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Donald Trump rallies supporters at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah as GOP candidates debate in Miami

Trump gets rousing welcome from Hialeah crowd
Trump gets rousing welcome from Hialeah crowd 01:52

MIAMI -- Former President Donald Trump, speaking to supporters who packed into Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah, said Wednesday that he hopes voters will send him back to the White House because "we will never stop fighting to save the America we love."

Trump took the stage at the stadium after the other Republican candidates had begun trying to convince viewers why they should get the GOP nomination and not Trump.

The former president, who leads his other opponents in virtually every major poll, has opted for counter programming, speaking at the stadium inside Henry Milander Park.

Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Hialeah 02:58

He was introduced by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as Trump's chief spokesperson while he was in the White House.

Trump began by saying that policies by "crooked Joe Biden" have ruined the country.

"They blew it," Trump said. "They blew it badly."

During the roughly 90-minute speech, Trump brought Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo to the stage as he told the former president how the city would pay tribute to Trump..

"I told you we were going to do right by you," the mayor said before saying he would present a measure to the Hialeah City Council to rename a street in the city as Donald Trump Way.

Trump closed out his speech by rattling off a list of promises he vowed to undertake as a rousing theme played in the background.

"It was the hard working patriots that built this country and it will be the hard working patriots like you to save this country," Trump said as the audience listened intently. "We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again."

Trump supporters gather in Hialeah for rally

Organizers had told CBS News that they were expecting 30,000 people to attend the rally. It was not clear if the crowd was that large but there were ground-level seating in addition to the stadium seats.

Libby DePiero arrived at the site of the rally on Monday.

Hundreds line up to hear from former President Donald Trump in Hialeah 01:32

"This is my 73rd rally," she said. "I always understand what he says on the stage. I understand what's going on because we listen to the news and I can't figure it out." 

The former president has a 40 percent lead over his closest competitor of the five remaining Republican presidential candidates.

Comic Roseanne Barr speaks at the Donald Trump rally in Hialeah. CBS News Miami

They were scheduled to take the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which is hosting the event at 8 p.m. The debate Wednesday night will be another chance for the Republican hopefuls to make a dent in Trump's popularity.

But his supporters said it won't make a difference in their support for him.

"Thousands, millions across the country are behind him and we're going to be behind him until he says he's finished," supporter Sharon Anderson said. "And I don't see that happening."

Kimulita Mann was one of Trump's supporters who was anxiously awaiting his arrival in Hialeah.

"I've been here since yesterday. I got to support my President Donald Trump. I love him. I love Melania. I love the family. They stand for America, they fight for America, they fight for us," said Mann.

Trump is currently facing multiple charges across several states, including charges in Georgia regarding election interference.

But a recent CBS News poll shows that 34 percent of Republican primary voters say the legal challenges he faces make them think better of Trump, with the majority saying these issues do not matter.

Trump also holds distinct advantages in his own right when voters look forward: More voters think they'd be better off financially if Trump wins in 2024, and more voters think it's Trump who can keep the U.S. out of a war, if he wins.  

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