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Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Donald Trump attended a beloved college football bowl game over the weekend at the alma mater of one of his chief rivals, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Rather than showing up Ms Haley in her own home, he was greeted with a chorus of boos by the assembled football fans.

The scene played out during the Palmetto Bowl, a much-anticipated annual showdown between rivals Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Ms Haley is a graduate of Clemson University.

When the former president's car pulled up to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, the crowd was initially receptive. Chants of "we want Trump!" were audible, according to The Hill. However those cheers were quickly drowned out by a stream of disapproving shouts. One video shows Mr Trump seated inside his car looking out at the field as audience members shout at his vehicle.

The former president was visiting officially as a guest of Governor Henry McMaster. Senator Lindsey Graham — himself no stranger to negative crowd reactions — joined Mr Trump and Mr McMaster.

Donald Trump peers out of his vehicle as he is booed by college football fans at Williams-Brice Stadium in South Carolina ahead of the Palmetto Bowl (screengrab/@BMeiselas/Twitter)
Donald Trump peers out of his vehicle as he is booed by college football fans at Williams-Brice Stadium in South Carolina ahead of the Palmetto Bowl (screengrab/@BMeiselas/Twitter)

Mr Trump walked onto the field during halftime to make an appearance, during which he was met with loud booing, especially from Clemson's marching band. One band member was seen giving the former president a thumbs-down gesture while booing,

It wasn’t all negative though; he had some loyal fans in the crowd.

The former president's Truth Social musings did not indicate that he expected the icy reception. Instead, he teased that he was "getting ready to leave for the Great State of South Carolina to attend the Palmetto Bowl," adding that it "will be a terrific game."

"See you all later!” he wrote on his social media site.

South Carolina, an early primary state, will be a key victory needed for any non-Trump Republican candidates hoping to secure the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

While Ms Haley has made significant strides to position herself as a contender in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race, she still trails just behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and far behind Mr Trump in national polling averages.