Trump rally draws thousands to Johnstown
JOHNSTOWN — Kathy Jeffreys of Augusta, W.Va., arrived mid-morning at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport on Tuesday for a rally that wouldn’t begin in earnest until evening, when President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak.
Jeffreys and the six other members of her extended family standing with her in the intermittent drizzle didn’t mind the wait – or the rain.
“This was on my bucket list,” Jeffreys said.
Jeffreys was one of an estimated 9,000 people who came to Johnstown to hear Trump laud his first-term efforts, while excoriating his Democratic opponent Joe Biden as weak and forgetful, coddled by the media, a tool of “the radical left,” a fan of “open borders” and an opponent of Second Amendment rights and industries like fracking that are important to Pennsylvanians, according to Trump.
In the afternoon, after drizzle had turned to sunshine, there were throngs in red and blue Trump gear standing in the parking lot in front of the terminal building in lines separated by portable fencing, with a video billboard streaming testimonials for Trump and snippets of his speeches.
On the tarmac, where workers had set up a large portable grandstand, the music was from the 1980s and earlier, lots of Elton John and Queen, heavy on the bass, coming from speakers that looked like airline stairways suspended from lifts high on either side of the seats.
It sounded like the locker room before a high school football game, said one of the local reporters, a native of Johnstown.
“He’s always been a dummy,” Trump said of Biden. “In his best years, he was considered a dumb guy.”
But the media doesn’t “call him out,” Trump said.
“I couldn’t get away with it for a minute,” Trump stated.
“He would shred the Second Amendment,” Trump said of Biden.
But Trump called himself the candidate of law and order, citing numerous endorsements from law enforcement agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police.
Under his administration, the U.S. has become “energy independent for the first time ever,” Trump said. “With Pennsylvania workers leading the way,” it will remain so, he said.
The Democrats, though, “hate domestic energy production,” Trump said. “They hate beautiful, clean coal.”
Trump claimed he is putting an end to “ridiculous foreign wars” pursued by prior administrations.
Under Obama, “American policies were a total disaster,” he said.
The current administration is on the verge of defeating COVID-19, saving “two million lives,” Trump said.
By contrast, Biden favors lockdowns, like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, he said.
“You can’t make the cure worse than the problem,” Trump said.
Under his leadership, “the vaccines are coming soon,” along with “the therapeutics,” the president said.
The coming election is the most important in the history of the country, because if Trump loses, the voters will have “handed control to socialists, left-wing extremists like his vice presidential candidate,” Kamala Harris, Trump said.
Biden is unable “to stand up to the lunatics of his party,” Trump said.
“They want to cancel you and persecute you,” he said. “The radical left is hell-bent on destroying everything we cherish.”
Under Biden, the U.S. would become “a large-scale version of Venezuela,” Trump said, referring to that nation’s recent economic struggles under a leftist regime.
The crowd cheered repeatedly at lines designed to elicit that applause, sometimes breaking into chanting.
“I’m running against the single worst candidate in the history of American politics,” Trump said, saying that puts added pressure on him. “How the hell do I lose to a guy like this?” he asked rhetorically.
“Together, we are taking back the country,” Trump said. “We are going to keep on winning, winning, winning.”
Jeffreys wants four more years of Trump because he’s “stood up to all the crookedness,” she said.
The Democrats were “breaking laws,” and other Republicans just “turned a blind eye,” she said.
She cited the incident in Benghazi, claiming that then-President Barack Obama and Secretary of State – and later presidential candidate – Hillary Clinton “didn’t support the troops there.”
Trump’s calling troops “losers” and “suckers,” as reported recently by Bob Woodward in a book about Trump, was “taken out of context,” Jeffreys said, when a reporter brought it up.
Trump will “make America as it used to be,” said Karen George of Romney, W.Va., a member of Jeffreys’ extended family.