In one-on-one interview, Trump says his campaign has ‘really good shot at Minnesota’ in 2024

In one-on-one interview, Trump says his campaign has ‘really good shot at Minnesota’ in 2024
In one-on-one interview, Trump says his campaign has ‘really good shot at Minnesota’ in 2024

Former President Trump discusses chances in Minnesota in one-on-one interview

Former President Donald Trump says he’s well aware no Republican presidential candidate has won Minnesota since 1972, but says he’s also aware he came close to winning the state in 2016 when he lost to Hillary Clinton by less than 2 percentage points.

“We think we have a really good shot at Minnesota,” Trump told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in an exclusive interview conducted remotely from Trump Tower in New York City. “We have great friendships up there. We’ve done a lot for industry. We’ve donated a lot for everything in Minnesota. Worked hard in Minnesota. “Tom Emmer is very involved.”

Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer and the former president have worked out their differences after Trump opposed Emmer’s attempt to become House Speaker. Emmer now serves as Trump’s Minnesota campaign chairman.

Trump will headline the Minnesota Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan fundraising dinner Friday night in St. Paul. He says he will focus comments on the economy at the dinner and during the campaign.

“The economy is killing everyone,” he says. “Minnesota is a great example of that. “Minnesota’s getting just absolutely killed by inflation.”

It is true Minnesota’s inflation rate is among the top 20 states with the highest inflation rates, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Last month Minnesota’s inflation rate was 3.26%, compared to 2.56% in Wisconsin and 2.97% in Iowa. However, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is 2.7%, the seventh lowest in the country.

Trump wasn’t taking questions specifically about the “hush money” trial happening now in New York City, but we asked if he’s concerned about the impact the trial and possible guilty verdict could have on his campaign. “It’s certainly something that’s never been done before in this country. It’s a witch hunt. It’s the weaponization of government.”

RELATED: KSTP/SurveyUSA poll: ‘Hush money’ trial leaves no impact on presidential race in Minnesota

The trial is certainly having an impact on how he conducts his campaign for president. He sat for our interview at Trump Tower in New York City just minutes before leaving the courthouse for the second day of testimony from his former attorney Michael Cohen.

He had harsh words for the judge in his case. “We’ve got a judge who’s very conflicted. “He’s got a tremendous conflict and all of that stuff, but in theory this case should not even proceed further.”

Trump was asked if he’s bothered by the many polls that indicate many voters wish they had better choices for president, with concerns about Biden’s age and health and Trump’s character and legal issues.

“I hear that question a lot because the Democrats put it out there. They say we have two unpopular people running, but I’m not unpopular. I’m at 95% of the Republican Party, which was higher than Ronald Reagan, who was at 86%. I always don’t like that question, frankly, because you look at the polling and look how fast I got the nomination. “It was the fastest anyone’s ever gotten the nomination.”

He pushes back on the notion he’s unpopular. “I don’t think I’m unpopular and I think my policies are very, very popular.”

Although abortion is still considered among the top three issues in Minnesota in our KSTP/SurveyUSA polling, Trump doesn’t think the issue will hurt him in Minnesota. “What I was able to do (by appointing conservative Supreme Court justices) was move it back to the states and now the states are going to decide. In the case of Minnesota, they’re going to decide and probably keep what (abortion laws) they have. But the states will decide. The people will vote and this is what people have wanted for 52 years.”

The same poll shows Trump and Biden in essentially a dead heat, with Biden having a slight advantage with a 44% to 42% lead, well within the ±4.3% margin of error. Biden beat Trump in Minnesota in 2020, 52% to 45%.

At a rally in Duluth in September of 2020, Trump joked he wouldn’t come back to Minnesota if he lost in the state.

He will be back on Friday when he speaks at the Republican Lincoln Reagan, with tickets selling for $500 for individuals up to $100,000 for a table of 10 with photo opportunities.

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