While Democrats Debated, Trump Went on a Bizarre, 68-Minute Rant in Baltimore

“You have to elect me; you have no choice.”

President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

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While ten Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls battled it out on a Houston stage Thursday night, President Donald Trump was in Baltimore, Maryland, giving a rambling 68-minute speech to House Republicans who had gathered for a three-day retreat. 

“Whether you like me or not, it doesn’t matter,” Trump told the crowd at the Republican conference. “You have to elect me; you have no choice.”

Trump then went on to criticize the lighting that was used, claiming that “the light is the worst,” a comment he made, the New York Times reported, “during an extended aside about his dislike for energy-efficient light bulbs.” He complained that the light made him “look orange, and so do you.” 

 The President touched on a vast range of topics including but not limited to the North Carolina special election, opioids, Venezuela, the Paris Climate accords, African-American unemployment, immigration, various Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortes (D-N.Y.) and 2020 candidate South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, plastic straws, and his many accomplishments as president. He also took the opportunity to repeat his attacks on Baltimore from earlier this summer, which he had described as “disgusting” and “rodent-infested.” 

“We’re going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule,” he said, including Los Angeles and San Francisco in his assault. “These are great American cities, and they’re an embarrassment—what the Democrats have let happen. Republicans want to rebuild our inner cities and provide a future of limitless opportunity for all Americans.”

Protesters surrounded the hotel where Trump spoke, yelling abuse at the presidential motorcade. In response, Trump tweeted.

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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