Followers At Trump Event Flee For Exits Before Speech Finishes

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At least some attendees of the Tuesday night speech at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida where the ex-president announced he would be seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 started trying to leave before Donald concluded.

According to footage and reporting from Olivia Rubin of ABC, security personnel at the speech weren’t letting people stream out of the event before its end, however. In the clip, people gather by an exit and then just kind of stand around, apparently confronted by security. One guy makes the situation rather clear, making a gesture of moving his hand across his throat and pointing towards the apparent exit, as though getting out of the gathering was, for the moment, a no-go. (It’s unclear who the attendee was trying to signal.) Trump also faced attendees trying to leave before his remarks were concluded at events before Election Day in the 2022 midterms. See Tuesday’s footage below:

Pre-midterms rallies where members of the crowd didn’t seem overly interested in every last word the former president was uttering took place in locales including Michigan and Ohio. There were also turnout problems at a pre-election event in Pennsylvania, where Trump picks for governor and Senate were eventually defeated and footage showed empty space that seemingly could have held hundreds while Donald was still talking. At the Michigan event, footage of the scene was captured by journo Paul Egan, who’s with the Detroit Free Press and nabbed a 30-second video showing people leaving. As reported on this site, it seemed clear those exiting weren’t all simply in the same group. Nearly two dozen people stream towards the exits in the clip, some of whom are rather clearly departing. (One guy was putting on a jacket.) In Ohio, a reporter documented disinterest on the part of attendees in some of the candidates the former president was ostensibly trying to promote, and two Republican contenders running in hotly contested U.S. House districts in the general area of the event in Youngstown lost.

Both unsuccessful candidates, including Madison Gesiotto Gilbert and J.R. Majewski, spoke at the Youngstown event. “I spoke with people from California, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — all of them fired up to hear Trump, but politely uninterested in the remainder of the speakers,” the Ohio reporter said. People eventually left. After about an hour, a “slow, steady stream of attendees started heading for the exits,” according to that same journalist. In the imminently unfolding primaries, some interests on the Right seem most inclined towards Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who was recently re-elected by nearly 20 percent and helped boost Republicans in Florida to super-majorities in the state legislature. DeSantis leads Trump in some polling, although the Florida governor hasn’t confirmed a presidential bid.

Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons