Republican Presidential candidate and billionaire businessman Donald Trump stumped in Racine Saturday ahead of the presidential primary election Tuesday. He told a full house at Memorial Hall that he is the only candidate who can save the country’s middle class.
Prior to taking the stage, former Wisconsin Sen. Bob Kasten, Trump’s senior policy advisor Steven Miller and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged residents to get to the polls Tuesday to vote for Trump. They touted his record of supporting the military, veterans and law enforcement, strong stance on keeping American jobs in the U.S., and pointed out that Trump is a self-made man self-funding his campaign so he isn’t beholden to Wall Street or any other special interests.
During his hour-long speech, Trump talked up a number of points on both domestic and foreign affairs, but he pressed the point home that both of his Republican rivals – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich – support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Trump said would drive jobs away from Wisconsin just like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) has for the last 20 years.
“NAFTA took the guts out of this country, out of Wisconsin,” he said. “What the TPP will do to Wisconsin will be unbelievably bad. It will be impossible to compete, and it will clean out our jobs so they’re gone to other countries.”
Trump also said he would repeal NAFTA and revamp the tax code to keep companies from moving out of the country.
Before the rally began, Ken and Kim Anthony stood in line wearing Trump 2016 hats. Ken said he’s a supporter because Trump isn’t business as usual but admitted that he needed more details about how Trump plans to bring jobs back to America. Ken also said he thinks illegal immigration is an issue but he doesn’t know how feasible it is to round up 11 million people or get Mexico to pay for the border wall the candidate has made a cornerstone of his campaign.
“I need details on how Trump plans to restore jobs or bring them back,” he said. “I don’t know that we have the resources to round up 11 million people. I have compassion so I don’t know that we should do that, but if they’re criminals, then yes. As for the wall, I don’t know … maybe he has contacts we don’t know?”
After the rally, Ken said he was happy with what he heard.
“I like that he talked about NAFTA,” he added. “I like the repeal idea. He touched on immigration but not how to deal with the illegals already here.”
Before the rally got underway, Racine residents David Slama and Sherria Wine were undecided, and they said they attended in part to see how others react to Trump and that he wanted to hear directly from the candidate in an unedited forum.
“I want to hear solutions. I’m a businessman, and I want to hear solutions,” Slama said. “I want to hear what Trump will do for us, not what other people aren’t doing for us.”
On his way out of Memorial Hall, Slama said Trump did a good job of convincing him that Trump should get his vote.
“I probably would vote for him now,” Slama stated. “I like that his approach is as a businessman and not as politician. I feel like he’s more of a leader and not a politician.”
During his speech, Trump promised to lower taxes for everyone – including businesses – with a plan that helps more people than his opponents’ plans and to save both Medicare and Social Security.
“My tax plan lowers taxes far more than anyone else’s plan,” Trump said. “I will save Medicare and Social Security because I’ll bring in so much money. Cruz and Kasich will cut the hell out of both.”
Wine said she appreciates that Trump’s message is strong and doesn’t waver. She also liked what he said about Social Security.
“He doesn’t flip flop like so many others,” she stated. “Social Security is a big deal for people like me who are 40 and younger.”
After he drove away from Racine, Trump made his way to Rothschild and Eau Claire. He promised that his wife, Melania, will visit Wisconsin Monday ahead of the Tuesday primary.