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The 55 most over-the-top lines from Donald Trump's South Carolina speech

President Donald Trump jetted to South Carolina on Monday night to rally support for Gov. Henry McMaster, who faces a runoff fight today. The President, as he so often does, spoke for an hour mostly about himself, his enemies, his friends and his thoughts on everything from Jimmy Fallon to Arnold Schwarzenegger and back. And oh yeah, he supports McMaster.

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Analysis by Chris Cillizza (CNN Editor-at-large)
(CNN) — President Donald Trump jetted to South Carolina on Monday night to rally support for Gov. Henry McMaster, who faces a runoff fight today. The President, as he so often does, spoke for an hour mostly about himself, his enemies, his friends and his thoughts on everything from Jimmy Fallon to Arnold Schwarzenegger and back. And oh yeah, he supports McMaster.

I went through the transcript from Monday night's speech and highlighted the 55 most newsworthy, cringe-inducing and just plain odd lines. They're below.

1. "They said, 'Sir, would you mind going back? Would you mind if we didn't stop?' I said, 'There's no way. We cannot stop,' right?"

The weather above South Carolina wasn't great, forcing the Trump plane to circle for the better part of an hour before landing. Also: "There's no way. We cannot stop" is a decent slogan for the Trump presidency. And away we go!

2. "Also it is the Air Force One. I said let's just go through, and it does."

Air Force One is storm-proof? Did it get outfitted with that cloaking device I emailed the White House about?

3. "Never liked him too much. I wasn't a big fan. The Tallahassee Trail must be a beautiful place. Unfortunately, he didn't go there."

There's just so much here. Trump is mocking Rep. Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina) who lost his primary to Trump-backed Katie Arrington. Except that he's mocking Sanford by wrongly referencing the "Tallahassee Trail." What Trump means is the Appalachian Trail, which Sanford said he was hiking when, as governor, he was actually in Argentina visiting his mistress. One thing Trump is right about: Sanford did not go to the Tallahassee Trail. Also, the Tallahassee Trail doesn't exist. So, there's that.

4. "We got Pennsylvania and we got Florida. We started off that night: 'Donald Trump has won the state of Florida,' right? And they go, 'Whoa, whoa, they just lost Florida.'"

The 2016 election ended 595 days ago.

5. "And the firewall wasn't much of a firewall in North Carolina. So I want to thank the incredible people of South Carolina for everything you've done."

Great job South Carolina! You did a great job in North Carolina! Or something.

6. "He was sort of this like handsome guy with a wonderful wife, Peggy."

Trump is talking about why he endorsed McMaster. And, yes, at least a part of that decision was because McMaster looked like what Trump thought a governor should look like. Casting is important, you know.

7. "Now, you know we have a lot of fake news back there, these fakers."

The amazing thing about Trump's attack on the media here (and often) is the contradiction that sits at the center of it: He wants to attack the media as fake but then also get credit for the number of journalists who cover him.

8. "And you know that if a horrible thing happened and we weren't lucky enough to have Henry win, you know they won't talk about it, they will say Donald Trump suffered a major, major defeat in the great state of South Carolina."

"Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me..."

9. "So please get your asses out tomorrow and vote."

Real quote from the President of the United States.

10. "I don't care. I don't care. And I like her. She was another one right from the beginning. She didn't talk about other people, right?"

What's important here is that a) Trump doesn't care and b) He liked Arrington, the state legislator who beat Sanford, because she liked him first. Trump is purely transactional. Say nice things about him, he will say nice things about you. Attack him and he will attack you. It's that simple.

11. "When they tell you you're almost there, you only have seven hours left. And, by the way, we had a great success, North Korea. Chairman Kim, great, great success."

Two consecutive sentences from the President of the Unite States. Totally normal stuff.

12. "We're not looking up in the air. Any rockets up there? Any rockets?"

"Success" = no rockets up in the air over South Carolina.

13. "Look at all those fake newsers back there. Look at them. That's a lot. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of people."

See No. 7. Also: This food is terrible! And such small portions!

14. "I said, 'Henry, I don't work gymnasiums anymore.'"

Honestly, same.

15. "And they've agreed to denuclearization. They've agreed to no more testing, no more of this."

[narrator voice] No they haven't.

16. "People did not want to be nuked in (the) stadium as they watched the opening ceremonies."


17. "They took them down, anti-US signs like I put up anti-media signs all over the place."

