As it stands right now, loud country and rock blaring on the stereo speakers, it will be filled with 5,500 enthusiastic Donald Trump supporters shortly.
The doors opened at 2 p.m. with Secret Service officers doing the individual screening, those wearing pro-Trump red, white and blue hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts started streaming into the indoor soccer facility. The fire department is watching attendance numbers closely and will close the doors when the building reaches capacity. Still, the parking lot is full of at least 5,500 more wanting to get in. They won’t make it.
Having covered at least half a dozen of these rallies now, the crowd is characteristically worked up, defiant and happy to be here. Again, today, they wear any permutation of Make America Great Again, Trump 2020 and Take Back America messages.
They have necklaces, cowboy hats, baseball hats, jackets, scarves all exclaiming their passion for Donald Trump and wanting him to run again for President in 2024. They are also out supporting the down ballot candidates receiving President Trump’s endorsement, passing out signs, selling buttons and t-shirts for Attorney General candidate Matt DePerno and Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo as well.
As often happens at events like these, the program scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. started more than an hour late. Michigan Republican Party Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock kicked the rally off by having the crowd shout in unison “fake news.”
After an invocation, the pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem the crowd loudly started chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.”
U.S. Congresswoman Lisa McLain who represents the area spoke first. She started by saying “our country is in trouble.” She added critically President Biden has taken the nation “from America first to America last.”
She urged turning the country red, as in Republican, in the next elections.
John Gibbs is running for Congress in the Grand Rapids area. He’s going up against Republican Peter Meijer.