(CNN)President Donald Trump traveled to suburban Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday night in hopes of dragging state Sen. Dan Bishop across the line in today’s hotly contested 9th District special election race. Trump delivered his now-familiar rambling address to supporters in hopes of accomplishing that goal — painting Democrats as a secular party of America haters.
THE POINT — NOW ON YOUTUBE!
In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe!
1. “North Carolina will truly recover so fast. I know you people so well. Let’s not even talk about it. Let’s not even talk about it.”Yeah, we shouldn’t talk about Hurricane Dorian. Probably for the best. And away we go!2. “You know we won the greatest election, certainly one of them but maybe the greatest but we won one of the greatest.”Read MoreSo was it the greatest or just one of the greatest? I am confused. Also, the 2016 election was 1,036 days ago.3. “They’ll say, you know, George Washington had a great election, too. The fake news, right? The fake news.”Just the other day, in casual conversation, I did say, “you know, George Washington had a great election, too.” True story. *not a true story4. “Every time I meet a foreign leader, almost every time, they say congratulations on what you’ve done with the economy.”I know this is un-fact-checkable but does anyone actually believe that “every” foreign leader Trump meets congratulates him?5. “They tried to do the recession thing, you know they tried the Russia thing. That didn’t work. They tried many other things. I always say, the media and their partner, the Democrats.”The idea that the media is somehow responsible for recession concerns from the public is beyond ridiculous. Maybe that whole trade war with China — remember the one Trump said would be easy to win? — is more responsible for current uncertainty about the economy? I don’t know. Just spitballing.6. “I have about like 10 women in the front row and you come from North Carolina and they travel all over the place. Hold up your hands. These are great women. I see them so much and I must say they have other things to do. They look rich as hell to me.”There are actually a group of people who come to most if not all Trump campaign rallies. WSJ’s Mike Bender wrote about them here.7. “More Americans are working today than ever before in the history of our country almost 160 million Americans.”True! But misleading. More Americans are working than ever before because there are more Americans than ever before. It’s like taking credit for more Americans breathing than ever before. It’s true, but not totally because of anything you did.8. “We need them going down to Congress and helping, but they can do it.”Technically the Capitol is north of North Carolina. So they would be going up to Congress.9. “You know the other side, I don’t think they’re big believers. They’re not big believers in religion that I can tell you.”What evidence did Trump provide for saying that Democrats, as a party, don’t have religion? Oh, none.10. “Those statements are a little bit, sort of not too good. Huh? What is the word we want to use here? A little — no. No. No. They’re pushing a little hard and it’s not — it’s not working.”I think what Trump is suggesting here is that Democrats are releasing statements about how they are irreligious? What is the word I want to use to describe how he explained this? “Confusing” seems to fit.11. “A lot of illegal voting going on out there by the way, a lot of illegal voting.”Trump is referring to the existence of sanctuary cities in California and then repeating his evidence-free claim that there are lots of illegal votes being cast in California. Just as a reminder: The reason that there is a special election in North Carolina’s 9th District today is because a consultant for the Republican candidate in 2018 allegedly committed wide-spread absentee voter fraud. Good times.12. “Tomorrow is your chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left — and it’s got to be — and by the way we’re building that wall and it’s going up very big.”The “America-hating left.” Even for Trump, that’s rhetoric that is way, way beyond the pale. Also, the 65 miles of wall have been built. It’s not clear how “big” that section of wall is.13. “And you think it’s easy to get money when you have the entire Democrat party and they control the House and we want to change that.”To be clear: Republicans held the Senate and House majority for the first two years of Trump’s presidency. And border wall money still didn’t get approved.14. “People have been standing outside for two days to get in, so this happens.”Someone in the crowd apparently fainted, which led Trump to make this claim. It’s not clear where he got this information. Trump also said before that rally that people got “soaking wet” waiting in line. It didn’t rain in Fayetteville, North Carolina, all day.15. “The weather wasn’t so great to be traveling today. They said, ‘maybe we could skip North Carolina today, sir.’ I said, ‘no thank you.’ I said, ‘no thank you.'”Uh, no.16. “You have to see outside. Thousands and thousands of people who couldn’t get in and when people wait two or three days to come in and especially these first rows.”According to the Raleigh News & Observer, there were around 6,500 people inside the venue and another 2,000-3,000 outside. Again, it’s not clear where he is getting the information that people were waiting for days to get into the rally.17. “Did Don Jr. give a good speech? I heard that. They all said he was on fire. Well, he’s fighting. He loves his country. My son loves his country.”Don Jr. 2024?18. “Diamond and Silk. They are incredible. Incredible people, thank you very much. Thank you, what a job.”Sure, OK. Got it. Right.19. “I love the farmers.””I love lamp.” — Brick Tamland20. “So now it’s just different and now it’s working the other way and tariffs are a beautiful thing when you know how to use them. They’re a beautiful thing.”Other things Trump has called “beautiful:” football players making tackles, coal, chocolate cake, Belgium.21. “They want to have drugs pouring into our country.”Really? Democrats “want” drugs pouring into the country? Why is this not a bigger story?!?!?22. “Well, every inch of wall that we put up is vital and we’re putting up miles and miles and we intend by next year at the end of the year to have anywhere between 400 and 500 miles of wall built and this is serious wall. This is the real deal. Serious wall.”65 miles.23. “And we have the worst laws. We have the weakest laws in the history of any country.””We have the worst laws.” — The President of the United States24. “The Russian hoax was a pure hoax.”The special counsel’s investigation was very clear that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election with the express intent of helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. Russia did so because they believed a Trump presidency was more beneficial to their interests. Which, last time I checked, is not how dictionaries define “hoax.”25. “I was even (ready) to stand out in the rain and get my hair soaking wet, but they said it was a little bit out of your district.”It didn’t rain in Fayetteville. I can’t emphasize this enough.26. “But it’s my hair. May not be great, but I will say it’s better than most of my friends who are the same age. A lot better. A lot.”Totally normal!27. “We have screens and loudspeakers and everything. It’s really amazing what’s going on out there. But after years of building up other countries we are finally building up our country, that’s the bottom line.”This is a classic example of how Trump goes from a long soliloquy about, uh, something, and then swerves back to the teleprompter and his prepared remarks with absolutely no warning. The result is, well, hard to follow. 28. “Did you ever really sort of feel where you don’t even have to treat people nicely? You don’t have any choice, you have to vote for me. I can leave right now.”Trump’s point — I think — here is that the Democrats running for president are so bad and so destructive for the country that it doesn’t matter how he treats people because he is the only option if they want America to not go down the crapper. Modern-day presidential!29. “Democrats are now the party of high taxes, high crime, open borders, late term abortion and socialism. They’re socialists.”This is — and will be — Trump’s 2020 message. He will repeat it until every voter in the country can recite it by memory. And while it’s a gross exaggeration that departs from established facts in some key places — “they’re socialists,” for one — it could work.30. “In fact, we are keeping even more promises by far than we made or than we promised, so many more. So many more. So many more.”But, how can that… [head explodes]31. “We had to do something and you know budgets are fine. I love budgets and we’ll get to that. Don’t worry about it but we had to rebuild.”Well I guess I don’t have to worry! [turns out lights, goes to bed]32. “We have new everything.”Same.33. “A vote for any Democrat in 2020 and a vote for any Democrat tomorrow in North Carolina is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream.””The American dream is dead.” — Donald Trump34. “Boom. Boom. Made in the USA. If you want Made in America, I don’t care. What do you like better? Made in America or Made in the USA?”Real quote.35. “So in 2016, we had in my opinion, the greatest phrase in the history of politics. Make America Great Again.”Understatement has never really been Trump’s strong suit. Like, at all.36. “The best, I think it was maybe the greatest — 2016.”Uh, OK.37. “So I always — I’ve gotten extremely cautious.”[narrator voice] He hasn’t.38. “I stood in the White House with the first lady that first night and I said, ‘Wow, look at this. That’s the bedroom of Abraham Lincoln, you have to see this.’ It’s so perfectly done and so the way it was. That’s the bedroom of the great Abe Lincoln.”What an image!39. “Under the normal rules, I’ll be out in 2024 so we may have to go for an extra term.”If you think he is totally joking about trying to run for a third term, let me introduce you to the entire life so far of Donald Trump.40. “Tom Brady had a pretty good game the other night. Right? And how good a coach, whether you like it or not, I know you’re North Carolina but how good a coach, in all fairness, right, is Coach Belichick. How good? How good is he? How good is he?”“We’re on to Cincinnati.”41. “I’m not a vain person.”No words.42. “But I look better under an incandescent light than these crazy lights that are beaming down on us.”Honestly, same.43. “And we are going to keep on winning, winning, winning, we’re going to keep on winning.”I for one am not bored of winning yet. And this feels like a good place to end.