President Donald Trump told a crowd in Florida on Tuesday night that buying groceries requires an identification card.
Trump made the comment while pushing for voter ID laws at a rally in Tampa to support Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in the state’s gubernatorial race. The president touched on a number of his regular talking points, including unemployment rates and tariffs, before talking about voter fraud.
Trump claimed Democrats were attempting to give undocumented immigrants the right to vote.
“Which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else,” Trump told the crowd. “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID.”
There is no evidence that noncitizen voting is a widespread problem, despite Trump’s claims. Pressed in court earlier this year to offer evidence of widespread noncitizen voting in Kansas, experts whose work Trump has relied on were only able to point to a handful of cases.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to clarify Trump’s remark at a press briefing on Wednesday. She attempted to deflect the comment by focusing on beer and wine purchases that require identification, even though Trump doesn’t drink alcohol.
“He is not saying every time he went in, he is saying when you go to the grocery store,” Huckabee Sanders said. “I’m pretty sure everybody in here who has been to a grocery store that has purchased beer or wine has probably had to show their I.D. If they didn’t, that’s probably a problem with the grocery store.”
To be clear, American citizens do not need a picture ID to buy basic groceries. There are some federal and state regulations that prohibit the sale of alcohol or certain over-the-counter medications without identification, but that does not extend to basic food or cleaning products.
Social media users remarked on Trump’s assertion as “out of touch” and wondered when the billionaire last bought his own groceries.
Trump discussed trade deals and immigration before the Tampa crowd using much of his typical rhetoric.
He once again used the term “globalist,” which is often used in xenophobic and anti-Semitic contexts, to refer to lobbyists fighting against his tariffs. Trump also went after Democrats for their views on immigration, including calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Trump ended the rally by boasting about the “impact” of his endorsements. He remarked on Brian Kemp’s primary win in Georgia last week in a contentious Republican runoff for governor after he endorsed Kemp.
This story has been updated with information on noncitizen voting and a response from Sarah Huckabee Sanders.