As voters in a dozen states cast their ballot for who they want as their presidential nominee, front runner Donald Trump made a big campaign stop in Ohio.
“Mr. Donald J. Trump!”
While dramatic, instrumental music blasted over the speakers inside an airport hangar, Donald Trump’s private jet swooped down and landed in front of several thousand supporters.
It was the moment 21-year-old Anthony Cardosi of Westerville had been waiting for all morning long.
“I got here at like 4:30, 5 o’clock A.M. I was the first in line.”
“So you’re hoping to get a first-row seat to the whole thing right?”
“I think I pretty much got it.”
Cardosi says what draws him in is the business mogul’s independence and his ability to speak his mind.
“The thing is that he’s not held to any kind of lobbyist or anyone so he doesn’t have to do these things to get presidency cause he doesn’t have anyone holding strings on him to make sure he gets things done,” said Cardosi.
Many supporters reflected Cardosi’s enthusiasm for the event. That includes Benjamin Ross, who was also in line early. Ross, an 18-year-old from Gahanna, says illegal immigration is stifling the economy and spending $10 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border would be a good investment.
“On the grand scheme of things that is not very expensive if you consider the expenses that illegal immigrants are causing to our economy that’s just the reality of the situation,” said Ross.
As his jet pulled around to park right in front of the crowd, the tone of the rally was intense and energetic. Trump was introduced by former GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor. His appearance was read by some as a jab at Gov. John Kasich, who’s still in the race but trailing the front runner.
Trump did not bring out any headline-making, controversial statements that he tends to deliver during these kinds of rallies. And he didn't address the recent support he’s gaining from white supremacist groups and the calls to distance himself from them.
Instead, he stuck to familiar comments that first struck a chord with people like Cardosi and Ross, such as deporting Mexicans who are living in the U.S. illegally, building the wall and bulking up national security.
Trump also said his independence can plan an important role when it comes time for him to negotiate business deals with companies who threaten to take their jobs out of the country.
“They’re gonna call me, people are gonna call me, friends. I didn’t take any of their money I owe, I owe nobody nuttin folks, nuttin," Trump quipped. "You know, N-U-T-T-I-N.”
Trump’s criticism of his GOP rivals, his possible Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, China and even the media, enlivened the crowd. Including Aprill Sweeney of Columbus.
“Liars! Liberal liars!”
That’s sound from the Ohio Capital Blog. Sweeney attracted the media’s attention after yelling into the press area. She says she’s out of work because non-American citizens are taking jobs.
“You go into any warehouse, any factory, any plant in this country and they’re all Muslims, foreigners, Mexicans. Not very many Americans,” Sweeney said.
As the crowd headed back to their cars, a lone protestor could be spotted holding up a sign that read “Make America Drumpf Again.” Drumpf, is the name of Donald Trump’s ancestors, and the slogan is based off of a viral video from John Oliver’s HBO show Last Week Tonight, a weekly commentary on current events.
The man holding that sign, Aaron Dagres of Newark, says he wanted to take a stand and convince people to do more research on Donald Trump.
“I mean he’s a complete fraud. He’s a narcissistic fraud. He talks out of both sides of his mouth and he really has absolutely no policies whatsoever," said Dagres. "No ideas, no statements, no plans. He’s a disaster not only for the Republican party but for the country.”
Before hoping back on his plane, Trump told the crowd that Ohio is an important state to win during the primaries. He says he will win and winning Ohio will send a statement to the rest of the country and he said he'll be back.