In a fiery campaign rally at the Jersey Shore on Saturday, former President Donald Trump lashed out at his political enemies, declaring that "the gloves are off" and promising a brutal election against President Joe Biden. The rally, which drew tens of thousands of supporters to the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey, was a show of force in a deep blue state and a sign that the upcoming election is on a dark path.

Trump, angered by his criminal indictments, attacked President Biden, calling him a "total moron" and a "fool" who has done more damage to the country than the "10 worst presidents in the history of our country" combined. He also coined a derogatory new nickname for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, referring to him as "Fat Alvin" and a "corrupt guy."

Despite the serious nature of his criminal cases, Trump was often lighthearted during his nearly 90-minute speech, boasting about drawing bigger crowds than Bruce Springsteen and joking about eating a hot dog because it's among the foods least affected by inflation. However, he also injected his mix of increasingly apocalyptic rhetoric into the festival atmosphere, lamenting what he described as the "plunder, rape, slaughter and destruction of" American communities and saying that the country is in "big trouble."

Trump's 2024 campaign has drawn attention for some of the harsh language he is using, echoing authoritarian leaders and calling his opponents "vermin" and immigrants "poisoning the blood of the country." On Saturday, he said that America is less threatened by outside forces than the "enemies from within," claiming that Biden is "surrounded by fascists" and that his criminal cases are a "Biden show trial."

The former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election resulted in two criminal indictments, and he is also facing charges for allegedly mishandling classified documents. Trump blamed his indictments on Biden, without evidence, and said that he is going harder at the president because of it.

New Jersey, a deep blue state that hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1988, is widely expected to favor Biden again this year. However, Trump claimed that the state is in play and mentioned Pennsylvania repeatedly in his speech, drawing coverage in the Philadelphia media market and attendees from the city and surrounding suburbs.

Many rallygoers wore shirts with Trump's mug shot from his indictment in Georgia and the words "Never Surrender," while others wore shirts supporting those arrested for rioting in the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Planes trolling Trump and one praising him also crisscrossed the sky trailing banners.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum warmed up the crowd and is on Trump's short list of potential running mates. Trump teased a potential Trump/Burgum ticket, saying, "You won't find anybody better than this gentlemen in terms of his knowledge... so get ready for something, OK. Just get ready."

The rally was a reminder of the deep divisions in the country and the increasingly nasty rhetoric that is likely to dominate the upcoming election. As Trump continues to face criminal charges and investigations, his supporters remain loyal and energized, while his critics see him as a threat to democracy and the rule of law.