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Trump embraces ‘bloodbath’ remark in Michigan to attack Biden on border

Trump embraces ‘bloodbath’ remark in Michigan to attack Biden on border

Former President Trump embraced the term “bloodbath” Tuesday as he put the spotlight on President Biden’s handling of the border during a visit to Michigan.

Trump, making his first trip to the battleground state since February, painted a bleak picture of a country overrun by migrants under Biden’s leadership and vowed to crack down on the border immediately upon taking office if reelected. In doing so, he utilized a phrase that landed him in hot water just a few weeks ago.

“I stand before you today to declare that Joe Biden’s border bloodbath — and that’s what it is, it’s a bloodbath,” Trump said in remarks from Grand Rapids.

“They tried to use that term incorrectly on me two weeks ago. You know, it’s all about misinformation,” he added. “But it’s a border bloodbath, and it’s destroying our country and it’s a very bad thing happening. It’s going to end on the day that I take office.”

Trump stood behind a placard that read “Stop Biden’s Border Bloodbath” and was surrounded by members of law enforcement.

Prior to Trump’s rally in Michigan, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced the creation of a website, BidenBloodbath.com, to highlight the situation at the border and how the surge in migrants has affected battleground states including Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The former president echoed much of the same over-the-top rhetoric about immigration that he has deployed in recent months to raise alarm about the situation at the southern border, and he reiterated his pledge to carry out the largest deportation effort in history.

He suggested it is nefarious that many migrants crossing into the U.S. were men of military age. He claimed without evidence that leaders in countries around the world were emptying prisons and mental asylums to send migrants to the U.S. And he specifically highlighted instances of violent crime involving migrants in recent weeks.

“We will stop the plunder, rape, slaughter and destruction of our American suburbs, cities and towns,” Trump said. “We will end deadly sanctuary cities immediately. I will shift massive portions of federal law enforcement to immigration enforcement. And we will impose a Naval blockade on the cartels, and we will hit the cartels very hard.”

Trump highlighted the case of Ruby Garcia, a 25-year-old who was killed last month in Grand Rapids. Authorities reportedly said the alleged killer was in the U.S. illegally and had been deported to Mexico in fall 2020 before reentering the country at some point.

The former president vowed there would be justice for Garcia’s killer before briefly bemoaning his own legal problems.

“I’m the only one that has to put up a bond. I didn’t do anything wrong. I had to put up a bond this morning for $175 million,” Trump said, referring to a judgment he was ordered to pay in a fraud case in New York involving his business dealings. “I did nothing wrong. They can shoot somebody, kill somebody and walk out of jail an hour later.”

The use of “bloodbath” marks a conscious decision from Trump and his aides to lean into a remark that generated controversy when the former president first used it last month during a rally in Ohio while he warned China against attempting to open up factories in Mexico to sell cars to the United States.

“No, we’re going to put a 100 percent tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars if I get elected,” Trump said. “Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars, they’re building massive factories.”

Critics quickly seized on the comments and suggested Trump was warning of political violence. But Trump and his allies pointed to the broader context of his remarks and insisted the former president was being unfairly taken out of context.

Michigan is expected to be one of a few critical battleground states that will determine November’s election. Biden won the state in 2020 by roughly 155,000 votes, but polls show a neck and neck race there with less than eight months until Election Day.

The Biden campaign blasted Trump on Tuesday over a meeting with Michigan law enforcement officials, arguing it was at odds with his rhetoric and record while he was president.

“Donald Trump didn’t care about law and order when violent crime rose under his watch, he didn’t care when he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol, and he didn’t care when he told victims of mass shootings to ‘get over it,’” Alyssa Bradley, the Biden campaign’s communications director in Michigan, said in a statement.

“The idea of Trump ‘standing’ with Michigan law enforcement is laughable from the same person who has consistently disrespected and tried to defund police programs when he was president,” Bradley added. “ He can’t paper over that dangerous record.”

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