Forget the allegations of rape or the federal indictment alleging he deliberately avoided returning classified documents. Donald Trump received the Oakland County Republican Party’s “Man of the Decade” award Sunday night—part of an appearance that saw him serve as the keynote speaker at the 2023 Lincoln Day Dinner in Michigan.
Hoping to win back critical ground he lost between 2016 and 2020, Trump appeared in suburban Detroit, marking his first campaign appearance in the state. Tickets for the event sold for between $250 to $7,500, with a large crowd breaking Trump’s previous Michigan attendance record, according to The Oakland Press.
The former president said it was his second time receiving the award, though Rolling Stone pointed to a 2013 press release—the last time he was a keynote speaker at the event—from the group that makes no reference to it. According to Fact Check, Trump has claimed numerous times since the 2013 event he won the “Man of the Year” award. That fact is “dubious,” it noted.
“Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is the keynote speaker and he is the most infamous person on the planet right now,” former GOP state Rep. Ryan Berman, chair of this year’s dinner, told a reporter for the Detroit Free Press.
“No president has fought harder for Michigan than I have,” Trump said during his remarks, while making unfounded claims that the Biden administration’s electric vehicle goals will “decimate” the state and that “globalist vultures” in Washington have “viciously betrayed Michigan workers and families like nobody can even believe.”
“For seven years all of us have been fighting side by side to rescue our country from the sinister forces who truly hate our country and want to destroy it, and now we are approaching the most important battle of our lives,” Trump said, “adding this is the most important election we’ve had, without question.”
He repeated a number of greatest hits during his speech, including false claims of election fraud and a declaration that World War III is imminent—a war that only he can stop.
Trump claimed that if elected in 2024, before he even arrives at the Oval office, “I will have the war between Russia and Ukraine settled. I’ll do it in 24 hours. It’s not tough to do,” he boasted.
Trump added had he not been the Republican frontrunner, “all of this investigation bullshit would stop immediately.”
“I consider it a great badge of honor and courage,” he said. “Essentially I’m being indicted for you, 200 million people that love our country.”
Trump added he will immediately cut federal funding “for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity and other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content onto the lives of our children.” He also reiterated his call to end birthright citizenship, all of which was met with applause.
He focused much of his attacks on Joe Biden, claiming the President “is not in favor of religion” and a “catastrophe.” He added he had retired his “Crooked Hillary” nickname in preference of “Crooked Joe Biden.” He said: “I felt like Joe Biden needed it much more.” Though he did reserve time for a dig a Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—claiming he has “no personality.”
“We are a failing nation. A nation in decline … This is the final battle,” Trump said. With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State…drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists, marxists and fascists. We will defeat crooked Joe Biden. We will liberate America from these villains once and for all.”