Was Trump Tulsa turnout punked by alliance of AOC and Trump-hating RINOs?
A major story to emerge from President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla, on Saturday evening was the unexpectedly low turnout at the event. The rally was an extremely high-profile kickoff of the POTUS’s 2020 re-election effort after 3½ months of being kept off the campaign trail due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Rather than happenstance, it appears that the disappointing attendance was the result of a conspiracy of Trump haters – both radical left and RINO right – to suppress the turnout.
YouTube screen grab
YouTube screen grab
For days prior to the event, campaign reps and the president himself had predicted a record-setting turnout of MAGA supporters, citing a million requests for tickets to the deep red state venue, the BOK Center, the capacity of which was only 19,000. The predictions of a mega event were buttressed by several days’ worth of media coverage of Trump die hard attendees lining up and camping out in order to get a good seat.
The Trump campaign even announced a second rally, to be held outside the BOK arena to accommodate the expected overflow crowd of thousands of Trump supporters who wouldn’t be able to get into the indoor venue.
The outdoor rally, set to take place an hour before the indoor one, never happened. It was canceled at the last minute, and the stage set up for the event was taken down – a damaging visual confirmation of the deflated attendance numbers. Inside, meanwhile, cameras broadcasting and streaming the event live showed the venue, according to Breitbart, only about half full, the first time in memory that a Trump campaign rally had not been standing room only.
Campaign representatives initially blamed “protesters” for depressing the turnout. As the Washington Times reported:
“Sadly, protesters interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. “Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the president’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out.”
Enter AOC and Trump-hater Steve Schmidt
The fact is that the huge numbers of MAGA fans just weren’t there. And why was that? Trump nemesis Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave more than a hint in a tweet she issued at 8:27 PM ET – less than a half hour after the president began speaking at the indoor rally. AOC’s tweet was a reply to one tweeted 57 minutes earlier by Brad Parscale, the Trump 2020 campaign manager, blaming the lower than expected turnout on “radical protesters. . . [who] interfered with @real DonaldTrump supporters at the rally. They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering.”
According to AOC, however:
Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud.
Five hours after AOC’s tweet, it had been retweeted almost 70,000 times and liked over 300,000 times by her 7.3 million Twitter followers.
Tending to confirm AOC’s version of events were quotes from Steve Schmidt, the late Sen. John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign manager, who tweeted, as the Washington Times noted, “that the Trump campaign was duped by anti-Trump teenagers requesting tickets.” Schmidt added:
“My 16-year-old daughter and her friends in Park City, Utah, have hundreds of tickets,” Mr. Schmidt tweeted at Mr. Parscale minutes before the rally was set to begin. “You have been rolled by America’s teens. @realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team.”
According to the Times:
Mr. Schmidt, a collaborator in the “Lincoln Project” of Republican operatives opposing the president, suggested the group was responsible for undermining the rally attendance.
“This is what happened tonight. I’m dead serious when I say this. The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump,” Mr. Schmidt said. “All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol. @ProjectLincoln.”
Steve Schmidt tweets Saturday evening
With both AOC, representing the radical left (her tweet complimenting “teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations”) and Schmidt, a Deep State RINO “conservative,” claiming credit for these goings-on, this may be a rare case of hard left and RINO “right” coming together to try to sabotage a campaign event by President Trump.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. He also appears in the media, including recently as a guest analyst on BBC World News. Peter's website is http://peter.media. For updates on his work, follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.