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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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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