Donald Trump compared himself to Nelson Mandela in what has been described by the Associated Press as a “dark and at times profane speech” Monday at a Derry, New Hampshire campaign rally—where the former president even told his fans that they didn’t need to worry about voting come election day next year.
During his speech, Trump said he would have “plenty of votes”—enough that instead of voting, his fans should “get out there and watch those voters,” presumably referring to supporters of his eventual opponent. “You don’t have to vote, don’t worry about voting. The voting, we got plenty of votes.”
Trump had earlier in the day visited the state Capitol to formally file the paperwork needed to enter New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary race.
Trump tells crowd at New Hampshire rally they don’t have to vote: “You don’t have to vote, don’t worry about voting. The voting, we got plenty of votes.” Sounds like he’s going to rig the election. (Video: RSBN) pic.twitter.com/BT6GFCiFZC
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) October 23, 2023
While at times going on particularly outlandish tangents, Trump remained the victim throughout Monday’s speech. The former president targeted New York City judge Arthur Engoron—the same justice overseeing the former president’s civil fraud trial that threatened Trump with jail time last week over a failed gag order.
New York Attorney General Letitia James was also in Trump’s sights.
“This radical left judge. He’s a Trump hating judge...hates Trump. We have a judge that is out of control and he is totally afraid of peek-a-boo James. He’s intimidated by her,” Trump said, adding his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, “is probably the most valuable home anywhere in the United States, probably by far.”
Trump—who is fighting numerous criminal indictments and civil trials including allegations he attempted to change the results of the 2020 presidential election—likened himself to anti-apartheid legend Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated from 1964 to 1982 for opposing South Africa’s racial apartheid system. He was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Bad things are happening, but we keep going up,” Trump said.
“If you want to challenge the result of an election, they hound you. But we don’t get scared — we don’t get scared. I’ll tell you what, I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela, because I’m doing it for a reason.”
”We’ve got to save our country from these fascists, these lunatics that we’re dealing with. They’re horrible people and they’re destroying our country.”
Trump used the opportunity to criticize President Joe Biden’s moves following Hamas’ attack on Israel Oct.7, even promising to build an missile defense system–one like Israel’s Iron Dome– in the U.S., one “capable of blasting Chinese, Russian, and Iranian missiles out of our skies.”
“Americans deserve an Iron Dome, and that’s what we’re going to have,” Trump said.
He described Biden’s speech to the nation last week as “a grotesque betrayal of Israel” and “one of the most dangerous and deluded speeches ever delivered from the Oval Office.”
Reflecting Biden's comments in 2018 “I’d take [Trump] behind the gym and beat the hell out of him” if they were back in high school, Trump replied: “I dream of that. You know what I’d do with him? I’d hit him right in that fake nose. He’d have plastic lying all over the floor.” Trump made the comments as he made punching gestures in the air.
He even scored a round of rambunctious applause after imitating the U.S. President.
In true form, he brought out some of his greatest hits, talking Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, but with added flair. Trump said Kim was “getting very anxious again, he thinks Biden is a total–I won’t tell you the word he used but a very bad word. And you better be careful.”