On Friday night, Trump took Tyngsborough.
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump bashed the media and Obamacare, praised veterans and Christianity, and touched on his murky plans on defense and immigration at Tyngsborough Elementary School, where attendees packed the gym and cafeteria. Despite the chilly weather, many also waited outside the school to hear from the GOP front-runner.
According to local police, the Trump campaign expected 4,000 attendees at the event. The campaign could not confirm the count on Friday night.
Tyngsboro locals like Nellie and Bob Athas said they came to the rally to hear what Trump had to say. Bob Athas said he hoped Trump would change the minds of those on the fence.
“I think the direction of the country is wrong. There’s so much wrong,” Athas said. “I’m hoping he can convince people who aren’t Trump supporters that he’s for real.”
Dean Blake, of Portsmouth, N.H., donned a pink wig, a feather boa and a white hat with a Trump sticker. Blake said he’s seen Trump twice before the Tyngsborough rally, both times in New Hampshire.
“He’s not afraid to speak his mind, to really tackle today’s issues,” he said. “America’s a mess. We need someone with a different idea for moving the country in the right direction.”
From the get-go, Trump addressed supporters with his notorious no-nonsense approach.
He referred to the Iran deal as the “worst deal negotiated in history” and said the U.S. should be just as concerned about North Korea as it is about the Middle East. To show support for law enforcement, he welcomed local police officers to the stage, saying: “Nobody’s going to mess with these guys.”
His biggest cheers came as he touched on immigration, veterans affairs and the Affordable Care Act.
“We’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said to loud cheers. He called the Affordable Care Act a “disaster” and reminded attendees of the first-day failures of Healthcare.gov.
On protecting the border, Trump stuck to his message: “We’re going to build a wall,” he said, adding that this wall would have a door to welcome people legally.
He closed by reminding his supporters that his campaign is a “movement” in the right direction for the country, a direction that he states clearly in his campaign slogan: to “make American great again.”
After the speech, Trump moved into the school’s cafetorium, where he addressed followers, then he moved outside to address even more supporters who had not secured tickets to the event. He shook hands, signed autographs and took pictures with fans of all ages before slipping into a black SUV and heading off with a slew of police officers and security guards.
The night was not without some hiccups for Trump. Protestors from NARAL, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, held a small protest outside the event where attendees were lining up to enter the school. They held signs denouncing Trump as a misogynist and chanted about women’s rights.
Still, Trump’s followers seemed pleased with the event, particularly super-fans like George Guilmette, of Chelmsford. Guilmette wore four Trump pins and held two Trump signs with a wide smile as he exited the event.
“I think he’s absolutely inspirational. He doesn’t throw any B.S., as he would say,” Guilmette said. “I think that truly, in his heart, he wants to make this country a better place.”