Former President Donald Trump continued his pattern of debate counterprogramming by hosting an event in South Florida, just a short drive from where his competitors for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination were participating in their third debate. Trump’s intention was to overshadow the other candidates, a strategy he has employed throughout the series of GOP debates. While he has cited his substantial lead in the polls as the reason for skipping the debate stage, he has also consistently drawn attention to himself through alternative events.
During the rally, Trump made reference to the ongoing debate across town, asserting that nobody was paying attention to it. He later compared his rally to the debate, emphasizing the substantial audience he was addressing. Trump’s event took place in a stadium with a capacity of approximately 5,200 people, and he underscored the challenges of addressing such a large audience, particularly when it is also broadcast on television.
The South Florida rally served as an opportunity to highlight Trump’s support among Latino voters, particularly in the Miami suburb of Hialeah. This community boasts a significant population of Cuban Americans and continues to hold Trump in high regard. In fact, a City Council candidate even used Trump’s image on campaign signs, underscoring his enduring popularity in the region.
The former president’s ability to command attention and his strategy of hosting concurrent events during debates demonstrate his continued influence in the Republican political landscape, making him a central figure in the 2024 presidential race.