3.25.23 – The Dallas Morning News

“Trump kicks off campaign in Waco, calling 2024 race ‘the final battle’”

By Gromer Jeffers, Jr. and Aaron Torres

A close up of the american flag

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  I wish you could see the numerous photos in this article taken by Shafkat Anowar, Staff Photographer, because they captured the tremendous excitement of the event and the patriotic fervor demonstrated by the estimated 18,500 who attended Trump’s rally. Yes, Central Texans did show up. Yes, Central Texans do remember the many, many accomplishments of Trump’s years as President. Yes, Central Texans are desperate to replace Biden. Yes, the Trump rally was “the real thing” and should make all Democrats in this country start shaking in their boots.]

Excerpts from this article:


WACO — With mounting legal troubles and challengers within his own party, former President Donald Trump formally kicked off his third campaign for the White House on Saturday, telling thousands of supporters [estimated by law enforcement to be 18,500] in Waco that he would win the presidency and return America to greatness.

“And 2024 is the final battle. That’s going to be the big one,” Trump said. “You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over and America will be a free nation again.”

Trump said he was proud to be in Texas, a state where he has been a dominant figure in politics not only through his presidential campaigns, but his endorsement of candidates up and down Lone Star ballots. He’s made Texas a second home, building a grassroots and campaign donor network that’s as strong as in any state.

“From Waco to El Paso, from Houston to Dallas, and from the Red River to the Rio Grande, the people of Texas live and breathe the fierce spirit of independence,” Trump said.

Saturday’s Waco event proved he’s still a major attraction, as law-enforcement officials said more than 18,500 people jammed into a regional airport’s event space to hear the former president. Residents stood in line for several hours and traffic was backed up on streets near the airport.

“It’s great to be back in this wonderful state with thousands of die-hard patriots,” Trump said, adding that he wanted to visit supporters in a deep Republican area.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who served as state chairman of Trump’s previous presidential campaigns, told The Dallas Morning News during the rally that the former president would win the GOP nomination for president — and carry Texas.

“Nobody can beat Donald Trump in the Republican primary,” Patrick said.

Patrick later joined Trump with several Texas leaders and members of Congress. On Saturday, Trump announced that he has the backing of 11 Texas members of Congress, including GOP Reps. Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Michael Burgess of Pilot Point, Pat Fallon of Sherman, Roger Williams of Austin, and Pete Sessions, who represents the Waco area. He also was endorsed Saturday by Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham.

…He added: “Justice will only be done when we’ve thrown this repulsive political class out of office.”

He’s enjoyed tremendous financial campaign support in Texas, a state that gave him more money than any other, according to campaign-finance records from 2016 and 2020… 


Before his speech, Trump showcased a series of political backers, including Patrick.

“It all starts in the Lone Star State, where everything else does,” Patrick said, before doing an unflattering imitation of President Joe Biden. “In Texas, we stand with you, Donald Trump.”

He then praised Trump, saying that “no one accomplished more in four years than Donald Trump in the history of the presidency.”

Patrick entered the stage as the song “How Far to Waco” played and said Trump’s visit to Waco had nothing to do with the 30th anniversary of the Branch Davidian siege.

“That is pure bulls---, that is fake news,” Patrick said. “I picked Waco.”

Several Republican members of Congress attended the rally and pledged support to Trump, who they say is still the leader of the GOP.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., attacked Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio, for not doing enough to secure the border before warning that the GOP should not abandon Trump or his policies.

“This is a Donald Trump party,” he said. “I’m a Donald Trump Republican.”

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said Trump was the best defense against Biden and his policies.

“There is only one true leader of the Republican Party and his name is Donald Trump,” Greene said.

In his speech, Trump promised to fight against open borders, out-of-control crime and bad economic policies.

 Trump promised to be tough on illegal immigration, saying he would put more border security officers in place and stage one of the largest deportation programs in history.

He said he would end the war in Ukraine through a settlement in “24 hours.”

“I will prevent World War III,” he said. “I will end the inflation nightmare and build the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he added.

He said he would make America energy independent, promising the production of more Texas oil. And he said he would fight for school choice and push to have parents elect school principals.

He also said he wanted term limits for members of Congress.

Trump had harsh things to say about Biden, at one point calling him cognitively impaired.

“Either the deep state destroys America or we destroy the deep state,” he said.