- Trump’s first official rally for his 2024 presidential bid kicked off on Saturday in Waco, Texas.
- Some have been alarmed by the symbolic link between Trump and a deadly cult siege 30 years ago.
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told rallygoers he was responsible for the location. ‘I picked Waco,” he said.
Dan Patrick, the Republican leader local press has dubbed “Trump’s man in Texas,” told the rollicking crowd at the former president’s first official rally for his 2024 presidential bid that he was the reason they were all there.
“I picked Waco,” the MAGA-aligned Texas lieutenant governor told rallygoers awaiting Donald Trump’s arrival on Saturday night.
Patrick said Trump called him a few weeks back, said he was thinking of coming to town, and urged Patrick to find a great spot to visit. Patrick told the attendees, many of whom had to walk several miles to the Waco regional airport because of a miles-long traffic jam on the two-lane road leading to the remote airstrip, that he immediately thought of two places — and Waco won.
Patrick added that any reports otherwise from the media “back there,” he said, motioning in Trumpian fashion to the reporters corralled opposite the main stage, were “fake news.”
Trump’s decision to hold a rally at the site of a historic government standoff that claimed nearly 100 lives alarmed some.
“So Trump is planning his first campaign rally for Waco on thirtieth anniversary of the siege where a cult leader challenged the authority of the federal government and threatened violence,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss wrote earlier this week, linking the former president to late religious sect leader David Koresh.
Trump campaign staff pushed on any symbolic link, touting instead that recent polling shows central Texas strongly supports Trump.