Donald Trump touched on nearly all of his themes in his final campaign rally — and declared independence

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

At just after midnight on Tuesday, Donald Trump embarked on his final raucous rally of his unprecedented presidential campaign — and pleaded with voters to make the day the US' "independence day."

Hitting on many of the themes common throughout the hundreds of prior Trump rallies, the Republican nominee bellowed to a packed, late-night audience in Grand Rapids, Michigan, early Tuesday morning — Election Day — that "today is our Independence Day."

SEE MORE: In-depth coverage of the 2016 election

"Today the American working class is going to strike back," he said, adding disbelief throughout the rally that the day had arrived, at last. "The election is now, the election is now. Can you believe it? It's today."

The Manhattan billionaire said there was "no place" he'd rather be for his grand finalè of a rally than Michigan. He guaranteed a win later Tuesday night, outlining the next step for his historic political movement.

"It's going to be the very beginning of a new adventure," he said. "The new adventure is making America great again. We're going to do it."

The final rally was the culmination of what became the hallmark of Trump's presidential campaign — the free-flowing, off-the-cuff rallies in front of thousands of supporters.

Perhaps no element of the Trump candidacy sparked more news, more controversy, and more fandom for Trump than his wild rallies. For much of the primary season, he would simply go on stage and speak with little or no script, often for more than an hour. Even after adding a teleprompter, he still frequently went off script, making statements that overshadowed his speech.

It was at his rallies that he labeled Sen. Marco Rubio as "Liddle Marco," Sen. Ted Cruz as "Lyin' Ted," former Gov. Jeb Bush as "low energy," and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as "Crooked Hillary."

He pulled stunts such as spraying a water bottle to mock Rubio, pretending to shoot a belt buckle in referencing the backstory of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, and he even giving out Sen. Lindsey Graham's cell phone number out on stage.

During his late-night Michigan speech, he made sure to give a hat tip to all of those he savaged along his way to his party's nomination and throughout his subsequent quest toward the Oval Office.

"It's hard to believe," Trump said. "We started a year and a half ago. We started with 17 people. Very talented. Senators. Governors. Dr. Ben Carson ... And now we have one flawed candidate left to beat."

32 PHOTOS
Donald Trump's final day of campaigning
See Gallery
Donald Trump's final day of campaigning

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Chris Keane)

Supporters cheer during a campaign rally by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Staff Sergeant James Wainscoat, the man who stood up at a Obama/Hillary rally in eastern North Carolina this week attends Trump event in Raleigh, North Carolina, on 7 November 2016.

(Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump speaks beside her father, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, center, during a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. .

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Casey Peters, 8, of Raymond, N.H. waits outside to enter a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

A child watches as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Lackawanna College Student Union in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 7, 2016.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses a gathering at a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Scranton, Pa.

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Attendees hold signs before the start of a campaign event for Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. A federal judge rejected arguments that Trump and his political adviser Roger Stone are rallying supporters to intimidate minority voters on Election Day by acting as vigilante poll monitors and 'ballot integrity' volunteers.

(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Lara Trump, daughter-in-law to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, tosses out hats to the crowd before Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Chris Keane)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to him speak during a campaign rally at Lackawanna College, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Scranton, Pa.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A supporter sports Donald Trump socks prior to the Republican candidate's campaign stop at Dorton Arena Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Raleigh N.C. It's the final day before Election Day.

(Jill Knight/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)

Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, speaks to a campaign rally before the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.

(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks at a mask of himself as he speaks during a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A supporter listens as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Lackawanna College Student Union in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 7, 2016.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waits at a rally at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on the final day of campaigning November 7, 2016.

(DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at the J.S. Dorton Arena November 7, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. With less than 24 hours until Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House.

(Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Young supporters for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have their picture taken in front of a "TRUMP" sign at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Chris Keane)

Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, takes the stage to speak to a campaign rally before the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory speaks ahead of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Chris Keane)

A man wears a Donald Trump mask during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Scranton, Pa.

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. November 7, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, signs a Donald Trump hat during a campaign rally for at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant in Baton Rouge, La., November 7, 2016. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spoke at the event.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jorge Gutierrez, a supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, tosses a football before a rally at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on the final day of campaigning November 7, 2016.

(DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. makes a last minute campaign stop at Rub BBQ restaurant on Nov. 7, 2016 in Detroit, speaking with about 75 supporters.

(Kathleen Gray/Detroit Free Press/TNS via Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Raleigh, N.C.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Supporter of Trump Await the Candidate at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh on November 7, 2016 on the last day of campaigning before election day.

(Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Supporters of Trump await the Candidate at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh on November 7, 2016 on the last day of campaigning before election day.

(Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

It was during his rallies that he would make his most pointed statements on his chief policy items. He painted them in as extreme a light as he possibly could, riling up the massive crowds in the process.

