Trump vows to ‘save’ deep-blue New York City in massive, historic Bronx rally

Former President Donald Trump broke political convention by visiting one of New York City’s most Democratic neighborhoods, a city not necessarily known for being Republican-friendly.

On Thursday, Trump rallied what his campaign estimated to be 25,000 supporters at Crotona Park in the Bronx, far exceeding the 3,500 originally expected, and likely including people who lined up outside the venue.

“I’m here tonight to say that we’re going to build New York City back, and we’re going to build it back very quickly,” Trump said after the speech, vowing to bring safety and better schools back to the city. “We’re going to make New York bigger and better and more amazing than ever.”

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Former President Donald Trump held a rally on May 23, 2024, in the historically Democratic neighborhood of South Bronx in New York City. (Spencer Pratt/Getty Images)

Trump praised New York’s history but lamented that the city is now “a city in decline.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said, pointing to violent crimes taking place on the city’s subways and in homeless encampments.

Trump also slammed President Biden, saying he was “not getting the job done” for the people of the Bronx and was “woefully incompetent.”

“If New Yorkers can’t save this city, nobody can,” Trump declared to cheers. “Who says you can’t win New York?”

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Trump supporters in the Bronx

Supporters of Donald Trump try to catch a glimpse of the former president during a rally in Crotona Park in the Bronx, New York City, on May 23, 2024. (Fox News Digital/Michael Lewis)

If elected, he pledged to work with Democratic Gov. Kathy Hockle and Democratic Mayor Eric Adams to rebuild the city and state, including fixing the subway system, cleaning up parks and getting homeless and mentally ill people off the streets.

Trump also used his speech to slam the economic downturn facing the country under Biden, stressing that it has hit Black and Hispanic families the hardest, and repeated some of his usual rhetoric about energy, inflation and “weakness” overseas.

Near the end of his speech, he recited the Al Wilson song “The Snake,” which he often uses as an allegory criticizing uncontrolled illegal immigration.

The several thousand people who came to meet the former president were a diverse group that included black, Hispanic, white, Asian and Muslim supporters, as noted by Fox News Digital. Many of those in attendance came from as far away as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The former president promoted his visit on social media ahead of the rally, with his campaign declaring, “He is not afraid to take his message to every borough of New York and every corner of this great nation because he believes his message will win.”

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Trump Bronx Rally

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in the South Bronx borough of New York City on May 23, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate in decades to actively campaign in New York City for a general election, and if he accomplishes what many see as an impossible feat, he would win the city for the first time in 40 years.

Trump received less than 10% of the vote in the Bronx when he won the 2016 presidential election. When he lost his reelection bid in 2020, his approval rating there rose to 16%. Biden wins He received 83.5% of the vote, but new polls show the former president is gaining support among black and Hispanic voters.

The Trump campaign believes the former president can deal a blow to Biden’s support among both demographics.

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Democrats planned a counter-protest to the mass rally, with the Bronx Democrats holding their own event in the same park. Fox News Digital saw a small group of protesters, possibly several hundred strong, outside the event site, but police cleared them away without any major disruption.

The incident occurred during a break in Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan, which is due to resume on Tuesday for closing arguments after a recess for Memorial Day, a federal holiday.

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