This Trump Indiana Rally Quote About Women Came Out Of Nowhere — And It Wasn't The Only One
On Thursday, President Donald Trump arrived in the state of Indiana for a campaign-style rally, appearing in front of a large crowd of his supporters. And in his usual style, the speech was meandering, boisterous, and hit on a number of familiar topics ― for instance, Trump's Indiana rally included him shouting "we love women" as he claimed credit for their low rate of unemployment.
This is far from the first time Trump's used this kind of line in addressing his supporters, and he didn't limit it just to women. He also shouted-out low rates of unemployment among black and Hispanic Americans, tacitly taking credit for the positive numbers.
The current unemployment rate is indeed very low ― the overall rate is just a shade below 4 percent ― although an examination of the rate over the last several years suggests it's just the continuation of a trend set during the Obama administration, rather than anything unique to Trump's presidency.
That hasn't kept Trump from bragging about the numbers, however; he did the same thing at a recent NRA conference in Texas, and made much the same point on Thursday, as Aaron Rupar of ThinkProgress extensively detailed on Twitter.
"African-American, Hispanic, women! Do we love women? Women," Trump told the assembled crowd.
Trump also returned to some of his distinct campaign-era preoccupations, including referencing former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, who retired in 2008 to become a broadcaster. The 77-year-old Knight ― who was ultimately fired from his job at Indiana over allegations he physically abused one of his players ― publicly endorsed Trump in 2016. Knight denied the abuse claims, but was later fired after the release of video showing him putting his hand around a player's neck.
Trump name-dropped Knight to the Indiana crowd, and referenced talking to him on the phone, providing his own "bom-bom-bom" sound effects as he pantomimed dialing the phone.
"Bobby Knight's cell phone number, isn't that great? And, I go bom-bom-bom, ba-bah, ba-bah bah! And he picks up the phone, and he said, 'I've been waiting for you to call.' Can you believe that?"
That wasn't Trump's only sports reference. He also mentioned New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, which was a somewhat daring decision given where he was speaking. The only NFL team located in the state of Indiana is the Indianapolis Colts, who at their recent height during the 2000s were an arch-rival of the Patriots.
Trump's reference of Belichick ― the two are reportedly friends ― was met with a pretty mixed reaction from the crowd.
"Coach ― by the way, not from this area, but he's one of the greats of all time ― Coach Belichick, right? Great guy! We gotta love him. No, no, we love him," Trump said, as unhappy grumblings ricocheted through the crowd. "He knows how to win also. But we had a lot of coaches, they like us, they understand winning and they like us, and that's what we've been doing."
Knight and Belichick weren't Trump's only sports references, as he also mentioned Notre Dame and the Indianapolis 500. He even appeared to reference those familiar jabs at the size of his hands, stating that "we put our large, beautiful hands on our hearts" for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Trump has frequently been the target of jokes about the size of his hands, dating back to when former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter would call him a "short-fingered vulgarian" in the pages of Spy magazine.
In short, it was definitely a rally that had some decidedly peculiar moments, although that's hardly anything new for the president. Despite having won the 2016 presidential election more than 18 months ago, he's continued to hold campaign-style rallies in which he's rehashed many of his various squabbles and achievements as a candidate.
His crowds have done the same, too ― according to reports, his supporters in Indiana were chanting "lock her up," a reference to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, well before he even took the stage.
Trump also unveiled what he told the crowd will be his 2020 campaign slogan, and it probably won't come as much surprise: He'll apparently be going with "Keep America Great," so get ready to hear that phrase a lot in the next couple of years.