Trump dubs Election Day ‘judgment day’ in preview of general election fight with Biden

Former President Donald Trump painted an apocalyptic version of the U.S. under the Biden administration and said that the only person who could change the course was him. 

It was clear that Mr. Trump was already gearing up for his general election campaign during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, despite polls still being open in South Carolina.

Rather than focus on his primary opponent, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who Mr. Trump is expected to easily beat on her home turf — the ex-president blasted Mr. Biden. 

The throughline of Mr. Trump’s speech was that no one but him could save the country. 

“These are the stakes of this election,” Mr. Trump said. “Our country is being destroyed, and the only thing standing between you and its obliteration is me.”

He accused Mr. Biden of being a “threat to democracy,” a line the president has used against his chief political opponent throughout his campaign. 

“A vote for Trump is your ticket back to freedom. It’s your passport out of tyranny, and it’s your only escape from Joe Biden and his gang’s fast track to hell,” Mr. Trump told a packed ballroom at the conservative gathering. “And in many ways, we’re living in hell right now.” 

Mr. Trump spent a good chunk of his speech decrying his four federal indictments, labeling himself a “political dissident” and calling the 91 federal charges “bulls–t.” He vowed to dismantle the so-called weaponized Department of Justice and maintained that he had done nothing wrong. 

Even so, Mr. Trump has been handed two defeats in New York court rooms already, and has been ordered to pay out over $400 million in fines. He is expected to appear in the Empire State again on March 25, where he has been accused of paying off porn star Stormy Daniels with campaign money from his first bid for the White House. 

He painted Mr. Biden and his supporters as bound and determined to destroy the country, and contended that the president would try to rig and steal this year’s election like in 2020 — a falsehood that has been debunked numerous times. 

On the southern border, the ex-president called foul on the chaotic flow of migrants illegally crossing and blamed Mr. Biden’s decision to reverse his policies as the main reason. 

He said that his first act, should he win in November, would be to seal the border. 

“The first and most urgent action when we win will be the sealing of the border. Stopping the invasion. Drill Baby Drill,” Mr. Trump said. “Send Joe Biden‘s illegal aliens back home, we’ll do a lot of all of those things and we’re gonna have to do them fast because no country can sustain what’s happening in our country.”

Mr. Trump’s stance comes as his influence appeared to cause Republicans in Congress to torpedo a foreign aid spending package that included border security policies earlier this month, with critics saying that the bill was killed to allow for the ex-president to make the U.S./Mexico border a top campaign issue. 

Though Republicans have balked at eschewing border policy advancements for campaign ideals, any notion of securing the border in Congress has ground to a halt while lawmakers deal with the upcoming deadline to fund the government. 

He vowed to “fire” Mr. Biden, and warned that if Mr. Biden wins a second term, “the worst is yet to come.” 

“November 5 will be our new Liberation Day,” Mr. Trump said. “But for the liars and cheaters and fraudsters and sensors and imposters who have commandeered our government it will be their judgment day.” 

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