Former U.S. President Donald Trump hosted a “Save America” rally at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center in Warren, Mich. on Oct. 1 to campaign for Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and other Republican politicians running for election on Nov. 8. 

Trump took the stage to speak about his concerns over the security of American elections. Over the course of a nearly two-hour speech, he repeated unfounded claims of voter fraud and asserted that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.

“Who would have thought our elections are so rigged and broken?” Trump said. “I don’t believe we’ll ever have a fair election again.” 

Trump also spoke about the Russian invasion in Ukraine, stating that it was a result of Biden’s administration and claimed the war would have been avoided under Trump’s ‘America First’ policy that prioritized nationalism and isolationism. 

“Look at what we’ve been through together,” Trump said. “Russia, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine — it never would have happened if I was president.” 

As Trump turned to discussing the impending gubernatorial election, he further criticized Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for reelection this November. Trump spoke on his issues with Whitmer’s policies on COVID-19, crime and abortion before reaffirming his support for Dixon’s campaign. 

“(Dixon) will fight for Michigan families like no one has ever fought before,” Trump said. “She’s a great person. We introduced her at my last rally up here, and she took off like a rocket ship.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon also addressed the thousands of attendees Saturday evening, calling attention to the Democrat-funded advertisements targeting Dixon’s anti-abortion stance. Dixon said Whitmer “stretches the truth” because she would not have the power to revoke abortion rights as governor. This decision, Dixon said, will be up to Michigan residents in voting on the Reproductive Freedom For All ballot initiative set to appear in the upcoming midterm election.

“(Democrats) have spent nearly $23 million going after me,” Dixon said. “You might have seen some of the ads saying that I’m pro-life. Again, ‘Stretchin’ Gretchen’ is out there saying that I’m going to be able to do something about that issue in the state. You all know it’s on the ballot, it’s been decided by a judge.”

Abortion rights have become a hot topic for this November’s election after The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, a court case that had previously established a constitutional right to abortion access nationwide. Dixon has said she opposes all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, except when necessary to save the life of the pregnant person.

In the state of Michigan, abortions are still protected under a preliminary injunction that blocks a 1931 ban on abortions. Michigan voters will decide in the November general election whether to approve the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment, which would codify abortion rights in the state constitution.

Dixon won the Republican primary for governor in August following a last-minute endorsement from Trump on July 29. Dixon defeated four other GOP candidates, receiving 41.5% of the Republican vote in Michigan. Dixon has also been endorsed by the DeVos family, the Police Officers Association of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce

During the primaries, Dixon outraised the other four Republican candidates for governor, and according to her most recent campaign finance report, she has reached an end balance of just under $524,000. In comparison, Whitmer has an end balance of over $14 million

Dixon criticized Whitmer for her stance on supporting the “spirit” to defund the police amid increasing attention to police brutality and racial injustice in 2020. In addition, Dixon condemned Whitmer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to which the crowd erupted in chants of ‘lock her up!’ The chant was an echo from Trump’s campaign rallies in 2016, when he ran against Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and Democratic opponent. 

“​​This is the woman who knelt on the ground with people who held up signs that said ‘Defund the police,’ and then she said she supports the spirit of (defunding) the police,” Dixon said. “Are you going to let her get away with these lies today? … We are going to protect our law enforcement officers. We are going to make sure we stand behind our law enforcement officers.”

In her closing remarks, Dixon said she would work toward her campaign promises on public education, crime and economic security. 

“We are American, we are Michiganders, no one holds us down,” Dixon said. “We will make sure our schools will be the top schools in the nation. We will make sure that our cities are the safest cities in the country. And we will make sure that businesses are dying to get in here and (for) the businesses that we have, we will help them expand and grow.” 

Waterford resident Stephen Dail, student at Anderson University in Indiana, said he attended the rally with his girlfriend and her mother to show support for the Republican candidates running in Michigan. Dail said he supported the Trump administration during his time in office as well as former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s tenure, and hopes to see Dixon elected this November. 

“I love obviously what Trump did and our previous governor before — he did a great job,” Dail said. “I think (Dixon) has the potential to be very good and take the state in a good direction because obviously the governor now has done nothing but drag us down.”

At the end of the rally, Dixon returned to the stage to deliver a final strike to Whitmer in the form of a reference to the 2004 hit film “Mean Girls.” 

“One of the folks from the media asked me a pretty interesting question … ‘Do you think that you’re coming off as a mean girl?’” Dixon said. “So all I have to say to that is: Stop trying to make reelection happen, Gretchen.”

Kristina Karamo, Republican nominee for Michigan Secretary of State, spoke at Saturday’s convention encouraging attendees to show their support at the ballot box. In May, Karamo launched her campaign with a vow to “remove corruption” from Michigan elections after backing Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“I need every person in this room to get active, to get engaged, to get involved,” Karamo said. “I’m so glad that you are here but being here at a rally is not enough.”

Karamo gained public attention after claiming she witnessed voter fraud in Detroit while working as a poll watcher. This November, she will face incumbent Jocelyn Benson (D), who has previously defended the security of the 2020 election. 

Matthew DePerno, the Republican nominee for Michigan Attorney General, was also in attendance at the rally and has previously supported Trump’s claims of voter fraud. DePerno is currently under investigation by a special prosecutor for allegations that he illegally accessed voting machines to collect evidence for cases challenging the 2020 election results. DePerno will run against incumbent Dana Nessel (D) in November. 

If elected, DePerno said he promises to put an end to education on race and sexuality in public schools. In his speech, DePerno encouraged parents with similar beliefs to get out to vote for him this November.

“I pledge to every parent that I will fight for your rights when I’m elected,” DePerno said. “We have an opportunity to take back our state — to take back our country — and how are we going to do it? We’re going to do it with every parent across this country who is fed up with the radical policies of Governor Whitmer and Dana Nessel.”

Dixon and Whitmer will face off in a gubernatorial debate in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Oct. 13. The two candidates will also be running against Mary Buzuma of the Liberatian Party, Donna Brandenburg of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, Kevin Hogan of the Green Party and Daryl M. Simpson of the Natural Law Party.

Daily News Editor Anna Fifelski and Daily Staff Reporter Samantha Rich can be reached at and