- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 12, 2022

Former President Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters in Florence, South Carolina, he believes President Biden lacks the mental and physical capacity to handle the crisis in Ukraine, which is under siege by an invading Russia.

“We have a president representing our country at the most important time in history, who is physically and mentally challenged,” Mr. Trump told the crowd gathered in frigid temperatures amid an unusual March cold snap in the south.

Mr. Trump blamed Mr. Biden for what he called weak leadership that he said enabled Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch an attack on Ukraine that is now in its third week.

“Under my leadership we were feared by our enemies, and we were respected by all,” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “Under Joe Biden, America is neither feared nor respected. There has never been a time where our country has been treated the way it is right now. And that’s why we are seeing chaos and mayhem and bloodshed all over the world.”

Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden helped enable Russian aggression by curtailing U.S. energy production, ending new gas and oil leases on federal land and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. The decrease in U.S. oil production left Europe and America more dependent on Russian energy. 

Mr. Trump, who has implied repeatedly he’ll run for president again in 2024, told the crowd the nation can quickly rev up energy production again.

“We’re going to get it back quickly,” Mr. Trump, 75, said.

The rally began with a video montage of bad economic news and clips of Mr. Biden, 79, stuttering and sounding confused.

Mr. Trump appeared in Florence to stump for two Republican candidates, Katie Arrington and Russell Fry, who are challenging incumbent GOP House lawmakers Nancy Mace and Tom Rice. Mr. Rice voted to impeach Mr. Trump in January 2021, while Mrs. Mace blamed Mr. Trump for the riot at the U.S. Capitol that took place that month. 

“Republicans are going to take back control of Congress and then put our big and bold agenda back into action,” Mr. Trump said. 

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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