Trump tells NH GOP women he knows what they want, and he’ll deliver as president

By JACQUELINE COLE

Monitor Staff

Published: 06-29-2023 7:19 PM

Donald Trump had a two-fold message for a roomful of Republican women – he knows what they want and he plans to be president again in 2024.

“Women want a strong border. Women want low taxes. They want good education. They want good schools. They don't want to have all these gender, cutting-up-their-children things," said Trump, referring to gender-affirming surgeries.

The former president was addressing the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women during their annual Lilac Luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. Members of the organization, along with friends and spouses, gathered at the Grappone Conference Center for Trump’s speech, though the federation does not endorse any individual Republican candidate.

“I have to work really hard to blow this one,” said Trump, confident that he will once again be the Republican nominee for president. 

The sold-out crowd of 400 men and women, some holding “M.A.G.A. Mimosas” from the bar, sat at round tables with purple flower centerpieces and mini American flags. They zoomed in their phone cameras for a pixelated picture of the former president as he walked on stage to the song, “Proud to Be an American.”

Traci Moulton, a retired member of the Coast Guard who drove down from Maine for the event, was watching Trump speak for the first time. 

“I like that he respects women, no matter what anyone says,” said Moulton.

Other female supporters of Trump were not confident that he, himself, was the ideal role model for women, but believed that the alternatives are far more dangerous. 

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Susan Olson, when asked if she thinks Trump is a good role model for young women, turned it back around to Biden. 

“I think they all have their foils, they all have their idiosyncrasies,” she said, “but I think Biden’s a disgusting human being.”

Other attendees pointed to the issue of transgender women participating in sports, saying that the Democrats are putting biological women under attack. 

Trump catered to these concerns, then nodded to his supreme court appointments, the “hundreds of billions of dollars” that he took from China as president, and his proposed policy to give the death penalty to all drug dealers. 

As usual, Trump boasted about impressive polling numbers among Republicans, which is supported by recent polls and those in the audience. 

“I want Trump and only Trump,” said Phyllis Racette, wearing a “No More Bullshit” Trump hat. 

Racette said that the Lilac Luncheon was her first time out of the house in three years. She is afraid of COVID, afraid of violence in the world, and afraid of a potential war. 

“If I can’t have Trump, I’m gonna vote for Kennedy,” she said.  

Support for Robert F. Kennedy Jr, the Democratic descendant of one of the most famous political families who condemns the COVID vaccine, seemed to be a shared sentiment among the Republicans at the event. 

“I got my vaccine, but I think he was right on the money in calling out some of the problems with it,” said Sam Facella while he waited in line for the luncheon. He put Kennedy on the same second tier as Ron Desantis and Vivek Ramaswamy— not his ideal, but an option if Trump does not succeed in getting the nomination. 

Desantis, Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley all passed through New Hampshire Monday and Tuesday, and other competitors for the nomination, including Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson, and Tim Scott have campaigned in the Granite State this Month.

The New Hampshire Federation for Republican Women was irritated when Desantis, who is currently Trump’s biggest, and only, threat in the Republican field, decided to host an event in New Hampshire on the same day. 

At Tuesday’s event, the crowd laughed as Trump read off the sub-10% national support for candidates like Haley, Ramaswamy, Mike Pence and Tim Scott.

Trump’s unwavering support from Granite Staters has not been threatened by his recent indictment, either. 

“Because the public is really smart, my numbers went up,” Trump said during his speech.

This die-hard Trump mentality is emblematic of his position in the primaries, not just in New Hampshire, but across the nation.

 As of Tuesday, the former president is polling at 52% nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight. Desantis trails far behind at 21.5%. 

Biden still leads in the most recent polls conducted by FiveThirtyEight for the general election, winning by nine percentage points in a hypothetical Trump-Biden face-off.

Trump knows his fans well and presented a speech on Tuesday that spoke to them, including Moulton.

“He tells it like it is,” said Moulton. “He’s my man.”

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