President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally in Ohio was marked by protesters, but he still had time to push for a repeal of Obamacare, call out “fake news,” list his “many wins” and even brag of “liberating our cities” of illegal immigrants.
Thousands gathered to hear the president speak on Tuesday in Youngstown, Ohio, where the president held a “Make America Great Again” campaign-style rally at the Covelli Center.
The event was reminiscent of a Trump election campaign rally, with pro-Trump merchandise being sold, and big trucks with Trump’s name plastered on the side.
Trump began his speech by celebrating the Senate’s procedural vote on the Republican health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which required Vice President Mike Pence to break a 50-50 tie.
“Only a few hours ago, the Senate approved a vote to begin debating the repealing and replacing the ObamaCare disaster,” Trump said. “Finally! You think that’s easy? That’s not easy.”
By Tuesday evening, the Senate did not have the votes to actually pass the measure, although Trump had earlier said it was “one step closer to liberating citizens from this ObamaCare nightmare and delivering great health care for the American people.”
The Senate voted down the broad healthcare bill, 43-57, with nine Republicans in dissent.
Trump issued a warning to any Republican senators who decided to vote against the measure, saying, “I predict they’ll have a lot of problems.”
The president did not get into much detail about the GOP healthcare bill, moving quickly to familiar ground, lashing out at the media.
Trump said that he likes to bypass the mainstream media and speak directly to the people.
“I’m here this evening to cut through the fake news filter and speak straight to the American people,” Trump said. “Fake news. Fake, fake, fake news.”
Following his remarks, Trump remained quiet, allowing the crowd to begin chanting loudly, “CNN sucks!”
Loud chants of “CNN sucks” right now at the Trump rally
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 25, 2017
Feeding on the crowd, Trump asked if there was “any place that’s more fun, more exciting and safer than a Trump rally?”
Immediately after telling the audience how safe it was, police grabbed a protester by the shirt and dragged him out.
“Boy, he’s a young one. He’s going back home to mommy. Oh, is he in trouble. He’s in trouble,” Trump said. “And I’ll bet his mommy voted for us, right?”
Trump told the audience to ignore the protester, saying that if he didn’t point him out that “no one’s going to notice that he’s here.”
Several other protesters were also escorted out of the event by police, with Trump supporters violently grabbing at their signs, trying to rip them away.
In the middle of his speech, Trump brought up a former Democrat, who claimed he voted for him in the last election.
Gino Defabio took the stage wearing a shirt that said “Trump won, deal with it!” He thanked Trump for nominating Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and praised First Lady Melania Trump, saying, “Could we have a more outstanding first lady?”
“I’m probably going to be in trouble with my wife,” Defabio said. “But God bless that woman.”
Trump defended his unconventional methods, saying it is “much easier to act presidential than what we are doing here tonight, believe me.”
In particular, Trump bragged about his efforts to diminish illegal immigration and deporting violent gang members that belonged to MS-13.
He warned about the dangers that immigrant gangs bring, saying gangs like MS-13 don’t want to use guns because “it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough.”
“They’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15 and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die, and these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long,” Trump said.
He added that during his time in office, law enforcement has been “liberating our towns and liberating our cities,” adding, “can you believe we have to do that?”
During the rally, Trump spent a lot of time boasting about his “many wins” since taking office, saying “with few exceptions, no president has done anywhere near what we have done in his first six months.”
Specifically, Trump bragged about rebuilding the “incredible military,” keeping the Second Amendment “strong,” passing the Veterans Accountability Act, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership “potential disaster” and the “job-killing” Paris climate accord, and having the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years.
“We believe family and faith, not government and bureaucracy, are the foundation of our society,” Trump said. “We don’t worship government, we worship God.”
At one point, Trump mused aloud about being asked whether he should be on Mount Rushmore and said that he could be more presidential than any president that’s ever held office, except Abraham Lincoln.
After the event, audience members approached the media to tell them that “middle America hates you guys” and call them the “enemy of America.”