Former President Trump comes to Montgomery for GOP dinner
Former President Donald Trump was in Montgomery Friday night to speak at the Alabama Republican Party summer dinner.
Trump arrived at the Montgomery Regional Airport late this afternoon. His motorcade took him to the Renaissance Hotel and Montgomery Convention Center for the event.
This was his first public event since being arraigned in Washington, DC, on Thursday on charges that he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“Any time they file an indictment, we go way up in the polls,” Trump said. “We need one more indictment to close out this election. One more indictment, and this election is closed out. Nobody has even a chance.”
The former president spoke to about 2,700 people, starting his speech around 7:20PM and wrapping up after 8PM. Tickets were $250. Special packages topped out at $50,000.
Trump took the stage to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” flashing a thumbs-up at the crowd, raising his fist and taking in a standing ovation of nearly three minutes.
“We’re gonna be here for a little while,” he joked, asking the crowd to take a seat.
Trump has continued to receive endorsements from GOP elected officials throughout the investigations and criminal cases, including on Friday from all six of the state’s Republican U.S. House members.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville introduced Trump.
“He’s had a tough week. We need to stand behind him,” Tuberville said. “He needs encouragement. They’re after him.” Repeating Trump’s frequent refrain, he added, “They’re after you.”
Trump told the crowd that he would widen Interstate 65 to six lanes from Huntsville to Mobile if he were elected. That has become a priority of Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who is considered a potential candidate for governor in 2026. Trump also spoke about this week’s decision by the Biden administration to keep Space Command in Colorado, rather than move it to Huntsville, which Trump had announced before the end of his term.
Trump spoke to a friendly audience. Outside the hotel, there were a handful of protestors with signs standing across the street. His supporters told WAKA 8 that he is the victim of political persecution. Opponents say he has never been presidential material.
The Alabama Republican Party says this was its most successful summer dinner event ever. The Renaissance Hotel says it set a record for a dinner attendance.
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)