Starting off wishing Orlando a “Merry Christmas” as he bounded onstage — surrounded by Christmas trees — Donald Trump came out to the cheers of a huge crowd in Orlando, Florida Friday evening.
Orlando’s Fox News 35 estimated that the December 16 crowd numbered up to eleven thousand at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
After his Christmas wish to those in attendance, Trump humbly said he is in Orlando to thank the good people of Florida and the U.S. for supporting his candidacy.
The real estate mogul vowed that his watchwords will be “America first.”
To the applause of those before him, the President-elect went on to list a series of things he and Vice President-elect Mike Pence intend to do to fix the problems facing America after they are given the oath of office in January.
Trump then launched into his typical slam of the press, calling them “very dishonest.” He demanded that the cameras turn around to show how massive the crowd is and then drew raucous cheers by saying next time the media should be put at the back of the room instead of having a prominent place up front to cover his rallies.
At that, and much to Trump’s amusement, the crowd spontaneously erupted in a chant of “move them back, move them back!”
Trump recounted the media’s constant drumbeat that he could never win the election. The President-elect even joked that the media held back calling the election for him for so long into the next morning — just to torture Trump and his supporters.
The constantly incorrect polling came in for some ribbing from the podium, with Trump saying he was even preparing to lose because the polls were so universally dismal on his chances. Yet, he noted, state after state went his way on Election Day.
Next, calling him “Evan McMuffin,” Trump needled Utah opponent Even McMullin for coming in third despite the “dishonest polling” that so often claimed McMullin was on the verge of beating Trump in Utah.
Indeed, liberals across the media were salivating over McMullin’s failed campaign for president. In fact, FiveThirtyEight.com even featured an October 13 article excitedly proclaiming, “How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency.”
Insisting that the media was attempting to suppress his voters, Donald Trump had the crowd in stitches as he noted that many in the media were “Sweating, crying, throwing up all over the place” as they were forced to call state after state for him.
Trump proceeded to hold the crowd in rapt attention during his recounting of Election Day and the resulting “dishonest” coverage he received that night. Speaking in his accessible vernacular, the President-elect had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Discussing his economic agenda, Trump said his slogans will be “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” and “Buy American and Hire American.”
At one point Trump held an impromptu poll of the crowd, asking them which they liked better: “Made in America,” or “Made in the USA?” The latter got the most applause.
Trump also made light of political correctness, noting that he was chosen Time magazine’s “person” of the year instead of being chosen “man” of the year. Trump asked the crowd which they preferred, “person” or “man.” The crowd roared with approval for “man” as opposed to “person.”
“Dream big and bold and daring,” Trump urged the crowd as he closed. “I’m asking you to believe in yourself and asking you to believe in America.”
“Together we will make America great again,” he said to the cheers of the crowd.
Twitter users, some in the crowd and others watching at home, were also fired up for Trump’s Orlando “thank you” tour.
A group of “Women for Trump” supporters tweeted out a photo as they waited to enter the arena in Orlando.
— Savitrie (@DearSavitrie) December 16, 2016
Others noted the high level of patriotism, Tweeted their pleasure at seeing all the Christmas trees on stage, and generally reveled in the appearance.
— FLPutter22🇺🇸 (@FLPutter22) December 16, 2016
— John Kirtley (@johnkirtley) December 17, 2016
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.