Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to a polite crowd several thousand strong at the Northwest Washington Fair grandstand Saturday, May 7.
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, touched on several hot-button issues, including immigration, trade deals and the Syrian refugee crisis.
Trump started by saying he decided to come to Washington state, even though he didn’t have to after Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the race earlier this week, because he knew people would want to see him.
On local issues, Trump said jobs in the timber industry had been declining, especially in the “Lynden region,” and blamed poor trade deals for shipping those jobs elsewhere.
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He said he would fix that by negotiating better trade deals than the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We’re going to negotiate trade deals,” Trump said. “They’re going to be so good.”
Trump spent several minutes criticizing Republicans and Democrats, particularly picking on Republicans who didn’t agree to support him, and then bashing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“I would love to just absolutely beat her,” Trump said of Clinton.
He said that Clinton wanted to eradicate the Second Amendment.
“Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away,” Trump said. The packed grandstand and standing-room-only crowd booed.
He incited cheers from the crowd when he started talking about immigration from Mexico and reiterated his plans to “build the wall.”
“We will build a wall. It will be a nice high wall. This is peanuts,” Trump said, gesturing at the stage cover maybe 40 feet above his head. “They sell the drugs. They destroy our children. They destroy our way of life.”
He seemed to make a nod toward mending some fences he’s burned on the campaign trail, saying he’s not thinking of picking a Democrat for vice president because he’s “got enough problems with the Republicans.”
He also claimed he’s going to win blue state Washington and Oregon (which he pronounced as “Or-ee-gone”).
He wrapped up by stumping his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
“You’re going to be proud of your country again,” Trump said. “We’re going to win with our military. We’re going to win with our trade deals. We’re going to win with education.”
The crowd inside the venue was peaceful. Though thousands of people trickled into the grandstand area from noon until just before Trump arrived around 3:45, there was little chanting inside, and no one fought or got into shouting matches.
Tiffany Linhart and Clay Owen of Ferndale had their 14-month-old daughter Liberty Anne Owen with them, decked out in Trump gear.
All three got Trump’s signature after he spoke.
“Donald Trump signed my baby!” Linhart exclaimed after the rally was over.
Outside the grandstand area, protesters spoke out against Trump.
They called out his views on immigration and women as being hateful.
Many chanted “Love Trumps Hate.”
Though protesters and Trump supporters at times screamed opposing messages at one another, the scene stayed fairly peaceful, with the day’s large police presence standing between the sides when things heated up.