He called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a landmark free-trade agreement supported by the Obama administration, the continuing "rape of our country." He proclaimed that "Mexico will pay for the wall" he will build along the southern border of the US. And he announced in December one of the most controversial proposals of his campaign — one to bar Muslims from entering the country "until we can figure out what the hell is going on."

Tuesday was no exception.

"I just want to ask you one question here at 1 a.m.," Trump said. "Who is going to pay for the wall?"

"Mexico!" the crowd roared back.

"100%," Trump said in response. "They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay."

Chants of "build that wall" had already broken out.

"We will suspend the Syrian refugee program," Trump continued. "And we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. 100%. We have no choice. We have no choice. But we all have big hearts, and we'll build safe havens in Syria."

And he torched trade, too, in the Rust Belt state, blasting NAFTA and the TPP. He promised to come back to Michigan during his presidency "every time we open up a new factory or automobile plant."

I'll "stop the jobs from leaving the US, and stop the jobs from leaving Michigan," he promised. "That I can tell you, 100%."

"Now the cars are made in Mexico, and you can't drink the damn water in Flint," Trump continued. "What the hell?!"

24 PHOTOS
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's final campaign days
See Gallery
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's final campaign days
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton acknowledges the crowd at a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Leesburg, Virginia, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Wilmington, Ohio, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Protest signs urging more civility in American politics flank a long row of signs supporting Republican President candidate Donald Trump in Hillsborough, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake 
A child dressed up as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waits at a campaign event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 
Jay Z and Beyonce share a kiss before Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a free campaign concert in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., November 4 , 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk 
Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway speaks before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A cardboard cutout of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is pictured on a the media charter plane with a countdown clock to the election while sitting on the tarmac at the airport in Tampa, Florida, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks at a Hillary for America campaign event in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 
U.S. President Barack Obama puffs out his cheeks at a baby as he greets people in the crowd after his remarks at a Hillary for America campaign event at the Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and businessman/NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talk on her campaign plane in Moon, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People listen as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a Hillary for America campaign event at the Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Atkinson, New Hampshire, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Ground crew wait with a set of bunting wrapped stairs for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to attend a campaign event in Wilmington, Ohio, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. President Barack Obama greets people before delivering remarks at a Hillary for America campaign event at the Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Supporters pose with a large effigy of U.S. Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, while waiting to attend a campaign event with U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A Donald Trump supporter disrupts remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at a Hillary for America campaign event at the Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets audience members at a campaign rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder 
U.S. President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks at a Hillary for America campaign event at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Wilmington, Ohio, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks through Heinz Field, home of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, after a campaign rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Another all-too-common theme of the Trump rally was his frequent lambasting of the press, whether it was calling them "dishonest," "scum," or "low-lifes" — or calling reporters out by name.

There were too many examples to rehash, but he once mocked them for claiming that he "loves" deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Last month, he promised to sue all of the women who went to the press he deemed as "disgusting" to accuse him of making unwanted sexual advances. On cue, he saved some vitriol for his final rally.

"The world's most dishonest people," he said of the media, adding "they're not happy" with his success.

"They're saying, 'What is going on?" he said.

Often hand-in-hand with his commonly used lines about the media were his complaints that they did not show the size of the crowds at his rally.

"Isn't it too bad that the corrupt media doesn't show the crowds!" he said, adding that the press will "say 'Donald Trump is speaking before a crowd of people.' Ugh, these people are the worst."

And the crowd booed the media as Trump painted them as the enemy. At previous recent rallies, attendees have responded with chants that "CNN sucks," which joined the more common "build that wall" and "lock her up" chants.

Tuesday, they joined in unison with Trump in his latest rally cry: "Drain the swamp."

Draining the swamp, as Trump describes it, is lock-step with his claims of a "rigged" system, such as when he felt the primary was being taken from him, the general election would be "stolen," or when he believed the FBI and Justice Department were "protecting" Clinton amid the investigation surrounding her use of a private email server.

And on that final note, he doubled down again early Tuesday morning.

"She is being protected by a totally rigged system," he said. "She's been protected by a rigged system for so long."

trump rallyRebecca Cook/Reuters

There are seemingly countless other themes and tropes from Trump's events that were continuing news stories in and of themselves. The wild opening acts. The fights that broke out. Even the playlist that preceded and followed Trump. Top Trump ally and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich even suggested to Politico recently that the rallies could continue if Trump doesn't win on Tuesday night.

That thought was not present in the convention hall in the early hours of the morning.

"Let me just tell you, if we don't win, this will be the single greatest waste of time energy and money in my life," he said, a line he's repeated many times before. "We have to win. To do what we want to do, we have to win. We can't just have something that looks good in the history books in 30 years."

Then, at just after 1 a.m., he made his last appeal to America.

"To all Americans tonight in all of our cities and all of our towns, I pledge to you one more time, together, we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again," he said.

Then he added a new instruction.

"Go to bed!" he insisted of his audience, his final words from a presidential campaign rally. "Go to bed right now! Get up and vote!"

NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Donald Trump's unhealthy diet

See Also:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners