President-elect Donald Trump gave another rally speech in Cincinnati tonight, though it’s been nearly a month since he’s won the Electoral College count that will deliver him the White House. In one of the speech’s spontaneous moments, the ebullient Trump “confided” to the crowd and TV cameras that he will nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as his Secretary of Defense on Monday.
“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our Secretary of Defense. But we’re not announcing it until Monday, so don’t tell anybody,” Trump said in kicking off what is being billed as his Thank You Tour of key states that gave him an Election Night win that stunned many members of the media. “They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have. And it’s about time,” Trump said of the retired four-star general. “Are we doing a great job with our Cabinet and our people?” Trump asked the crowd rhetorically, to enthusiastic response.
He noted some political pundits have attacked him for nominating a former Goldman Sachs billionaire to lead Commerce. “Well, that’s because this guy knows how to make money, folks!” Trump said. “He knows how to make money! I put in a killer. I said we’re going to put in the greatest killers of all time. We need that. It’s time.”
In a speech reiterating his campaign promise for a nativist agenda, Trump again detailed plans to scrap NAFTA, suspend immigration from regions where people cannot be “safely processed” and plow under Obamacare, which he said would be replaced with an “American” health care plan.
“From now on its’ going to be America first, OK? We’re going to put ourselves first,” he said. “We seek peace and harmony with nations of the world, but that means recognizing the right of every country, including our own, to look after its citizens. … We had people running our country that truly didn’t know what the hell they were doing. … They forgot it was the American worker who truly built this country.”
While Trump said he was there “for one reason: to say thank you to Ohio,” which he won handily, it quickly segued into a sort of Election Night trip down memory lane-cum-media bashing, which always plays well with his supporters.
“The extremely dishonest press, very dishonest people,” Trump began, mocking ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, though not by name, with talk of a “major anchor, who hosted a debate, started crying when she realized that we won. How about that? Tears! And you know what she doesn’t understand? Things are going to be much better now!” he said.
Trump called his election “our great movement,” adding, “You are the movement; I’m the messenger.” Then, thinking better of that, he added, “I been a very good messenger. I’ve been a pretty good messenger!”