Tucson for Robson.
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