Senatorial candidate Mike Braun, Vice president Mike Pence, and President Donald Trump held a campaign rally Thursday Night in Elkhart Indiana’s North Side Middle School Gymnasium. Local media describe the scene as an intense, packed house, and claim some people had stood in line since 4 PM Wednesday, just to make sure they could get in. The gym holds a maximum capacity 7,373 people.
WSBT22 talked with organized protesters from both sides at the event who claim to disagree with the Administrations stance on immigration, foreign policy and climate issues:
“I’m from the 60s and we were taught to leave our world in a better place than it was when we first inherited it,” said a protestor. “I believe their policies are going to fall very short of that goal.”
“Well It’s their freedom of speech to do it, so I can say they’re not allowed to or it’s wrong,” said a Trump supporter. “I’m actually happy that they do because it’s their right to do it and of course I may not agree with it all or whatever but it’s not my concern.”
They also talked with some attendees after the rally:
“It makes me excited and enthusiastic for the upcoming, not only the midterm we have coming now but the 2020 election cycle,” said Joshua Wilson. “It’s amazing to see what we often see on the news is the bad side of this. When I’m in here in these events like this we see every demographic.”
“He had God in his speech and I loved that,” said Marc Snook. “He really cares about our country. I mean, you can feel it.”
“I was really impressed with Mike Braun tonight,” said Larry Roxy. “I’ve never seen him that close but I was impressed by his demeanor just being one of us, average person not a politician. We need more people like that in Washington.”
This full video of the rally can be found on CNN’s Youtube Channel
Some notable highlights from the speech
Trump started off the speech thanking Vice president Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence for doing an “Unbelievable Job for our Nation”. He then stated that “We are all making America proud. We are rocking. We are rocking.” Which was received with thunderous applause. Trump then Played the predictable “Hoosier State” card to get the crowd even more pumped. As he often does, he made a special note about the crowd size. “This place is packed. This place is Packed”.
He touched on jobs, consumer confidence, prosperity and peace, and claimed that it’s all because “America is being Respected Again”, to chants of “USA. USA. USA.”
He talked about welcoming the North Korean Hostages at 3 AM and stated that “We welcomed them the proper way”. He then added that he will be meeting Kim Jong UN June 12th in Singapore, as reported by TNB yesterday. When riffing about “fake news” making claims of Trump starting a nuclear war with North Korea he declared “You know what gets us into nuclear wars? And you know what gets you into other wars? Weakness. Weakness.”
He jumped around a lot covering various topics like jobs, the previous election, the “fake news media”, and something about minorities, women and a bunch of stats on various demographics. This was briefly interrupted by commenting “Look at all those beautiful red hats. Those beautiful red hats. Lift those up. And I like the White ones too. Make America Great again. Lift those whites up there.”
He claimed that Obama administration paid 1.8 Billion in cash for return of their hostages. (I cannot find any record of the Obama administration paying North Korea 1.8 Billion in exchange for hostages.)
He made a claim about asking how much it would cost to stop building the wall in San Diego (that he’s not building) , so that the residents of California would beg for it to be built at a later date. He claims they told him “Sir it will cost them approximately 7 Million dollars to stop”, and then he claimed to say “I can’t do that to the American people so keep building the wall.”
He briefly talked about defending the Second Amendment. He ironically stated “Don’t kid yourself it is under siege. We defend the right to self defence. Never Believe that your Second Amendment isn’t under siege.” Earlier this year Trump signed into law a piece of gun legislation, the previously failed “Fix NICS”, that was attached to the 1.3 Trillion dollar Omnibus bill. He also called to unilaterally ban Bump-fire Stocks. GOA news has reported that the DOJ moved forward with the ban and its implementation is thought to be imminent.
He bragged that he’s responsible for bringing back “Merry Christmas”.
He says he’ll open the American embassy in Jerusalem next week. Then he made up some story about how much it costs and he stopped signing the bill 1/2 way through made a phone call and then made a better deal. Then he sidetracked to something about London then more fake news. (It was all rather confusing to be perfectly honest.)
He talked about wanting to make a deal with Iran. Trump said “I hope top be able to make a deal with them. A good deal, a fair deal. A good deal for them. Better for them.” ” But we cannot allow them to have nuclear weapons.” Then said the Iran deal was one of the most embarrassing deals the United States has ever entered into.
He started talking about how in elections that party that wins the presidency loses the midterms 90% of the time.
He claimed our economy is twice the size of any other economy in the entire world.
Overall, this was one of his better delivered speeches. If you are fan of the President and not skeptical of his loose facts, this was probably a very good speech for you to watch. The sellout crowd was very exuberant and responsive and he did a fairly good job of staying on message. I wasn’t fond of the random mud slinging and loose with the facts and allegations, but he presented as typical Trump and was surprisingly energetic, for a guy who was up at 3:00 AM earlier in the day welcoming North Korean Hostages.