Presidential visit brings large group of protestors amid supporters
The air was chilly Thursday morning, the ground wet and signs of an impending snow day closely approaching, but that didn’t stop many Minnesotans from going to downtown Minneapolis.
Minnesotans were hoping to see current President Donald Trump speak inside the Target Center to his supporters.
It was hours before the doors to the Target Center were set to even open and Trump supporters had already set up a large line spreading far throughout the skyway. Holding up flags, posters and sporting the iconic “Make America Great Again” hats, supporters of President Trump waited diligently for the rally to begin.
The center was packed full of supporters of President Trump who gave a lengthy hour and a half speech where he spoke gratifyingly about those in his administration and tore into his political rivals and potential 2020 opponents.
The president was the last to speak in a list of high-profile individuals such as Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Kroll, Trump’s son Eric Trump and the current Vice President Mike Pence who introduced President Trump onto the stage.
With the song “I’m Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood playing in the background, Trump walked on stage to massive cheers from the crowd.
“Thank you very much, thank you Minnesota, this is a great state,” Trump said in his opening statements following up by proclaiming he will turn Minnesota red “real soon”.
The president then went on to talk about the economy and how since the 2016 election the U.S. has picked up trillions of dollars in value for the economy and stated China has lost trillions. The U.S. and China are still in an ongoing trade war that has seen both sides face heavy tariffs.
“If our opponent had won that election, you know what would’ve happened – right now, China would become the number one economy anywhere in the world,” Trump said.
One of the main topics discussed throughout the night was Trump’s reelection campaign with many of the speakers proclaiming, “four more years”.
“I’m here for one reason and one reason only – that Minnesota and America need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House,” Vice President Pence said.
As each speaker spoke about why Trump should be voted in for another term of office, there was a very specific person they wanted voted out come next election.
“You got one heck of a mayor here,” Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump’s reelection campaign, said to a chorus of boos. “You guys got to all show up and vote him out next time.”
Before the day of the rally, President Trump feuded on Twitter with current Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey over security costs for the rally. Trump threatened to sue and cancel the rally after the campaign was told the cost for security was to be around $560,000.
The security bill was later wavered, and the rally continued as scheduled.
“Minneapolis, you’ve got a rotten mayor, you’ve got to change your mayor,” Trump said.
Mayor Frey was not the only one that Trump lambasted during his speech. Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, was criticized by the president at one point being referred to by Trump as a “loser”.
Joe Biden himself was also targeted by Trump during the rally; “And your father was never considered smart, he was never considered a good senator, he was only a good vice president because he knew how to kiss Barack Obama’s a**,” Trump said.
Biden, who has remained one of the frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic nomination, has been one of Trump’s biggest threats as polls continuously show the former vice president beating Trump. A recent Fox News poll released Friday showed Biden ten points ahead of Trump.
Another political rival Trump took time to talk about in his speech was U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, calling her a disgrace and one of the reasons why he could win reelection in 2020.
Trump went further and stated a conspiracy theory that Omar’s very name is fraudulent and that her legal husband was her own brother whome she “married” to make it easier for him to immigrate to America.
Below the Target Center skywalk there was a completely different type of crowd slowly but surely picking up in attendance – protesters. Relegated primarily on the corner of N. First Ave and N. Sixth Ave, the protesters armed themselves with their own signs. They gathered outside the event center chanting their displeasure of the president’s arrival to the Twin Cities.
Two of the protesters Linda, a resident of Duluth and Rheta, a resident of St. Paul spoke of their disapproval of Trump’s handling of the presidency and used today, in their words, as their way of protesting everything Trump stands for.
“I believe that we are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with Trump being president,” Linda said.
Both Linda and Rheta stood on the corner of the street, handing out balloons depicting “baby trump” to fellow protesters and people passing by. The duo found the balloons online after seeing the caricature being used during the London protests and brought them to the event to give away.
While protesters assembled on that corner, counter-protesters made themselves be heard on the other side of the street, some waving flags of the Trump Campaign logo exclaiming that today was “Trump Day”.
One Trump supporter spoke about how he gravitated towards Trump because of Trump’s promise of ending the U.S.’s position as the “piggybank of the world”.
The supporter went on to state how he feels liberals could be more educated on the facts.
“As far as his tweeting and stuff like that, that’s just him, it’s unfortunate that it inflames people, but it inflames people that aren’t educated,” the Trump supporter said.
Other Trump supporters gathered around and voiced support in the investigation into the Bidens.
Both the protesters and counter-protesters primarily stayed on their own side of the street with a rare few going to the other side to confront and debate the other side.
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.