About 50 people gathered Thursday evening on Manchester's City Hall Plaza at a small rally organized by the Trump campaign to protest calls to cut funding for police departments.

After short speeches criticizing calls to redirect funding for police to mental health services, the group chanted "back the blue" and "four more years!"

Then the president addressed supporters in New Hampshire and Maine in an address streamed on Facebook. The number of people listening to Trump's speak on Facebook hovered between 12,000 and 13,000.

Trump spoke for just over 30 minutes. In a compressed version of the speeches he delivers at in-person rallies, Trump claimed former Vice President Joe Biden has become more progressive than his former  Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on environmental issues, immigration and health care.

The president briefly praised Gov. Chris Sununu, U.S. Senate candidate Corky Messner, First District congressional candidate Matt Mowers as well as his onetime campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski of Windham.

Trump briefly mentioned New Hampshire’s trouble with opioid addiction as he spoke about the need for a wall between the United States and Mexico, but spent the bulk of the speech on national topics, including his high hopes for economic recovery and the continued protests in Portland, Ore.

Earlier in the day on a call with reporters, Democrats, including former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, panned what they thought Trump would likely say. 

"When Donald Trump appears on his tele-rally tonight, it will be a glaring reminder that his presidency is defined by a record of broken promises to women," Shea-Porter said. "In four years, he has dismantled what little our country provides to address the health and wellbeing of half of our country, breaking the promise he made to women in our state."

Monday, September 21, 2020