Former President Donald Trump returned to the political stage on Saturday with a speech at the North Carolina Republican Convention, where he railed against his successor and predicted the GOP would triumph in the 2022 midterm elections.
After a nearly four-month break from public speaking, Trump took the stage as “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood blared from speakers, praising local and federal officials and candidates — and blasting “radical Democrats.”
“As we gather tonight, our country is being destroyed before our very own eyes. Crime is exploding, police departments are being ripped apart and defunded,” he told his devotees in the city of Greenville.
“Drugs are pouring in, gas prices are soaring, our industries are being pillaged by foreign cyberattacks.
“That’s a lack of respect for our country and our leaders.”
Trump, 74, struck a more subdued tone than the one that marked his more than five years of political rallies, though he still went after