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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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