UPDATE JULY 28: Click here for a factcheck.org analysis of the claims made in President Trump's Youngstown speech.
Donald Trump won the highest office in the land in part because of places like Youngstown, Ohio—former Democratic Party strongholds. So on Tuesday, the President came to town.
If President Trump wanted a change of venue from the nation’s capital and national media, he got it. Upwards of 7,500 supports came to the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown to listen to, and cheer, what he had to say.
“And now tonight I’m back in the center of the American heartland, far away from the Washington swamp to spend time with thousands of true American patriots.”
It was billed as a campaign rally for 2020 and Mr. Trump used it to go over points he began talking about as a candidate in 2016. Including health care; which headlined his remarks because of the Senate vote to begin debate over repeal.
“We’re now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obama Care nightmare. And delivering great healthcare for the American people. We’re going to do that too.”
He reiterated his call for a trillion-dollars for the nation’s infrastructure. And he pledged to get better deals within NAFTA, or scrap it. And there’s the wall.
“It was actually told to me the other day by somebody in Mexico that’s very high up said it’s incredible because their southern border is getting very little traffic. Nobody is coming anymore because they know they can’t get through our southern border, so they don’t even come.”
But, the President didn’t leave all of his sensitivity to criticism behind in Washington. Speaking of the need to be forceful in trying to get things done, he challenged people who say he does not behave like a President.
“And I said -- with the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln -- I can be more Presidential than any president that’s ever held this office. That I can tell you.”
After about an hour of describing what he has done, is trying to do, and thinks ought to be done, Mr. Trump turned his attention to unity.
“Our small differences are nothing compared to our common history common values and future. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. Now it is up to us to preserve the birthright of freedom and justice, the birthright of prosperity that our ancestors won for us with their sweat, with their sweat, with their blood, with their work, with their muscles, with their brains.
"They won it for us. And we’re going to make it bigger and better and stronger than it ever was before.”
Attendees of the rally seemed to be universally happy with it. Jack Emerson from Malvern described it as "a lot of high energy. Kind of a same stump speech he has done. But, you know what? I’ve got to respect the guy because he’s not afraid to say it like it is."
Betsy Easterday and Jeff Arnette drove up from Mount Vernon, and said it was worth the trip.
“I wasn’t a Trump supporter from the beginning, but as I’ve listened and learned more about what his plans are, I’ve become a Trump supporter. And way back, originally I was a Ben Carson supporter in terms of running for president. He’s got Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. I don’t care what else he does, he’s a success.”
Phil Spaulding lives in Mahoning County and says he was on the "Trump train" early.
"I think, and I like that he was refreshingly honest. In the beginning I didn’t really think he had a chance, but I couldn’t believe that he got the Republican ticket. But that was pretty amazing and I got on board at that point.” Asked if he's satisfied with the job the President is doing, he said "Absolutely. So far so good, yeah.”
Bob Ward of Boardman was satisfied too, saying he's "been a supporter since the beginning. It speaks to the man that he comes to Ohio -- not only because of our importance politically -- but most politicians once they win, they get in office, they don’t go around and say 'thank you.' And that’s what I felt like this was. This was a 'thank you' tour. That, going around and celebrating. He used the word celebrate I think four or five times."
Outside the Covelli Centre there were about two-hundred protestors in several locations.