A boisterous crowd chanted and cheered as President Donald Trump touted the economy, criticized the impeachment inquiry and predicted victory in 2020 during a rally Thursday at American Airlines Center.
Trump went on stage before a packed arena at 7:45 p.m.
“We are finally again, and we’ve been doing it now for almost three years — can you believe we’ve doing this for three years? I’ve been a politician for three years, can you believe that? But we’re finally again putting America first,“ he said.
Trump said 750,000 jobs had been created in Texas since he was elected in November 2016. He said the United States is living by two simple rules: buy America, and hire American.
He touched on the impeachment inquiry, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy” and Rep. Adam Schiff “shifty.” As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff is one of the lead investigators in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
“First it was the Russian hoax,” he said. “Then it was the disgraceful, disgusting smearing of a fine man, Justice (Brett) Kavanaugh. And now they continue the outrageous impeachment witch hunt. They come after me, but what they’re doing is coming after the Republican Party, and what they’re really, really doing is coming after you, and we never lose.”
He also ripped on Democratic candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
“Just look at the terrible, bad corruption of the Bidens. I hate to talk about it — I don’t think Sleepy Joe has a chance. I’d like him to,” he said. “I thought Pocahontas was gone. You have to give her credit.”
Trump also discussed what he called a ceasefire in Turkey, saying his methods for the peace were “unconventional.” Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to meet with President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday and brokered an agreement between Kurds and Turkish forces.
Kurdish forces, who once allied with the United States n the fight against ISIS, will withdraw over the coming days.
“Sometimes you have to let them fight a little bit. Like two kids in a lot, you gotta let them fight,” he said.
In regards to immigration, Trump said Democrats want to open the borders and let in “bad people.”
Cheers broke out when he started talking about building the wall between Mexico and the United States. A chant of “build the wall” began and quickly died as Trump continued talking.
“By the way, ICE is fantastic. They have taken out thousands and thousands of MS13 killers,” he said.
On the subject of a Chinese trade deal, Trump said previous trade agreements with China were “a disgrace” that Democratic leaders allowed to happen.
Someone in the crowd yelled, “traitors!”
Some in the crowd held signs such as “Latinos for Trump,” “Cops for Trump,” and “Women for Trump.” No handmade signs were allowed inside the building.
Paula Hatfield from Snyder got in line at 7 a.m. to see Trump. She had hoped to hear him reiterate his dedication to building the wall and securing the borders.
Hatfield said she’s from oil country, and Trump’s policies have revived the economy there. She also attended Trump’s inauguration and was struck by his love for all Americans and the country.
“I truly, truly believe in my soul he loves every one of us and loves America,” she said. “He’ll do anything to help America.”
Pete Gomez said to him, Trump is a president who can restore America to greatness, and he feels supported by Trump’s policies. He said he has faced backlash from the LGBTQ community because he is gay and supports Trump.
“I don’t think with my sexual orientation, I think with my brain,” he said.
He said Trump supports the Second Amendment, which should be important to members of the LGBTQ community since they are more likely to be victims of violent crime. He also said Trump is the first president to pursue the global decriminalization of homosexuality.
Patrick Keller from Fort Worth said he was interested in seeing the president talk about national security, the economy and the failings of the Democratic candidates. His friend, Charles Besozzi, said he was excited to be uplifted by Trump’s rally. He said he was glad to see that despite attacks from Democrats, Trump was “not letting it get to him.”
“It’s more spiritual and uplifting,” Besozzi, who is from Arlington, said.
Brian Davis attended the rally with his daughter, Brianna. He said he supports Trump because of his immigration policies. Davis, who is from Dallas but moved to Midland last year, said he used to own a construction company but “it was destroyed by illegal immigration.”
Davis said undocumented immigrants were not doing jobs that Americans did not want, as he had seen reported in the media, but instead were taking jobs such as those in construction.
“Lots of the people paid the price, like me and my kids,” he said.
Eric Nielson, who is originally from California and moved to Texas in 2016, said he wanted to see Trump detail his platform for the next election. A financial plan for a strong economy and ideas on how to manage rising student debt should be on that agenda, he said.
Nielson also said he hopes Trump encourages people to openly support whichever candidate they choose, even in liberal areas.
“I hope people freely can support the candidate of their choice and not feel muzzled,” Nielson said.
The president started the day in Fort Worth, where Air Force One landed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base. He went to the City Club in downtown Fort Worth for a fundraiser before visiting a Louis Vuitton plant near Keene to celebrate its opening.