Former President Donald Trump is heading to South Dakota as the Republican frontrunner on Friday — a significant move, as he last stopped there in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, defying critics and delivering a speech at Mount Rushmore.
Trump is set to visit Rapid City, South Dakota, on Friday, attending what has been described as a fundraiser for the state Republican Party.
Chairperson of the South Dakota GOP John Wiik said of the attendance of high-profile figures such as Trump, “They’re doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.”
The former president’s stop in the state is politically significant, as it is the first time he is returning as a candidate since his pivotal Mount Rushmore speech in July 2020, the day before Independence Day in the midst of the pandemic, when fear largely reigned. He used the speech to articulate American exceptionalism while providing a history lesson on some of the great men who established the country as we know it today.
“They were American giants in full flesh and blood. Gallant men, whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known,” Trump said before detailing the contributions of the men whose likenesses are carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
“Tonight, I will tell you — and most importantly, the youth of our nation — the true stories of these great men,” he said, also using his speech to re-declare that Americans will not be silenced by the left, nor apologize for the United States, which was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles,” standing as “the most just and exceptional” nation ever to exist.
Fireworks followed his speech, the first Mount Rushmore pyrotechnics display in over a decade. Notably, the Biden administration has not allowed fireworks at the location since.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is also expected to attend the event, and according to some sources, she is expected to endorse Trump’s presidential bid.
This would not come as a surprise, as Noem told Breitbart News in 2021 that she would back Trump if he sought the presidency again.
“If President Trump runs again, I certainly will support him,” Noem said told Breitbart News at the time.
Further, in June, Noem expressed doubt that anyone else would be able to catch up to Trump in the GOP race.
“President Trump is in the race and right now I don’t see a path for victory with anybody else with him in the race and the situation as it sits, today,” Noem stated. “I think people should saddle up. It can be a roller coaster of a presidential race.”