So. Trump is saying that after the summit with Kim Jong Un, North Korea took down their anti-US signs. And that those signs are like the anti-media signs he puts up. Because it makes a ton of sense to favorably compare yourself to a rogue dictatorship that oppresses its citizens and suppresses free and independent media.

18. "And we signed a piece of paper and it was a beautiful piece of paper."

Real quote from the President of the United States.

19. "No collusion, no nothing."


20. "I won when I won South Carolina, but to win all up and down the East Coast, to win Wisconsin, which hasn't been won in many years, like 1972 I think, that's a long time, to win Michigan, which hasn't been won in a long time, and they give her, they say she was a bad candidate, I mean, honestly she was a tough candidate."

This sentence is 64 words long. And it goes from Trump talking about winning the South Carolina primary to his general election wins in Wisconsin and Michigan to how people say Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate, but she wasn't. Totally normal stuff.

21. "Sometimes you have to toot your own horn because nobody else is going to do it."

Donald Trump, explained in 16 words.

22. "That's why when the polls are good, you remember during the campaign, when the polls were good I would always talk about it. When they weren't so good, I wouldn't mention it, right? I didn't talk polls."

He said the quiet part out loud!

23. "But they were good, for a lot of time they were good. And, by the way, Georgetown Steel just opened their plant yesterday."

Stream of consciousness, thy name is Donald John Trump.

24. "Veteran filmmaker David Lynch believes President Donald Trump could be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in American history because of the way he has shaken up the political establishment because of what I've done."

This actually happened. "He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much," Lynch, who directed "Twin Peaks," told The Guardian over the weekend. "No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way." And, yes, David Lynch praising Donald Trump is peak 2018.

25. "And, by the way, they call them the elites, right, the elites. You know what you are? You're the super elites."

Is this at all like the Super Friends? If so, awesome! I loved them! (And, if you are wondering, Trump is referring to his supporters here.)

26. "We have the greatest face in the history of politics."

How would this be calculated?

27. Did you see Jimmy Fallon? Jimmy Fallon. The guy screws up my hair. He's going back and forth. He was so disappointed to find out it was real. He couldn't believe it. Well, that's one of the great things I got."

Thus begins an extended riff on Trump's hair. And it's real. And it's terrific.

28. "Everybody used to say my hair is phony, it's not my hair, I'm wearing a hair piece. Anybody here wearing a hair piece now? But the one thing, they never say that anymore because I've been caught in rainstorms. I've been caught in winds that are like 60 miles an hour getting off. If it's not your hair, don't run for office, folks. Don't run. Do not run for office because the gig would be up."

I told you it was an extended riff! 75 words to be exact. My favorite part? When Trump rhetorically asks whether anyone in the crowd is wearing a toupee. Epic.

29. "If somebody would open a talk show at night because the guy on CBS is -- what a low-life, what a low-life."

The President of the United States on Stephen Colbert: "What a low-life, what a low-life." Totally normal stuff.

30. "I can laugh at myself and frankly if I couldn't I'd be in big trouble."

He really can't. In fact, he rarely laughs at all.

31. "Jimmy Kimmel would meet me before the election. I'm telling you a true story. I don't even think he'd deny it. No talent, but I go to his studio to do a shot, to a do a thing, he would stand outside on the sidewalk waiting for me. 'Oh, here he comes, Donald Trump, oh.' He opens my door. "

This is my skeptical face.

32. "So I said, 'Jimmy, you called me up after the show and you said thank you for the incredible -- you called them monster ratings, they were very big ratings.'"

Kimmel said Monday night this call never happened.

33. "Hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, big movie star, took my place, it bombed in about two shows it was over. It actually bombed in one show."

Real quote from the President of the United States.

34. "And [Melania] has got a great style. We greeted today the king of Jordan and the queen of Jordan and it was like a picture. I watched the three of them, the queen, the king and the first lady, and I stood back and I watched. I didn't want to destroy that picture."

Image is everything. Perception > Reality. Also, please don't run the line on me that Melania Trump just threw on a jacket that said "I really don't care. Do U?" on the back.

35. "And she's private, she doesn't want to talk about things, right? But really unfair stuff, but you know what, we've never done better than we're doing now."

Unedited. Just back-to-back sentences from Trump.

36. "Even Gallup, Gallup, who treats me horribly, polls are fake news also. What they do is called suppression."

Just so damn irresponsible. What Trump seems to be suggesting here is that Gallup purposely puts out numbers that are bad for him in order to suppress voters to come out and support him. Also, he never comes back to this point. I assume Trump wants to tout that he was at 45% approval in last week's Gallup poll. (He is at 41% this week.)

