Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris rallied in Aiken on Saturday evening, and to the crowd's delight, blasted President Donald Trump between various policy anecdotes and calls to action.
Hopping on stage at Aiken High School, the California senator immediately addressed the ongoing impeachment probe led by House Democrats. She didn't mince words.
"And so I stand before you Aiken today, in the name of the people, fully prepared to say goodbye to Donald Trump," Harris said, eliciting raucous applause and a flurry of sign waving.
Aiken County is considered safely Republican. The Aiken County Legislative Delegation has few Democratic members, and a local S.C. House race saw six Republicans file for the seat. No Democrats filed.
Harris, a former attorney general, later described Trump as a walking indictment in a red tie. She questioned the motives behind the president's make America great again slogan – "We're not going back, we're not going back" – and promised to put up a good fight, something she noted this nation was born out of.
"And justice is on the ballot when we have a criminal living in the White House," Harris said, again receiving a rumble of applause.
In a brief interview after her Aiken County town hall, Harris said her jabs at the president are the product of mounting circumstances and needed pressure.
"You know, here's the thing. There is, I think especially now, so much to point to that really is evidence of the corruption in this administration," Harris said. "I mean, every day. I mean, it really is undeniable to the point that even members of his party, who have been reluctant because they're worried about political kind of fallout, are even speaking up. And I think it's just important to speak the truth."
Having the courage to address and sympathize with what people across the nation are feeling is critical, she added.
Harris in the latest Winthrop University poll fell just outside the top three candidates – No. 4, specifically – with South Carolina Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters.
Her support among black Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters was stronger, though, than that of competitors Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, according to the same poll.
Both Sanders and Warren have campaigned in the Aiken-Augusta area this year.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California (@KamalaHarris), a Democratic presidential hopeful, is campaigning in Aiken this evening.— Colin Demarest (@demarest_colin) October 19, 2019
Her town hall event begins at 4:45 p.m. at Aiken High School. People are already in line — despite the rain+wind.@aikenstandard #SC2020 #scpol #sctweets
Speaking Saturday night, Harris promised the 2020 election would not be like 2016. That is to say Trump would not be reelected.
"It will not be 2016," the senator said. "For so many reasons including this: Donald Trump sold people out."
The president broke promises to many, she argued, including working families and those in rural areas.
"He engages in so-called trade policy by tweet, based on unilateral action born out of a fragile ego," Harris said. "That has resulted in farmers, in places like Iowa and throughout the country, looking at bankruptcy."
After speaking, Harris took questions from the audience. Before leaving, she worked the crowd and took photos.
Her stop in Aiken on Saturday night is part of a longer South Carolina visit. Before the Aiken County town hall, Harris was in Orangeburg. On Sunday, she'll be in the Columbia area.