Trump’s Most Iconic Campaign Tool Is Nowhere To Be Seen As He Languishes In NY Courtroom

[Photo Credit: Rodger Roundy | Daily Caller]

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Hitting the campaign trail for the first time during his New York criminal trial, former President Donald Trump told a group of his supporters on April 16 that the courtroom was affecting his ability to see the people.

“They want to keep me off the campaign trail, but based on what I am doing, I think there is more press here than if I went to a nice location,” Trump said.

Trump has hosted just a fraction of his famous campaign rallies during 2024 that he did in 2016, an analysis by the Daily Caller found. In 2016, from Jan. 1 to May 7, Trump held 132 rallies across 43 states. During the same date range in 2024, the former president has held just 24 rallies in 11 states. (RELATED: ‘Election Interference’: Bragg Case Gag Order Puts Unprecedented Limitations On Trump Campaign)

Since April 15, when Trump’s court case in Manhattan began, only allowing him Wednesdays and weekends free, the former president has held just three rallies. Through the same time period in 2016, Trump conducted 28 rallies.

The former president was granted May 17 off from court, but he instead used the day to attend his son’s high school graduation.

Over the last six weeks, Trump has continued to rail on the court hearings for keeping him off the campaign trail just over five months out from the 2024 election.

“I’m supposed to be in Georgia, I’m supposed to be in New Hampshire, I’m supposed to be in Ohio and lots of other places, and they have me sitting here,” Trump said on April 30.

In the same time period in 2016, however, Trump was still fending off his final Republican opponents, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, in the primary race. The former president had the advantage of being the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination for most of his 2024 campaign. Trump became the sole candidate remaining on March 6 when former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley dropped out.

The Caller’s analysis included a review of Trump’s 2020 campaign events through the same time period, though the then-president was largely limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump hosted 12 rallies from Jan. 1, 2020 to May 7, 2020. In-person events were suspended in March when much of the country shut down due to the pandemic.

While confined to the Manhattan courtroom, he has found other ways to make campaign stops and fundraising events. Following his second day in court, Trump stopped by a bodega in Harlem where he was greeted by swathes of supporters as he made a statement. The former president has also stopped by a Midtown Manhattan fire station, delivering the firefighters pizzas.

Still, Trump has referred to the legal pursuits against him as “massive election interference at a scale never seen” and alleged prosecutors had “AIMED for the various trials to come up during my campaign.”

Despite Trump’s complaints about the trial impacting his schedule, others have cast doubt on the severity of the issue.

Of the 12 Wednesdays that Trump has been free from court, as of May 8, the Washington Post reported that the former president has only spent two of those days on the campaign trail. The outlet’s report also noted that in 2016, once other opponents dropped out, Trump’s campaigning slowed, holding less rallies in May 2016 than he did the month prior. Another rally planned for April 27 was canceled due to weather, the outlet reported.

“When President Trump is not in court eight hours per day for the Biden Trial, he has been hosting rallies and fundraisers, doing local and national media interviews, and even hosting foreign leaders at Trump Tower who have asked to meet with him because they know he will soon return to the White House,” a campaign official told the Daily Caller in response to the criticism.

While Trump has been confined to the courtroom, limited to coming out to speak to reporters or firing off a post on Truth Social, President Joe Biden’s campaign has made light of his opponent’s restrictions.

In a proposal to debate twice during the summer, Biden joked that Trump only has one day available in the week.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal, I’ll even do it twice,” Biden said in a pre-recorded video. “So let’s pick dates Donald, I hear you’re free Wednesdays,” the president quipped.

Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, hit back on what she called the “strategy” from Biden and his cohorts.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats’ entire strategy to defeat President Trump was to weaken him by confining him to a courtroom, but unfortunately for them, their strategy has backfired,” Leavitt told the Caller. “President Trump is increasing his lead over Joe Biden in the polls every day and raised millions more than Joe Biden and the Democrats in the month of April.”