Those of us who attended President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, saw an invigorated leader — one who was happy to take the stage after being sidelined by the coronavirus for months.
The event, by every metric, was a complete success, even though media reports would have you believe otherwise.
Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, hit the nail on the head with his description of the rally inside the city’s BOK Center.
“The president seemed right where he belonged. He had great energy, great spirit,” Kirk told Fox News on Saturday. “And I think finally he’s back on offense, putting the Democrats on defense.”
If you were sitting or standing inside the venue, there was no other way to describe the atmosphere Saturday.
“There is a little bit of crisis happening in the Biden campaign tonight because they realize that they now actually have to campaign, that they realize they have to defend the indefensible, which is a record that has put America last and put China and our foreign adversaries first,” Kirk said on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
“A record that has not been advantageous or positive for the black community. A record that has enriched the Biden family at the expense of the American people,” he added.
“And the Biden campaign? Good luck. I don’t even know what campaigning looks like for Joe Biden,” Kirk said.
“But the president was spot on with his critique of Joe Biden. And it’s just the beginning.”
Prior to Saturday’s campaign event, tens of thousands of Trump supporters lined the streets of downtown Tulsa, mostly condensed into the area around West Third Street and South Denver Avenue in front of the arena.
Four hours before the doors to the BOK Center opened, a diverse group of eager conservatives gathered for a chance to see the president speak.
A little more than 90 minutes after the arena opened its doors, thousands of supporters were still waiting to get in. Still others said they were discouraged by rumors the event was already full. That didn’t stop thousands more from remaining in a standstill line for an additional hour.
Eventually, the line began moving again, and, a little at a time, more people made their way in.
The Tulsa Fire Department later told KTUL-TV that roughly 6,200 people attended the rally, minus campaign staff and suite holders.
That number has been hotly disputed online.
Chanel Rion, with One America News, took issue with the fire marshal’s assessment of turnout.
“Tulsa Fire Marshall goes on media blitz telling everyone only 6,200 people were at Tulsa rally. The entire lower portion of this rally was packed. If you took JUST this portion of the seats that’s about 10k,” Rion reported on Twitter. “12k were screened. Look at the pictures DURING rally.”
Tulsa Fire Marshall goes on media blitz telling everyone only 6,200 people were at Tulsa rally.
The entire lower portion of this rally was packed. If you took JUST this portion of the seats that’s about 10k.
12k were screened. Look at the pictures DURING rally. https://t.co/27ZIDefZir
— Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) June 22, 2020
Indeed, 6,200 might seem a bit disingenuous, and it’s hard to imagine the department has any clue how many people truly entered the venue.
I was not counted, scanned or otherwise noted by anyone at all upon finally entering the BOK Center doors, as I had already been screened by the Secret Service and members of the Transportation Safety Administration upon entering the outdoor rally area.
While the upper decks were certainly not at capacity when the rally started, I would take no issue with Rion’s estimate that 10,000 people were inside the BOK Center on the lower level.
With seats full downstairs, I never attempted to hit the upper deck. The view was still better from the concession lines.
But attendance, or lack thereof, is what the media wants us to talk about. The real story was the enthusiasm and the excitement of the thousands who ignored the media’s plethora of reasons why the rally was a bad idea.
And the media took a victory lap for a triumph that never was, celebrating empty seats in the nosebleed section, ignoring that thousands braved the heat, the apparent danger from a pandemic and the fear of violence from those protesting the rally.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 21, 2020
Protestors and a smaller crowd of trump supporters are meeting, officers pushing the crowds away from each other. pic.twitter.com/SKcvPpijZG
— Kayla Branch (@kayla_branch) June 21, 2020
With the local and national media sounding the coronavirus panic drum for days prior to the event, and multiple lawsuits filed to prevent it or force attendees to wear masks and the threat of violence against conservatives, many people I spoke to after Saturday decided to stay away and watch the event online or on TV.
But on top of the thousands of in-person attendees Saturday, 11 million people watched online, the Trump campaign said, while 7.7 million more viewers watched Trump’s speech on Fox News alone.
In addition to the over 11 MILLION who watched @realDonaldTrump’s rally online, a whopping 7.7 MILLION more watched on Fox News.
That’s more viewers than any Democrat primary debate got on MSNBC or CNN.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 22, 2020
It’s also hard to blame those who decided to watch at home. I was threatened and called everything but “handsome” after leaving the rally.
Trolls thinking they hacked rally tix don’t know how this works. Lame trick tried many times.
We weed out bogus RSVPs with fake phone #s.
All rallies are general admission.
Real factor was media-stoked fear.
Most media didn’t bother to ask us anyway.https://t.co/2sO3q422P0
— Tim Murtaugh – Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) June 21, 2020
Despite an apparently coordinated effort by Democrats, protesters and the media to suppress turnout and intimidate potential rally-goers, Trump rocked the house, and thousands upon thousands of people attended.
I can’t imagine a scenario where Biden could have filled the coffee shop a block south of the venue.
Trump would likely agree with that assessment.
Joe Biden’s rally. ZERO enthusiasm! pic.twitter.com/IB2BrrmTPH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
But Charlie Kirk said it best when he noted that the Trump 2020 campaign is back in force, following months of being sidelined by the coronavirus.
Good luck to Biden, indeed.
I have never seen such a level of enthusiasm at any event, political or otherwise.
The Trump campaign is back on the trail, and it will adapt to future attempts by leftist protestors, Democrats and the media to suppress rally turnout.
The level of excitement certainly wasn’t vanquished.
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