In a controversial move, former President Donald Trump likened his situation to that of the late anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, insinuating he’s a target of political vendetta by state and federal prosecutors.
Trump, visiting New Hampshire to sign up for the presidential primary, conducted a rally discussing a range of topics. Notably, he criticized President Joe Biden’s reaction to the Hamas assault on Israel and promised a missile defense system, reminiscent of Israel’s Iron Dome, over the U.S.
Yet, the crux of his intense speech revolved around the legal troubles he’s currently mired in. Drawing a parallel to Mandela’s imprisonment, Trump said, “I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela because I’m doing it for a reason. We need to shield our nation from these extremists wrecking it.”
At present, Trump faces multiple indictments, some of which allege he inflated his financial stature, manipulated campaign funds during the 2016 run, unlawfully sought to reverse the 2020 election results, and retained classified information at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
This isn’t Trump’s first appearance in the New Hampshire primary. He interestingly became the inaugural ex-president to register in person more than once. Following his registration, he left a message, “Vote for Trump and solve your problems,” on a poster all candidates sign at the statehouse in Concord.
Candidates have a limited window, until October 27, to officially register. The procedure is relatively straightforward; basic presidential prerequisites, a brief form, and a $1,000 fee. Historically, participation has varied, with a record 61 candidates in 1992.
In both 2016 and 2020, Trump clinched the Republican primaries in New Hampshire, though he couldn’t replicate the success in the general elections. Eight years ago, he registered on the first day, while in 2020, then-Vice President Mike Pence filed on his behalf, adhering to a practice many incumbents follow.
Unique to his visit this time was the heightened security, with only chosen supporters allowed in specific areas and limited building access.
Trump’s financial prowess was a point of pride during a 2015 visit. Fast forward to his recent visit, and he cited his commanding lead in current New Hampshire polls, pointing out the waning support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Later, during his rally, Trump further critiqued Biden’s stance on the Hamas-Israel conflict, labeling his address as a severe failing towards Israel and a risky Oval Office speech. He warned that Biden’s approach to Hamas and Russia could jeopardize American support for Israel.
As reported by PBS Reiterating his commitment to national security, Trump pledged a state-of-the-art missile defense system for the U.S., capable of neutralizing threats from global adversaries.
In the days following, Trump reverted to his 2016 anti-immigration narrative, advocating for stricter travel bans and stringent criteria for immigrants, linking potential security threats to the influx from the southern border.