Although President Donald Trump’s first rally since the Chinese coronavirus pandemic broke out in the United States fell short of attendance expectations, hundreds of thousands of people watched the president’s wide-ranging speech online.
The New York Times reports roughly 500,000 people tuned into President Trump’s “Great American Comeback” rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on YouTube across various live feeds.
The Trump campaign anticipated a packed crowd at the rally’s venue, the 19,000-seat BOK center, with hundreds, if not thousands of more supporters watching the event from outside. On Friday, the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said over 800,000 people registered for tickets, branding it the “biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x.”
Just passed 800,000 tickets. Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x.
Saturday is going to be amazing! https://t.co/u2tQ812odW
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 14, 2020
The Trump campaign blamed the lower-than-expected turnout on “protestors, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media.”
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement:
President Trump is rallying in Tulsa with thousands of energetic supporters, a stark contrast to the sleepy campaign being run by Joe Biden from his basement in Delaware. Sadly, protestors interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally. Radical protestors, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out.
President Trump was also originally scheduled to address an overflow crowd on a separate stage nearby the BOK center, but that part of the event was canceled.
— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) June 20, 2020
Despite the lower-than-expected crowd size, an energized President Trump fired off zingers at his presidential opponent, Joe Biden, and vowed to rebuild an economy devastated by the coronavirus.
“Joe Biden is not the leader of his party,” Trump said, blasting those who rioted and looted in response to George Floyd’s death. “Joe Biden is a helpless puppet of the radical left,” he said, drawing nods from supporters behind the stage.
“And he’s not radical left. I don’t think he knows what he is anymore. But he was never radical left. But he’s controlled by the radical left, and now he’s really controlled,” the president added.
The president also warned that Democrats are attempting to erase America’s heritage.
“The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our beautiful monuments, tear down our statues, and punish, cancel, and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control,” he stated.