(AP) President Donald Trump made a stop at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne to support Mike Braun, the Republican challenger in a hotly-contested US Senate race against incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly.
“More Americans are working today than ever before in our history,” Trump began. “Tomorrow the people of Indiana will send Mike Braun to the Senate, he’s a great guy, very successful guy… he loves the people of Indiana. Republicans have created the single best economy in the history of our country. It’s the hottest jobs market on the planet earth, and everything is at stake tomorrow.”
“When you enter the voting booth on Tuesday, you will be making a simple choice. A vote for Republicans is a vote to continue our prosperity. A vote for Democrats is a vote to bring this economic boon crashing down very rapidly. The Democratic agenda will deliver a socialist nightmare. The Republican agenda is delivering the American dream,” Trump added, reminding the audience of a recent jobs report that showed 250,000 new jobscreated last month.
“We’ve lifted 4.3-million Americans off of food stamps. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment are all at historic levels,” Trump said, following by promising “another 10% tax cut for the middle class.”
Trump also celebrated the recent appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, before the crowd seemed to react to a protestor in the audience. Afterward, Trump turned his attention to the media, criticizing them for not showing the full breadth of the audience his rallies attract, before asking security to remove the protestor.
Many cameras in the media pool turned to get a shot of the crowd shortly after the President’s statement about the crowd. WOWO News had shown the size of the crowd multiple times on our Facebook page.
His daughter, Ivanka, was also in attendance, as well as Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Each came on stage briefly, each to a loud positive response, to thank the crowd for attending and encourage them to vote Republican on Election Day Tuesday, with Conway leading the crowd in a “Joe must go” chant.
Trump called Braun on stage, who called Fort Wayne the “heart and soul of conservatives in Indiana.”
“I’m doing this for the right reasons. Not the pay, not the perks, I signed a term limits pledge… it’s to help someone who’s shaking up Washington,” Braun added. “These folks who do it for the pay and the perks, nothing gets done.”
“Help me send Joe Donnelly to the early retirement he deserves,” Braun said as he ended his speech. With that, two more protestors raised their voices in the crowd, making lewd hand gestures to the crowd as they were escorted out. Trump said he was “not surprised” by the outburst.
Indiana US Congressman Jim Banks called Trump “the greatest president of my lifetime” as he started the rally before the President’s appearance, touting the Trump Administration for two Supreme Court appointments, as well as being “the most pro-life administration in American history.”
“Your taxes have been cut, regulations have been reduced, and the economy is booming more than it ever has in my lifetime,” Banks said. “Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 49 years. Our wages are up. We’re out of the disastrous Iran deal, and American strength around the globe is being asserted in a way it hasn’t been in a very long time.”
“This is a President who keeps his promises,” Banks added, to loud applause.
Indiana US Senator Todd Young appeared on stage as well, imploring the audience to show up at the polls tomorrow to vote for Braun.
“Let’s keep getting more wins for America and the State of Indiana,” Young said.
Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz was a surprise guest, saying he was appearing on behalf of Braun also.
“One thing I know about Indiana is… you’re fair. We need to send people to Washington so the President can have a fair fight, so we can get the damn thing done,” Holtz said.
Trump spoke to a capacity crowd, many of which had started lining up for entry 12 hours before the rally began. Coliseum staff began letting attendees in an hour before the doors were scheduled to open due to the length of a line of people that began to crowd the parking lot. Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown told WOWO News Monday morning he was expecting 20,000 attendees.
Trump’s visit comes 36 years after the last time a sitting President came to Fort Wayne, when Ronald Reagan visited the Summit City to survey flood damage in 1982. It also comes a day after his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, also spoke at an Indiana rally on behalf of Donnelly in Gary.
Election Day is Tuesday. The most recent polls have declared Braun and Donnelly to be in a statistical “dead heat.”