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Lowest Unemployment in 51 Years: Trump Cites Booming Economy in 2020 Re-election Kickoff

06-19-2019
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(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Thousands of enthusiastic Trump supporters packed the Amway Convention Center in Orlando for the kickoff of the president's 2020 re-election campaign.

"I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term," the president announced after being introduced by First Lady Melania Trump.

Many waited in line for 40 hours to get a seat inside the 20,000-seat center. Some even camped out in tents.

"I want to support my president and the country," said one woman.

During his hour-and-a-half speech, the president touted his accomplishments such as the booming US economy.

"The unemployment rate is the lowest rate it's been in over 51 years," he said. 

He also highlighted his foreign policy success, emphasizing closer relations with Israel.
 
"We have repaired America's friendship with our cherished ally the state of Israel," said Trump. "And as I heard (Vice President) Mike (Pence) saying before, we recognized the true capital of Israel and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem.” 

On immigration, the president repeated his earlier statement to begin deporting millions of people living here illegally. He also led the crowd in what's become a rallying cry for his supporters.

"And we are building the wall," he said. "We're going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year." 

Trump then turned to the Democratic field, tagging them as radicals out to destroy the country.

"No matter what label they use, a vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream," he said.

Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders quickly fired back.
 
"An hour-and-a-half speech of lies, distortions and total absolute nonsense," argued Sanders.

Democratic front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden claimed the president's actions and rhetoric are "dividing us."

The president begins his campaign in the face of some tough issues.  

This week, he's sending 1,000 troops to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran. The Islamic regime is threatening to take steps towards making a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile the president is facing criticism from business groups over tariffs on Chinese goods as he negotiates a trade deal. He says he's making progress. 

"I spoke to President Xi," Trump said. "Terrific president, a great leader of China, spoke to him this morning at length. And we'll see what happens. But we are going to have a good deal and a fair deal or we're not going to have a deal at all and that's okay too."

A deal with China could provide a timely economic boost in key battleground states where the president is trailing in the polls.

Florida is considered a must-win state for Democrats and Republicans.

While Trump won the "sunshine state" in 2016, a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows Biden leading Trump there by 9 points, and Sanders up by six in a separate head-to-head contest with Trump.  
 

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