Standing without face masks behind President Donald Trump in Tampa on Friday, several Florida sheriffs endorsing the president stood by as Trump streamed numerous insults on people and groups.
Trump called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – second in succession to the presidency – “Crazy Nancy Pelosi.”
Trump referenced the news media as “those people” – “a couple of good ones, mostly bad ones.”
At least twice, Trump used the term “China virus,” to describe COVID-19. The term used by Trump is considered by some people as racist.
(A New York Times report said “the term has angered Chinese officials and a wide range of critics, and China experts say labeling the virus that way will only ratchet up tensions between the two countries, while resulting in the kind of xenophobia that American leaders should discourage.”)
During a roughly half-hour speech at Tampa International Airport, Trump also described U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont as “Crazy Bernie” and said “he is a great loser.”
He also referenced Democratic-run cities such as Chicago as “places run by the radical left.” (The Chicago mayor is a lawyer and former federal prosecutor.)
As to Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Trump said, “He has no idea what he is talking about,” among other comments.
While the president has insulted various people and groups before, Trump is gearing up to take on Biden in the big swing state of Florida.
The president on Friday mentioned that polls in Florida “are going up up up,” in the president’s favor. Florida has long been considered a swing state in the presidential election, and Biden has only a four-point lead over Trump in Florida, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released earlier this week.
Trump and the several sheriffs behind him were not wearing masks during the president’s comments.
The event included the endorsement of 48 sheriffs in Florida’s counties. The list is here, from the Republican National Committee. Florida has 67 counties in all.
“There’s a big love affair between us and law enforcement, and it is especially great in Florida,” Trump said.
Still, tension and protests have continued nationwide following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died following actions of a white police officer in Minneapolis who knelt for many minutes on Floyd’s neck.
And not all sheriffs support Trump. The sheriffs who thus far have not endorsed the president represent the major urban areas and large populations in Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and Orange counties.
Trump’s home in Florida is in Palm Beach, and the sheriff of Palm Beach is not listed as having endorsed Trump.