Trump tears into media, Clinton in Grand Junction
October 18, 2016
GRAND JUNCTION — Judy Hawkins is angry at what she says is a corrupt system. It's that anger that reinforces her strong belief in term limits for members of Congress, and it's that anger, coupled with admiration, that fuels her support for Donald Trump.
And the Grand Junction retiree is far from alone.
Thousands of people flocked to the Grand Junction Regional Airport on Tuesday to see the Republican presidential nominee and hear what played like a 2016 Trump campaign greatest hits. He covered the gamut during the nearly 44-minute speech, mentioning trade, taxes, the military, energy development, the economy, immigration, health care and more. But it was the "crooked media" and "crooked Hillary" that Trump circled back to throughout the speech.
And the crowd, while waving blue and white "Trump Pence" signs and red "Make America Great Again" signs, loved every minute of it.
"He seems real," Chris Burke, who drove more than 60 miles from his home in Crawford to see Trump speak, said after he finished his speech. "He's got plenty of energy and he's talking to people about what we need to hear. … Just look at every town throughout this valley."
The stop in Grand Junction was Trump's second in Colorado Tuesday, one day before the final presidential debate before Election Day on Nov. 8. He spoke earlier in the day in Colorado Springs.
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The atmosphere inside and outside the West Star Aviation hanger felt more like a rock concert than a political rally — a point the candidate noted while taking a swipe at his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, for what Trump said was her inability to draw a crowd when she "develops the energy to go to events."
Although there was no shortage of cheers, chants of "lock her up" and boos aimed at members of the press, not everyone in attendance was there to show support for Trump. The rally was interrupted by protesters three times. Each time the protesters were escorted out of the hanger as attendees and Trump himself mocked them.
"I'm sure their parents are proud of them," the candidate said following chants of "U.S.A." after the third interruption.
The protesters did little to distract Trump from his criticism of Clinton and the media.
"You're going to look back at this rally for the rest of your life and you're going to be very, very proud. This is a movement that we have going, one that they've never seen before. … They're doing everything they can to stop it. They're fighting, the press is fighting, crooked Hillary is fighting. They're doing everything they can. They're lying, they're cheating, they're stealing … "
His remarks about stealing, more specifically about a "rigged election," have become of staple of Trump's speeches in the past several days. But for some at Tuesday's rally, the idea of a rigged elections has been present for sometime.
"I questioned it the last election with Obama," said Johnnie Bee, a Hotchkiss resident who held a sign supporting the coal industry. A sticker on the back of the sign said #lockupcrookedHillary.
Bee pointed to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's inability to win Massachusetts, the state he governed for four years, as the source of his suspicion.
Hawkins, who held a sign stating women for Trump, also said she thought the election was rigged.
"I think it already is," she stated.
As for her sign, Hawkins said the recent allegations against Trump were an attempt by the media to derail the candidate.
"The polls keep saying women are not for Trump," she said before looking around and noting the number of women waiting in line before the event. "Hillary is not for women. Hillary is for Hillary."