37. "We are the super elite, we are the super elite."

Real quote from the President of the United States.

38. "I said the other day because as you saw in my last speech, it's in Minnesota, great place, unbelievable crowd. It seated 9,000 and they had 15,000 or 20,000 people outside, couldn't get in, it was incredible, just like you have a lot of people outside, you just can't."

Maaaaaybe. According to the Star Tribune: "The arena reached a capacity crowd in excess of 8,000 people, according to authorities, with many hundreds more turned away."

39. "If I ever come into an arena, and it's got empty seats, I think that's the end. I don't know I'll be able to take it, right?"

He's "joking." But not really. Remember that what matters to Trump is being relevant. Empty seats would mean people don't care. And he admits he can't live with that.

40. "Because remember what I said, we're going to start winning again, we're winning, we're winning now. Like we haven't won before. Like we have not won before."

This winning is somehow different. Better. Believe me.

41. "It's not 'build that wall' anymore, it's 'continue building that wall,' because we're building it."

"Continue building that wall" is sort of mouthful to chant at rallies.

42. "Some people have said, I have the greatest political instinct in 50 years. I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think so. But I have my own feeling."

[narrator voice] He does think so.

43. "The Democrats want to protect illegals coming into this country, some of whom are not good, some of whom cause lots of problems in the worst possible way, they want to protect illegals coming into the country, much more so than they want to protect you, and that's not where we're coming from, OK?"

This feels like an oversimplification. Also, on a serious note: Trump is saying that Democrats care more about illegals than people in that room. It's "us" vs. "them." Always.

44. "Hey look. I got a bad hand, I got the job, and trade deals were bad. I mean, how bad were trade deals?"

Trump's most natural stance is an aggrieved victim. He sees his victimhood in absolutely everything.

45. "So, Canada, 'Oh, Canada,' I love their national anthem, 'Oh, Canada,' I like ours better, however."

Donald Trump's definitive ranking of national anthems:

1. US

2. Canada

46. "They have televisions in closets, they have televisions in areas that no place has -- unlimited budget, Air Force One, huh."

Wait. There are TVs in the closets of Air Force One? Why have I never heard of this before?

47. "And it's all going to work out, it's all going to work out. Remember this, remember this, it's all going to work out, because we're the piggy bank that they like to take from, whether it's military protection, you look at NATO, NATO, we're spending 90% of NATO, now it's all wonderful, and we like to help out, but it helps them, they're in Europe, it helps them a lot more than it helps us, we're very far away."

In sum: Things are going to work out. Also: Piggy bank!

48. "And by the way, I have these stupid teleprompters, you don't mind that I haven't used them all night, do you? Every once in a while -- every once in a while I look at it, I mean, it's so boring, we don't want it."

I do not mind. Not at all.

49. "No, I, you know, I'm looking, I keep looking, I just see things, and just -- they're true, but they're not quite as exciting."

Trump is talking about what is written on his teleprompter -- and, in so doing, revealing his true entertainer nature. He wants to hear the cheers of the crowd. Badly.

50. "We want crystal clean water. We want beautiful, clean air. We want it more than anybody and our air and our water now is better than it ever has been, and we're going to keep it that way. It's important. It's very important."

Not just clean water. "Crystal clean water." Not just clean air. "Beautiful clean air." Also, this is important!

51. "I didn't want to say that, Henry. I didn't want to say that, Henry. I wanted to take the credit for myself, but I figured South Carolina would understand, right?"

He said the quiet part out loud! Again!

52. "And I said, 'Listen. You got rich guys. For whatever reason, they love rockets. We don't have to put up so much money. Let them put up the money and build. And you got all these guys sending rockets all over the place. We'll get the credit.'"

Donald Trump on space exploration. And rich guys. And credit hogging.

53. "And I told my people, 'Let them do it because if they reach the moon with their money, we're going to take all the credit, OK?' They're going to forget about it. Nobody is going to remember their name, but they're going to remember our names. So, let them do it. Let them do it."

Classic Trump. Let someone else pay for the space program and then we'll take credit for it. And no one will remember their names but they will remember us. Watching the sausage get made!

54. "We're going to win at space."

What, exactly, would this entail?

55. "By the way, Henry, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, right, Air Force, and what are we going to do? Space Force. People love that."

SPACE FORCE. People love that. You know what? Let's end on that!

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