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LAS VEGAS – Former President Donald Trump made endurance a theme of his rally Sunday in 100-degree heat at a Las Vegas park.

The Las Vegas Metro Police estimated that around 6,900 people participated. Six people were hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, a LVMPD spokesman said.

In his speech two days before the Nevada primaries, Trump did not support any of the Republican candidates for the US Senate. Army veteran Sam Brown and Trump’s former ambassador to Iceland, Jeff Gunter, had hoped for a nomination.

Trump introduced a new proposal that he said he had never mentioned publicly before and that would be one of his priorities: eliminating the tip tax. In Nevada, where the casino and entertainment industry depends on tips, this proposal is likely to be a success.

The tip pledge adds another detail to Trump’s tax plan, which already included vague promises of tax relief for middle-income workers and small businesses.

“This is the first time I’ve said this, and hotel workers and people who get tips are going to be very happy because when I get into office, we’re not going to tax the tips that people give,” Trump told a crowd of several thousand people.

Trump said he would do that “right now, right at the beginning of his term,” and noted in a prepared speech that he would seek a bill in Congress to make the change. “You do a great job, you care about the people, and I think this will be something that is really deserved.”

He had previously promised to permanently enact the income tax cuts passed by the Republicans, which he signed in 2017 but which expire at the end of 2025. Tax experts estimate that this would increase the US budget deficit by around $4 trillion within a decade compared to current forecasts.

Technical difficulties during the rally

There were reports of constant problems with his teleprompter and he vowed not to pay the company behind it.

“I don’t pay contractors to do (expletive) work,” Trump said.

Because he had no prepared remarks, he was able to keep his speech more lighthearted, often engaging the audience like a stand-up comedian, asking who his vice presidential running mate should be (no agreement) and whether “Sleepy Joe” or “Crooked Joe” was a better nickname for Biden.

One of the questions was whether he would rather be eaten by a shark or electrocuted.

“I would take an electric shock every time,” Trump said.

Viktor Orbán, Jack Smith and Jesus Christ mentioned at rally

During his hour-long speech, Trump listed a litany of prominent people he thought were stupid.

Among them was Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing the criminal investigation into Trump’s actions related to the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol and his handling of classified information.

“He’s a stupid son of a bitch,” Trump said.

On the other hand, he praised the “great Viktor Orbán,” Hungary’s authoritarian leader, whom he quoted as saying: “The world can only be saved if we elect Trump.”

Trump described Biden and Democrats’ policies as so ridiculous that “the only way they can beat us is by cheating.”

That’s why he urged everyone to vote in November because turnout was “too high to rig,” a refrain used by many of the dozens of speakers who spoke before him in a field in Sunset Park.

One of them was US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. She compared the former president, who was recently found guilty of 34 counts of serious crimes by a New York jury, to Jesus Christ.

“The person I admire was also a convicted felon and was crucified on a Roman cross,” she said.

Mark Robison is the Reno Gazette-Journal’s state politics reporter, with occasional forays into other topics. Email comments to [email protected] or comment on Mark’s Greater Reno Facebook page.

Contributors: Reuters

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