Former President Donald Trump received a very warm welcome on Saturday while attending a college football game in the home state of one of his GOP primary challengers, establishment candidate Nikki Haley — where he watched Haley’s alma mater, Clemson University, play against its rivals in the annual Palmetto Bowl.
While entering the stadium to watch the Clemson University vs. University of South Carolina game, Trump received cheers and applause from all over the stadium.
The crowd went wild when Trump stepped out onto the field, which has become customary any time Trump attends a large sporting event — including a minutes-long standing ovation during his recent appearance at a UFC event alongside UFC president Dana White, Tucker Carlson and musician Kid Rock.
While waiting for Trump to enter the stadium, the crowd reportedly broke out into excited chants of “USA!”
With Haley trailing Trump in the polls at only 8% support compared to his 67%, Trump’s warm welcome in her home state at a game for her alma mater only solidifies his clear status as the frontrunner in the Republican primary. Further, Haley is also a member of Clemson University’s board of trustees.
Despite Trump’s obvious popularity and Haley’s lack of support, Haley’s spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas claimed in a statement that she is “the only candidate with momentum.”
“South Carolinians know their governor has what it takes to win because they’ve seen her beat the odds before — not just once, but twice,” she added.
Meanwhile, Trump has made campaign stops at numerous universities to attend college football games and speak with voters. On one such visit to Iowa in September, the GOP presidential frontrunner tailgated with the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity before attending the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game — where he was again met with cheers as he entered the stadium.
After attending the same Iowa-Iowa State game, Georgia state Sen. Brandon Beach (R) noted that “President Trump knows he can connect with people, and they are going to connect with him.”
“These are American values,” he added, reflecting on chants of “USA!” in Iowa. “They realize how much Trump loves our country… They want what he wants: good energy policy, a secure border, to be safe.”