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Boos and cheers greet Trump at South Carolina stadium



The Palmetto Bowl, a highly anticipated annual football game between Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, saw a surprising turn of events this weekend with the attendance of former President Donald Trump. The game, held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, became more than just a sports event as it turned into a platform for public sentiment towards Mr. Trump.

A Controversial Appearance

Donald Trump’s arrival at the alma mater of one of his chief rivals, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, a Clemson University graduate, was met with mixed reactions. Initially, as Mr. Trump’s car approached the stadium, he was welcomed with chants of “we want Trump!” as reported by The Hill. However, this reception quickly shifted as a wave of boos overshadowed the initial cheers, marking a significant moment of public dissent.

Videos circulating from the event show the former president seated inside his car, looking out at the field while facing vocal disapproval from the audience. Despite some loyal fans in the crowd, the predominant reaction was one of disapproval, especially notable during his halftime appearance on the field. The booing was particularly loud from Clemson’s marching band, with one band member visibly giving a thumbs-down gesture.

Mr. Trump’s visit to the game was in an official capacity, as a guest of Governor Henry McMaster, and was accompanied by Senator Lindsey Graham. Notably, both figures have previously experienced negative reactions from the public in similar settings.

Political Implications

The former president’s attendance at the Palmetto Bowl comes at a time when South Carolina is positioning itself as a crucial early primary state for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. With Nikki Haley, a potential contender in the race, trailing behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Mr. Trump in national polling averages, the event’s political undertones were hard to miss.

Mr. Trump’s post on his social media site, Truth Social, prior to the event showed no anticipation of the chilly reception, as he expressed excitement about attending the “terrific game.” The mixed response he received at the game could be reflective of the current political climate and voter sentiment as the 2024 presidential race begins to take shape.

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