For many supporters, Trump rally represented ‘bucket list’ opportunity

Local News

President Trump stopped by Freedom Hall in Johnson City Monday night to address supporters as well as draw support for U.S. Senate Candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn. 

In anticipation for the President’s arrival, many people claimed their place in line outside the venue before the sun rose Monday morning. Others decided to spend the night Sunday to make sure they witnessed history in person. 

The Bennett family was one of the hundreds who lined up for the Make America Great Again rally. Scott Bennett called the experience “an opportunity to teach our son a civics lesson, to bring him out here and to expose him to what it’s like to have government nearby and government is supposed to represent us and this is an opportunity for us to get close to it.”Scott approves of the president because he says Trump “seems to connect with people. There’s no political correctness with him. He simply calls it as it is. I like a President that will at least give it to me straight rather than say something that everybody wants to hear.”

John Williams stood toward the front of the line with his family, lunch packed and prepared and lawn chairs to help the time pass. WIlliams has clients all over North America, selling cable and tubing. Under Trump, he says, he’s seen a spike in sales. Personally, he says his values are in alignment with Trump’s policies. 

We heard Debbie Beeler yelling “go Trump” outside the venue and asked her where her support for the President lies. “It was just like Christmas morning, New Year’s Day and Easter all rolled into one. He’s coming. The President that I voted for that’s done so much for the country, that’s fulfilled all the promises he made and more,” Beeler said before the President arrived. “I hope he takes away the love and the support that we as Tennesseans and all other people that come from other state’s that we’re here to give him and we want him to succeed. We want him to make our country great again,” she added. Beeler came out because of the republican tax cut, the support of the military funding. 

Tim Thomas traveled from Knoxville to see the man he voted for speak. He calls the opportunity a “bucket list” moment. “Nobody is going to be perfect in the office. President Trump certainly had his downfalls but his policies and his yearning for America is what has attracted so many people to him that are in the evangelical world.”  

The President told the crowd Monday night that the Democrats want to block judges and weaken the military, adding under his watch, the United States will soon have the strongest military we’ve ever had. He said the Democrats want to shut down American energy and replace freedom with socialism. He also said Democrats want to rob seniors of Medicare benefits to pay for socialized medicine. “The economy is booming, wages are rising and more Americans are working today than ever before,” the President said. While looking to the future, the President also looked back to the 2016 election, which he called “the greatest election victory in the history of our country.” 

He encouraged his supporters to vote if they want to see his agenda continue “it could all change around quickly, folks,” he said. 

“If you want a U.S. Senator who is going to stand with the President, build the wall, cut your taxes and to make certain that we take care of our men and women in uniform, I am asking you to stand with me,” Blackburn told the crowd 

The President offered a grim alternative to Marsha Blackburn, saying “Democrats are the party of crime, how does that sound,” he asked the crowd. They’re the party of crime sounds a little tough but it’s true.” 

He said to the voters in Tennessee “your vote in this election will decide which party controls the Senate. That’s how close it is. I’d like to tell you no, but that’s how close it is,” he said. 

The mid-terms are 36 days away and there are 35 Senate seats up for re-election. The Democratic Party just needs to secure two to turn the majority away from the Republicans. 

Trump touted premium costs under his administration, bragging about getting rid of the individual mandate under obamacare and highlighting his goal of protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions. 

Republicans believe America should be a sanctuary for law abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens,” the President said. 

Trump urged Tennessee voters to get out and vote republican, saying the election is about safety and prosperity. 

Some claims he made about his time in office thus far include: creating more than four million jobs, lifting nearly four million Americans from food stamps, adding nearly 600,000 manufacturing jobs, lowering the African American unemployment rate to a record low, women’s unemployment hitting lowest rate in 65 years, trading with South Korea that promotes U.S. exports, and entering trade talking with the European Union, tax cuts, veteran’s choice legislation, right to try legislation, VA accountability act, the biggest raise for American troops in more than a decade 

Former Democratic Tennessee Governor, Phil Bredesen, released this statement following the Trump rally: 

“Presidential visits are good for fundraising, but I’ve found that Tennesseans are independent thinkers who can make up their own minds. When I ran for Governor, President Bush came down so many times that I lost count and in the end, I won, because people in Tennessee like to think for themselves for these kinds of things. I’m much more interested in getting out there and talking with voters about the issues that matter, which is why I hosted a forum tonight in Chattanooga. Tennessee voters have a choice: if they want more of the same shouting and bickering from Washington, then I’m not their candidate. However, if voters want to hire someone who has a track record of getting things done for Tennessee, then I’m applying for the job.”

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