Trump stops in Greeley for rally at UNC |

Trump stops in Greeley for rally at UNC

James Redmond
Greeley Tribune
Cheryl Mahoney smiles as she waits in her Uncle Same outfit before the Trump Rally begins Sunday afternoon at the Bank of Colorado Arena on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley.
Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytri | The Greeley Tribune

With hardly more than a week until Election Day, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continued his late-game campaigning with a boisterous rally in Greeley on Sunday.

Early in the afternoon, University of Northern Colorado student Ashley Bunting milled about the edges of the quickly growing crowd packed around the podium, where later that evening Trump spoke to a screaming crowd of fans.

Her American flag-patterned scarf bore pro-Trump pins and her hands clutched a pink campaign sign, declaring “Women for Trump.”

When she found out Trump would speak at a rally in Bank of Colorado Arena at Butler-Hancock Athletic Center on the University of Northern Colorado campus, at her school, she almost couldn’t believe it, she said.

“I’m here to support Trump, baby. … This is history.”

Tyler Delafuente

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“It’s a pretty liberal school,” Bunting said.

Bunting got tickets almost right away and told her boyfriend, Tyler Delafuente.

Delafuente, a Greeley resident and oilfield worker, sported Trump campaign buttons and signs of his own, in addition to his Denver Broncos jersey. He jokingly said it was a hard choice; stay home to watch a Broncos game or go the Trump rally. But Delafuente started supporting Trump before the Republican primary, so by midday Sunday, he and his girlfriend stood in line, waiting for that afternoon’s rally.

“I’m here to support Trump, baby,” he said.

The couple agreed it was great Trump took the time to stop in Greeley and show his support for small communities,

“This is history,” Delafuente said.

Sunday marked Trump’s second visit to northern Colorado this month. Earlier in October, about 7,500 of his supporters packed the Budweiser Events Center with thousands more outside the center, located just west of Greeley in Loveland.

Many attendees in the lively Greeley audience also had attended the Loveland rally. Those supporters heard many of the same talking points from Trump at both events, but Sunday’s speech dedicated a larger portion of time to slamming Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Outside of Trump’s critical comments about Clinton, he spent most of his time hammering home his views on the Affordable Care Act, taxes, the military and the U.S. economy.

Trump said companies across the nation are taking their work, money and business to other countries, giving nothing to America in return.

“We’re losing so many companies,” he said. “As we stand here today, the leaders of your companies are negotiating to leave Colorado.”

He promised to make sure companies stay in America and put its residents back to work.

Waves of applause, cheers and chants rolled through the crowd of 3,150 in the UNC arena after each such promise from Trump.

Lisa Korkis, a Timnath resident who made it out to the Loveland rally, drove to Greeley so her 20-year-old son, Christian, had a chance to see Trump.

“It’s smaller,” she said of Greeley’s rally. “[Loveland] was much bigger.”

At UNC, an orderly and mostly quiet line of Trump supporters worked its way past a small handful of vendors and tents. Off to the side a protest rally held up signs and voiced opinions critical of Trump.

Trump’s campaign has kept a high profile in northern Colorado throughout October. Not long after the Loveland rally, Trump’s son Eric Trump made a public appearance at the campaign office in Greeley.

“They have pretty much decided they can’t win the presidency without Colorado,” said Denver-based independent pollster Floyd Ciruli on Friday, noting while Trump trails in Colorado, it looks like his best shot.

Recent polls show Clinton leading in Colorado. The Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Clinton with a 4.5 percentage point lead over Trump on Friday in a four-candidate race including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

Trump told his supporters in Greeley he would emerge victorious in the state.

“In nine days, we are going to win the state of Colorado,” he said. “To all Americans I say it is time now, finally, for new leadership.”

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