Oct. 21, 2020 - Thirteen days until Election Day and
the evening before the second and final presidential
debate, President Donald J. Trump held a Make
America Great Again rally at Gastonia Municipal
Airport in Gastonia, NC [transcript].
Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley tweeted
that Trump's the rally was "the largest in NC
political history" with 28,278 people registered;
final attendance according to WBTV was at least
23,000. In his speech, Trump attacked
"the radical Biden-Harris agenda," highlighted the
accomplishments of his administration and mixed in
discursions on the size of the audience at his
Inauguration, the impeachment proceeding, his
characterization of Biden as a corrupt politician,
including the evidence of Hunter Biden's laptop, and
an homage to Rush Limbaugh, all punctuated by
criticism of "fake media" and put-downs of various
Trump spoke of many forces aligned
against him, declaring, "The swamp, and the swamp
creatures are much deeper and much worse than we
ever thought." He asserted, "Under my
administration, we built the greatest economy in the
history of the world, and now we are doing it
again." All told Trump spoke for about 75
minutes; about three-quarters of the way through he
brought the Republican gubernatorial nominee, Lt.
Gov. Dan Forest, on stage for some brief words, and
he acknowledged Republican members of North
Carolina's congressional delegation, including Sen.
Thom Tillis, who was not present. While almost all the
people in the stand behind Trump wore masks,
most of the people watching from the tarmac did
not. In a statement before the
rally, NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin denounced the
event as "reckless (+)."
This was Trump's sixth visit to North Carolina since
Sept. 1 and tenth visit of the year. Gastonia is in the
Charlotte metropolitan area about half an hour
drive west on I-85.