Trump makes campaign trail stop in Louisville on Super Tuesday


Paige Thompson

Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of his supporters in Louisville on Tuesday, March 1.

Thousands of supporters and protesters gathered to hear presidential candidate Donald Trump speak in Louisville on Tuesday, March 1, just days before the Kentucky Republican caucuses.

Supporters and protesters began filling the streets surrounding the Kentucky International Convention Center in the early afternoon for the 4 p.m. rally, with lines wrapping around the building.

Individuals who supported Trump attended the rally and brought signs saying “Trump For President” and “The Silent Majority Stands With Trump.”

On the other side, protesters both inside and outside the rally held signs that said “Dump Trump” and “Love Trumps Hate.”


Several IU Southeast students attended the rally to protest Trump. According to a Facebook event called Empty the Seats at Tuesday’s Trump Rally, many students obtained free tickets in order for there to be empty spots during the rally. Others attended to walk out during the speech and to protest inside and outside the convention center.

Kara Flowers, psychology freshman, was among the protesters at the Trump rally.

“I attended the rally because I wanted to be a part of the movement of people who stand to show Trump and his supporters that they and their hatred do not represent the city of Louisville and do not represent this country,” Flowers said.

Flowers said she does not support Trump because of the messages he portrays.

“He is sexist, racist, xenophobic,” Flowers said. “All of the qualities that our country needs to focus more on moving away from, not embracing further.”

Julia Adams, who will be attending IU Southeast in the fall to major in psychology and pursue a career in counseling, was among a group of individuals wearing “Never Trump” shirts outside the rally as Trump supporters were filing out of the building.

“I’m half Arab and I fear for the lives of my family because of him,” Adams said. “I had my family built here [and] I hear him call me and my family terrorists.”

Flowers said that after seeing posts on social media following the rally, the viciousness of Trump’s supporters was emphasized.

“It makes me sad that he plays on people’s fear to bring out hatred and violence,” Flowers said. “I thought his speech was ridiculous. I personally had grown men rip a sign out of my hands that said ‘Love Trumps Hate,’ and try to restrain me. It was really frustrating trying to defend myself while trying to stay true to a peaceful message.”

When Flowers got home, she saw numerous posts on social media about other women with similar, if not worse, stories from the rally, she said.

Media outlets such as WLKY shared a video that evening showing a young African-American female being pushed and shoved through the crowd. Trump supporters were shown yelling in her face as she tried to exit the rally after being thrown out.

Joey Keegin, IUS philosophy and German senior, said six to seven protests happened within the rally.

“As it kept happening. Trump got angrier and angrier,” Keegin said. “It strikes me as a campaign that has brought out a lot of ugly stuff in American politics.”

Keegin said Trump did not communicate well in his speech.

“He just gave a lot of proposals that weren’t well developed and people cheered,” Keegin said.


Jamiee Goodman, who was among the early arrivers at the rally, said she was excited to hear Trump speak.

“He’s very outspoken,” Goodman said. “I like what he has to say.”

Matt Johnson said he attended the rally because he wanted to show his support for Trump.

“It’s good to come out and support your candidate,” Johnson said. “It’s good to be informed, get involved as much as possible. Make America great again.”

Dustin Stewart, electrical engineering sophomore at the University of Kentucky, said he likes Trump’s policies.

“I heard about this [rally] and got tickets immediately,” Stewart said. “It was pretty awesome. I hope he wins.”

Matt Mastin, another attendee, said he drove from Cincinnati to be among other supporters and to take in the whole experience.

“I’m definitely voting for Trump,” Mastin said. “I’m really tired of the good ol’ boy party, and I’m tired of career politicians. I think Trump could do no wrong in my book.  I’m all about building the wall [and] not accepting the immigrants. These politicians are not businessmen, so they don’t see we just can’t keep spending money. We have so many homeless veterans. That’s what we need to provide for.”

Lori Leigh was outside the rally selling Trump merchandise among several other vendors.

“I think he’s got the guts to take this country back where it needs to be,” she said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who now endorses Trump, got the crowd warmed up for him.

“America needs a strong leader in the Oval Office again, and we have that man in Donald Trump,” Christie said.

The Speech

Trump began his speech by complementing the turnout and talking about his children. His son, Eric Trump, came onstage to say a few words about his father.

“We’re going to win and make America great again,” Eric Trump said.

Trump’s speech touched on subjects including the construction of a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico, immigration, coal, Second Amendment rights, jobs, military, foreign policies, national security and health care. He also jabbed at other candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Trump said illegal immigration has been a massive topic during this election. He said the U.S. will have strong borders if he is elected president.

“We will build that wall,” Trump said. “Who is going to pay for the wall? They [Mexicans] will. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

Trump said good people will come into the U.S., but they will come in legally.

Immigration is something supporters in the crowd said they felt strongly about.

“We have a huge problem of illegal immigrants, and we need to be realistic,” Coby Judd, an attendee, said.

Trump continued to talk about the construction of the wall, which led to a discussion about trade in the United States.

“Trade in our country is a disaster,” Trump said.  “We are losing so many jobs. So much money. We’re losing our industry. It’s not going to happen anymore, folks. We are going to renegotiate our trade deals and make great deals.”

As a businessman, Trump said he can create jobs for Americans.

“The jobs we’re producing are bad jobs,” he said. “They’re horrible jobs. They are jobs we don’t want.”

Among Trump’s supporters were veterans, who encouraged Trump as he discussed the military and veterans.

“Our military’s depleted, our vets aren’t taken care of, we’ve got a lot of problems,” he said. “We’re going to make our military strong. We’re going to knock the hell out of ISIS.”

According to Trump, the American dream the United States used to know has changed, and he said he plans to improve it.

“There are a whole lot of people who go around saying the American dream is dead,” he said. “If I get elected president, we’ll say ‘The American dream is dead, but I’m going to make it bigger and stronger and better than ever before.’”

Trump said he is going to do what is right for Americans, not what is right for drug companies.

“We’re the largest drug buyer in the world,” Trump said. “It’s costing us billions and billions of dollars. Those days are over, folks.”

Trump then discussed his plans for health care and protection of the Second Amendment.

“We’re going to repeal Obamacare,” he said. “We’re going to protect our Second Amendment.”

Trump discussed the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris were also a topic of discussion when talking about the Second Amendment. He said the U.S. is going to be secure.

“My whole life changed, and my whole campaign changed, with Paris,” Trump said. “A lot of things changed with Paris.”

Also, Trump appealed to the Kentucky crowd by saying he is going to bring the coal industry back. Several attendees held signs in support of the  industry.

Trump predicted a successful Super Tuesday, which resulted in big wins for Trump, Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

According to CNN, Clinton and Trump won seven states, with Sanders winning four, Cruz winning two and Rubio winning one.

Trump encouraged the crowd to get out and vote in Kentucky’s  upcoming caucus.

“You promise?” he asked the crowd.

Kentucky’s Republican caucus is Saturday, March 5.

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  • Many Trump supporters brought signs to the rally, showing their support.

  • Several veterans were among the crowd of Trump supporters at Tuesday’s rally.

  • Trump touched on military during his speech, including the care of the nation’s veterans.

  • The crowd at the rally also included many students from surrounding schools and universities. This student’s sign said that they would get extra credit for a photo with Trump.

  • Many of Trump’s supporters held signs that stated “The Silent Majority Stands With Trump.”

  • Other signs among the crowd at the Trump rally included “Trump for President.”

  • Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of his supporters in Louisville on Tuesday, March 1.

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