Trump takes over Haley’s home turf: Former president is greeted by enormous cheering crowd at South Carolina rally – as his only remaining rival trolls him with mobile billboard taking swipe at his age

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Donald Trump has turned his campaign focus on South Carolina, ahead of the state primary next month
  • Hundreds of his supporters turned out to catch a glimpse of the Republican candidate frontrunner during a rally earlier today in Conway 
  • Nikki Haley is also in the state campaigning and has hired a mobile billboard to poke fun at the age of both Trump and President Biden  

Former President Donald Trump was greeted by an enormous crowds at a South Carolina rally on Saturday, with two weeks to go before the state’s Republican primary.

Trump has turned his campaign focus to the southern state days after an easy victory in Nevada and revved up supports at a rally in Conway, near Myrtle Beach. 

In a rally speech, Trump insulted Nikki Haley by using his derisive nickname for her, ‘Birdbrain,’ and lavished praise on Gov. Henry McMaster, who endorsed him early. 

The 77-year-old addressed a huge overflow crowd outside the venue, as he looks to close out Haley’s chances and turn his focus fully on an expected rematch with incumbent President Joe Biden. 

Trump touted his time in office, repeating his false claims that the 2020 election he lost was rigged, maligning a news media he sees as biased against him and lobbing attacks on Haley and Biden. 

Haley opted to skip the Nevada caucuses, condemning the contest as rigged for Trump, has been focusing on her home state of South Carolina. 

Former President Donald Trump arrives on stage during a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University on February 10, 2024 in Conway, South Carolina

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump addressed a huge overflow crowd outside the venue, as he looks to close out Haley's chances and turn his focus fully on an expected rematch with incumbent President Joe Biden

Trump addressed a huge overflow crowd outside the venue, as he looks to close out Haley’s chances and turn his focus fully on an expected rematch with incumbent President Joe Biden 

In Conway, people began lining up to see Trump hours before the doors opened to the arena.

Aerial pictures show large queues of people waiting outside to catch a glimpse of the former president.  

Organizers expecting a capacity crowd set up screens outside where an overflow crowd would be able to watch Trump´s appearance.

Footage later emerged on social media of Trump addressing the crowd, with hundreds of his supporters gathered outside cheering him on.

The city sits along one of the most reliably conservative spots in the state and a central area of Trump’s base of support in the state in his past campaigns.

Tim Carter, from nearby Murrells Inlet, said he had backed Trump since 2016 and would do so again this year.

Carter, a pastor and military veteran, said: ‘We’re here to stand for Trump, get our economy better, shut our border down, more jobs for our people.

Cheryl Savage, who backed Haley during her first run for Governor, said the former president is ‘here to help us.’ 

Speaking of Trump, Savage said: ‘He deserves a second term. He did a fantastic job for four years.’

The visit by Trump on Saturday is Trump’s first visit to the state in 77 days, and plans to host more campaign events in the state in the final weeks before the primary. 

Trump arrives on stage during a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University on February 10, 2024 in Conway, South Carolina

Trump arrives on stage during a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University on February 10, 2024 in Conway, South Carolina

In Conway, people began lining up to see Trump hours before the doors opened to the arena

In Conway, people began lining up to see Trump hours before the doors opened to the arena

Nikki Haley participates in a campaign event at Newberry Opera House in Newberry, South Carolina, USA, 10 February 2024

Nikki Haley participates in a campaign event at Newberry Opera House in Newberry, South Carolina, USA, 10 February 2024

A Trump adviser has told CNN that while the campaign is taking a more laid-back attitude toward the contest in South Carolina they are not taking it for granted. 

The senior official said: ‘At the end of the day, we can’t take any state for granted. But we see this as a done deal.’ 

Haley has been stepping up her attacks on Trump, and in particular has been taking shots at his age. 

Her campaign said they would be parading a mobile billboard around the Myrtle Beach area and would pass by his rally in Conway.

According to Politico, the campaign are to feature clips of Trump and Biden trailing off and appearing confused during recent public remarks. 

Haley reprised her questions of Trump’s mental fitness since a speech in which he repeatedly confused her with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. 

Haley, 52, has called throughout her campaign for mental competency tests for politicians, a way to contrast with 77-year-old Trump and 81-year-old Biden.

‘Why do we have to have someone in their 80s run for office?’ she asked. ‘Why can´t they let go of their power?’

A person in the crowd shouted out: ‘Because they´re grumpy old men!’ ‘They are grumpy old men,’ Haley said.

The issue of a candidates’ age has been a feature of the ongoing presidential campaign, which took recent significance after a report on Thursday investigated Biden’s handling of classified documents. 

Despite no charges being warranted, the report presented a damaging portrayal of Biden’s mental capacity. 

In interviews with investigators, Biden became muddled about the dates he was vice president and could not even remember the year in which his son Beau died. 

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