Jan 29, 2022

Texas Politicos Praise Trump at First Rally in Texas Since Presidential Defeat

Reporting Texas

Attendees at Trump Rally in Conroe, Texas. Sam Stark/Reporting Texas

CONROE — Tens of thousands of ardent supporters of Donald Trump flooded the Montgomery County Fairgrounds 45 minutes north of Houston Saturday to show their support for a 2024 presidential bid by Trump.

Attendees donned shirts, hats, pins and even capes inscribed with slogans including “Trump Won” and “Keep America Great.” Others wore shirts with more provocative messages, such as “Biden sucks, Kamala swallows.”

After arriving on the stage about 30 minutes late, Trump bragged about the size of the crowd, attacked President Joe Biden and excoriated the people behind the lawsuits and  investigations he faces. Multiple investigations are delving into Trump’s businesses, potential election interference and role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“These prosecutors are vicious horrible people. They’re racists. … They’re mentally sick. … They’re not after me; they’re after you,” Trump said.

Texas’ top GOP elected officials spoke before Trump. They heaped praise on the former president and used incendiary political rhetoric. Speakers included Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. The scene reflected Trump’s vise-like grip on the Texas GOP and the prominent role his supporters will play in the upcoming Republican primary elections. 

Miller called elections in 2022 and 2024 “no longer about Republicans and Democrats. It’s no longer about conservatives and socialists. … It’s a race between patriots and traitors.”

Paxton, after invoking Germany in the 1930s and Communist China, praised the crowd for what he called “speaking out for what is right and what is just.”

“When a government steps in and starts taking those rights away, we the people have a right to stand up and fight,” Paxton said. 

“Texas will be leading the fight against the Joe Biden administration,” Paxton added to thunderous applause.

Patrick called Montgomery County, where the rally was held, “Trump Country like nowhere else in America.”

“The socialist leftists want to take our country from us,” Patrick told the mostly white crowd. “They want to make you ashamed of your history.” 

Some in the crowd booed as a video introducing Abbott played. “Texas loves President Donald J. Trump,” Abbott said to the crowd. “We don’t love you,” one member of the audience yelled.

Robert Williams traveled from College Station to attend the rally and was critical of Abbott.  “Abbott held onto the mask mandates for too long. Closed businesses and schools — that’s not what Texas is about,” Williams said.

Trump later told the crowd that Abbott “has my complete and total endorsement.”

For many in attendance, the months since the election have been frustrating as they unequivocally believe Trump won in 2020, despite numerous court rulings, audits and recounts finding no signs of election fraud.

“It was stolen,” Rick Fugate of Waverly said. “I know that.”

While Fugate has been frustrated with his perception of election fraud, it didn’t damper his excitement for the evening. 

“I want to see Trump come down the stairs and shake my hand,” Fugate said.