President Donald Trump failed to draw a large crowd as he arrived in Tampa Friday afternoon.
Cameras caught rows of empty space among the barricades organizers set up to enforce social distancing at an event in front of Air Force One dedicated to Florida law enforcement.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, we do ask that you maintain social distance during this event. There’s plenty of space for everyone,’ a voice over the loudspeaker said, according to CNN.
But the crowd that did gather clustered near the two podiums where the president and several Florida sheriffs spoke during the 30-minute mini-rally.
Most who were in attendance did not wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Nearly 10,000 positive coronavirus cases were detected in the state on Thursday, as Florida remains one of the nation’s hotspots for the virus.
Trump arrived sans mask and appeared alongside sheriffs, who also weren’t wearing masks, to talk about Democratic calls to ‘defund the police.’
He took shots at presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, former 2020 contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
He also talked about what a buzz kill COVID has been.
‘I wanted to hug them and kiss them,’ Trump said of the law enforcment officers who flanked his podium. ‘Maybe in 90 days.’
Since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests Trump has staked his re-election chances that voters will appreciate his ‘law and order’ message.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who attended a ‘cops for Trump’ event Thursday in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, are trying to show their support for law enforcement across the nation.
‘People like the ones standing behind me, they will not be considered primetime,’ Trump said warning officers of a looming Democratic administration. ‘With me, they are considered primetime.’
Trump has also engaged in culture war issues such as pushing to maintain Confederate names on military bases, as Black Lives Matter protesters have targeted Confederate statues.
The president hasn’t attracted the same kinds of crowds that previously showed up for his rallies since the coronavirus came to U.S. shores earlier this year.
On June 20, he tried to host a large rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which brought in 6,200 according to the fire department, though Trump has disputed the figure.
Prior to the rally, then Campaign Manager Brad Parscale boasted about receiving 1 million ticket requests, though a number came from teens trying to punk the Trump campaign.
That rally was in the news this week after former GOP presidential candidate Hermain Cain died Thursday. He appeared at the rally without a mask and was diagnosed with COVID-19 nine days later. His staff said it’s unclear where he contracted the virus because he traveled to multiple states in June.