Inside a Trump rally: Talking to the president’s supporters
Politics Feb 19, 2020 Irelyne Lavery
Last Monday, Feb. 10, President Donald Trump filled the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH with his supporters. Some people camped outside the 12,000-seat venue for hours and, in some cases, days, so they could get into the building where they filled almost every seat to see Trump in person.
Patricia Dovidio, 54, sat in the crowd holding a “Women for Trump” sign, and wore a light pink Trump hat. She waited in line for at least an hour and supports Trump because of tax cuts and gun freedom.
“I am a business owner and I just heard that he is trying to make the tax cuts permanent, so I’m really happy about that. I like freedom. I don’t shoot a gun but I want the ability to buy a gun if I choose to. I think all citizens should have the right to bear arms,” she said.
Dovidio believes that Trump cares about “Americans first, legal Americans, of every colour,” and also said that Trump is not a racist.
During his speech, Trump addressed globalization. “We can forget globalism, we want to take care of our country,” he said.
He also touched on “impeach[ing] President Obama,” “drain[ing] the swamp,” of “dirty horrible people,” and also advised Republican voters to vote for the “weakest candidate” in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, which was taking place the next day.
Eileen Heeber, 55, and John Thomas, 54, chose to stand instead of sit so it would allow them to get closer to the president. They believe that Trump is doing “good things” for the American people, and both support his stance on gun laws.
“He is helping out people who believe in gun rights, so that we can defend ourselves against people who want to try and take them away from us,” said Thomas.
Heeber, who waited in line for two hours to get inside the venue, said that she would like for Trump to “keep the illegals out.”
Brenda Price, 63, and Linda Whitebone, 75, who both waited in line since 5 a.m., which allowed for front row seating. Price said that she was excited to see Trump because she has always been a Republican. “My town, Wilmington [Massachusetts], voted for Trump [in 2016] and we’re hoping that they turn it around in our state, we need him.” Price is also “hoping he gets enough judges to reverse Roe v. Wade.”
Whitebone, also from Massachusetts, is a self-proclaimed “conservative with Christian values,” and also likes the judges that Trump has nominated. “They want to go by the constitution and not what they desire,” she said.
Three younger Trump supporters, who told Skedline that they had just been accepted into college, were asked to take part in an interview. They declined because of their college acceptance. One also mentioned that they’re father told them not to “get on TV, or do any interviews,” while at the rally.
Joan Hanley, 53, supports Trump because she believes that America “needs someone besides a politician or somebody that’s polished, copies everybody, because that’s what they do.”
She also compared Trump to family members. “He’s like your grandfather, your father. He’s going to tell you how it is. He’s not polished. He doesn’t speak always correctly but we know what he means. He’s like us,” she said.
Although Hanley is a devoted Trump supporter she did refer to one Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders. “I feel bad for Bernie because they’re stealing the nomination from him again. They stole it in 2016, and they’re going to do it again in 2020. They don’t want him there. It’s not up to them, it’s up to the people,” she said.
Sanders won Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and received nine delegates. This leaves Sanders with 21 delegates, Pete Buttigieg with 23, and Amy Klobuchar with 7 total delegates.
Trump addressed his supporters for about an hour and won the GOP primary easily last week in New Hampshire.