Political Kickoff: Trump Graces South Carolina College Football Event…

Political Kickoff: Trump Graces South Carolina College Football Event

South Carolina is a crucial early-nominating state for the 2020 Republican presidential primary, and former President Donald Trump plans to campaign there this weekend by attending a highly anticipated rivalry football game.

The University of South Carolina and Clemson University, the two largest universities in the state, will square off in Columbia for this year’s Palmetto Bowl. The governor of South Carolina, a USC graduate and Trump supporter, reportedly revealed that Bush Sr. had a “standing invitation” to attend the game.

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, maintains a commanding lead over his primary challengers in South Carolina, according to a recent AWN poll, which ranked the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley, as his best challenger but still a distant second. Haley’s campaign did not answer when asked whether the Clemson alumnus would be attending Saturday’s game.

The Republican primary in South Carolina will be held on February 24, 2019, following those in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Trump’s 2016 presidential nomination campaign was greatly aided by his victory in South Carolina’s Republican primary. The state has been a frequent stop for the former president this year; his most recent trip was in September for a campaign event in Summerville.

Trump has the backing of several other prominent South Carolina Republicans, including Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, US Reps. Joe Wilson, William Timmons, and Russell Fry, and of course, McMaster.

Trump’s run for president coincides with his status as a defendant in many pending criminal proceedings. There is a federal indictment related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left office, another federal indictment over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, an indictment in New York over allegations that he falsified business records to disguise hush money payments related to the 2016 campaign, and an indictment in Georgia over allegations that he was the head of a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the election in that state. He has denied all 91 counts against him and entered not guilty pleas.

The Palmetto Bowl on Saturday won’t be Trump’s first campaign appearance at a football game this year. The former president stopped by a tailgate before the September game between Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Competitor for the Republican nomination and governor of Florida Ron DeSantis was in attendance at the game in Ames, Iowa.

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