Donald Trump came to a rally in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday night, musing on the state of the country, communing with his audience over their anger at lots of things and urging his audience to vote in the upcoming primary even though he wasn’t quite certain of the date.
While he drew a smaller crowd than at some of his past events Trump nonetheless had a large crowd. Held in a middle school gym the rally drew about 700-800 people, including 150 or so in an overflow room. For comparison, that total roughly equals the total audiences at five separate candidate town halls I attended last Sunday and Monday (with Carson, Christie, Rubio, Kasich and Bush).
Donald Trump drew a crowd to Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel today, but he slipped in and out without encountering the protesters and gawkers waiting for him at the main entrance. A crowd of about 200-300, along with a significant press contingent, gathered in anticipation of his appearance at a benefit luncheon.
Seemingly split about evenly between people voicing opposition to Trump and those curious or drawn to the spectacle, their anticipation would be unsatisfied. Aided by a bullhorn, a group steadily chanted anti-Trump slogans as his arrival drew near. A single pro-Trump demonstrator wearing a sandwich board promoting a shooting range and a “Make America Great Again” hat meandered through the crowd, periodically bellowing out support for Trump. The anti-Trump protesters tried chanting over him at times and held signs in front of him at one point, but he was largely left alone.
On a raised spot on the side of the steps that glide up into the Plaza I squeezed in among a group of early teens from Tennessee. Excited at having already seen Lady Gaga and, they thought, DJ from Full House on their maiden voyage to New York City they were eager to catch a glimpse of Donald Trump. They liked New York, they said, but could do without the rudeness. With a deep drawl one girl noted that New Yorkers “don’t say yes ma’am and no ma’am” and instead people “say F you to you”, reporting on instances of that occurring. An Ohio teen also on our elevated observation post seemed quite familiar with Trump via Celebrity Apprentice. Appearing reasonably familiar with the presidential race she nonetheless did not know that her state’s governor (John Kasich) is also in the race.
The crowd, already restless, began dispersing once word spread that Trump was inside. By the time he left via a side exit more than an hour later few people remained and his departure was barely noticed.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hosted a rally on the steps of City Hall Wednesday to denounce many of Donald Trump’s statements, especially his call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States. Joined by Public Advocate Tish James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, NY State Senators Adriano Espaillat and Liz Krueger and many members of the City Council, Mark-Viverito strongly condemned Trump.
She trumped the Trump trumpers, at least momentarily.
At today’s City Hall Plaza rally and press conference hosted by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to condemn Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim statements, a woman voicing support for Trump interrupted Mark-Viverito’s opening remarks. The protester seemed to momentarily flummox Mark-Viverito, calling out “long live Donald Trump” and proclaiming him “a peaceful man”, with the Speaker’s supporters then chanting over the protester. After interrupting Mark-Viverito several times the protester was removed from City Hall Plaza by the NYPD. As she was being walked to the exit by the NYPD she declared that Trump “doesn’t always express himself right, that’s it, that’s all it is.”
The protester was certainly not welcomed by Mark-Viverito or those joining her, but it’s worth noting that protesters at Donald Trump rallys are also removed by security and/or local police and that some of those protesters have been punched and kicked by Trump supporters.
“I think Donald Trump should lighten up.” Mayor Bill de Blasio reacted harshly to Donald Trump’s recent complaints about the design of Starbucks’ holiday cups, dismissing Trump’s complaints and commending Starbucks on their treatment of employees.
The vocal plurality is the new silent majority. Donald Trump began his town hall Wednesday evening declaring to a cheering audience filling an 800 seat theater in Derry, New Hampshire, that the “silent majority is back”. Public polls show him leading the splintered field with a plurality rather than a majority, and his audience was not by any means silent, but his apt characterization of the “silent majority” fits.
Press Conference: Trump held a press conference just before the town hall, jousting with reporters for about 25 minutes on a variety of topics including immigration and the term “anchor baby”, Jeb Bush and a smorgasbord of other Republican candidates, the Iran nuclear deal, his personal health and Donald J. Trump. Trump, a New York tabloid staple for decades, displayed his skill in dealing with reporters as he criticized and occasionally complimented them while providing voluminous material. Here’s his full press conference:
“No more music! We want Trump!” The crowd grew restless as the show was delayed more than 30 minutes, rising in unison to cheer their hero when he finally arrived. Opening with a declaration that “the silent majority is back”, Trump spoke for about 50 minutes, responding to seven audience questions. Slamming Jeb Bush, with some Rubio, Walker and Clinton critiques, Trump ruminated on the state of the nation (bad), the American military (great, mistreated, going to be greater), Iraq (a Bush-created mess), Mexico (cunning leaders), the press (largely dishonest) and his own finances and candidate financial report (I’m sort of a bragger … spectacular … I did a great job). His audience appeared to greatly enjoy it, laughing and clapping with frequent shoutouts of support.
There was age but not racial diversity in the audience. It appeared to be entirely white, but with a decent percentage of teenagers and fairly young adults and a mix of ages above that. The audience appeared neither wealthy nor poor, instead looking like people just home from work. The vibe matched Trump’s “silent majority” comment, with a feeling of anger and frustration that someone else is getting the benefit of their own work. Paradoxically, Trump’s fortune and fame come from building homes and offices for those high-end takers; the Wall Street and business titans whose own fortunes grow out of this audience’s work and, sometimes, out of firing American workers in favor of increased automation or lower-cost foreign labor. Trump transcends the logic that would lead to associating him with those high-end takers, however, viscerally connecting with the anger and frustration of his audience. An experienced performer, Trump empathetically mined his audience connection, mixing in jokes and complaints.
In his April appearance at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s Leadership Summit Trump entered and exited to the theme from his TV show Celebrity Apprentice, which begins with the words “Money Money Money Money Money.” In a mark of the evolution of his campaign, Trump exited this town hall to the sounds of Twisted Sister’s anthem We’re Not Gonna Take It.
“I’m gonna make the country rich again, and then I’m gonna make the country great again, if I run.”
Donald Trump’s closing line at a post-speech press Q&A summed up his appearance at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s Leadership Summit yesterday. One of 19 putative candidates appearing at the conference, Trump’s pitch was based on pledging to replicate his “phenomenal” personal financial success for the country as a whole and visceral anger at a diminished United States. He mostly avoided policy discussions, but did say that he would not cut social security, medicaid or medicare as he “would bring so much money into this country” that such cuts would be unnecessary. Similarly, Trump said that he was open to considering an increase in the federal minimum wage but that such an increase would be “unimportant” as a Trump presidency would produce dramatic financial improvements for all.
Most of the 19 “candidates” appearing at the conference are not legally declared as candidates, but are in various stages of “considering” and “contemplating” running. “I’d say June, July” replied Trump, who’s flirted with running for office numerous times and is not legally declared as a candidate, when I asked for his timeframe on a decision of whether to run.
Update – Timing:
Here’s the clip of Trump discussing the timing of his decision.
Update #2 – Full Speech:
Here is Trump’s full speech.
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