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Thousands attend Trump rally in Lancaster County
Chants could be heard from all over Spooky Nook Sports in Manhiem on Saturday night. To many, it might have seemed as if a sporting event was being held, with the sheer number of people yelling and cheering.
But the complex was hosting something a little different, as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made his way to Lancaster County for a rally.
“USA! USA!” and “Lock her up!” rang through the hall as thousands gathered to hear the businessman speak.
Reaction: Shelly Lopez, of Lancaster, waited nearly two hours to get into the complex to see Trump, who she said is the best candidate for the job.
Lopez said she particularly liked Trump’s position on limiting immigration.
“I believe it should be Americans before anyone else,” she said, adding she thinks President Barack Obama wants to help everybody.
Lopez also had some less-than-kind words for Trump’s opposition, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She said she believes Trump has a plan to fight terrorists if they were to use nuclear weapons, whereas she thinks Clinton would not have one.
“I guarantee you he already has a plan,” Lopez said.
“Watch this country go to hell,” she said, if Clinton is elected.
Other supporters shared similar sentiments of the Republican candidate, specifically identifying his noninterventionist stance as a positive.
Muslims: Among the supporters was Daniel Basarad, of Lancaster.
“I looked at the policies; I think they’re more rational,” he said. He also said he believes Trump would be a more level-headed president than he is portrayed.
Basarad was holding a “Muslims for Donald Trump” sign and said he was a little hurt that Trump has previously called for banning Muslims from entering the country. But he said he was happy because he believed Trump now is only calling for a ban on people coming from terrorist countries.
“Bad apples can spoil the whole batch,” he said, adding getting involved in the affairs of other countries can create more radical Islamic terrorists.
That also was a sentiment shared by Edward Breimann, of Bucks County, and Alex Hak, of Princeton, New Jersey. The two had traveled more than two hours to see Trump.
Breimann, who is voting in his first election this year, said he considered Trump to be anti-establishment and said his candidate was less likely to get involved in foreign wars.
“He tilts more towards nationalism and less towards internationalism,” he said.
Breimann also said he liked the idea that Trump would limit immigration.
Hak said he was more liberal in his college years and his old thought processes used to include nationalism. But now that has changed, which is one of the reasons he became more conservative.
Hak also had little positive to say about Clinton.
He acknowledged many people are saying the Democratic candidate is the most qualified for the position, but he thinks that is not the case.
“The qualifications are changing, and must change,” he said.
Donald J. Trump for President Rally at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Township Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
Trump: The Republican candidate's rally kicked off shortly before 7 p.m., with some local opening speakers. Trump himself didn't get to the venue until close to 9 p.m., which he said was because of bad weather that delayed his arrival by helicopter.
His absence prompted many chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" until the billionaire businessman made his entrance. When he entered, he said he would win not only Pennsylvania but the country as well.
"I will consider it a tremendous waste of time, money and energy, believe me," Trump said, if he doesn't win.
Among the topics Trump discussed during his roughly hourlong speech were trade, immigration and Clinton.
“Hilary Clinton has collected millions of dollars from the same global corporations shipping your jobs and your dreams to other countries,” Trump said.
He went on to add that his campaign would stop that.
Trump also said Clinton would approve the Trans Pacific Partnership, which he claimed would cost jobs here in Pennsylvania. He compared it to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"It can't get any worse than that. ... signed by Bill Clinton," Trump said.
“Together we will stop TPP, and we can end the theft of American jobs and prosperity,” he said.
Mexico: Trump then took aim at Mexico, bringing up a "strong southern border."
"Build a wall!" supporters chanted.
Trump agreed, then asked who would pay for the wall, to which supporters chanted "Mexico!"
"One hundred percent." Trump said. "We are going to stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth and plenty of other people."
He continued to criticize the Clintons, saying Hillary Clinton has been making promises throughout her career.
"She's been here for 30 years. Why hasn't she done it?" he asked.
Trump also spoke about bringing industry back to the states, with things such as boats and planes being made in the U.S., adding that Pennsylvania steel will have a part in that.
"We will put new Pennsylvania steel into the spine of this country," he said.
His campaign concluded by saying that the voters will never get another chance to vote for the change they want come election day.
"On Nov. 8, a new bright dawn begins for our country," he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.