The Waukesha Expo Center was filled to capacity Wednesday, as hundreds of people turned out to see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speak at a rally in Waukesha.
A crowd of about 1,600 people filled the arena, while more than a thousand others were left waiting outside during the event. It was Trump’s first visit to the state in over a month, as he looks to close a narrow gap in polling against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The latest Marquette University Law School Poll showed Clinton leading Trump by just two points among likely Wisconsin voters.
Trump received an enthusiastic greeting from the crowd when he arrived more than an hour later than scheduled. He spent much of his 40 minute speech going after Clinton, questioning her trustworthiness and highlighting scandals that have surrounded her, including the ongoing controversy over classified emails she kept on a private server while serving as Secretary of State. “She’s rendered herself unfit to be president,” Trump argued.
The businessman also urged to the crowd to “follow the money” by looking at contributions Clinton has received from Wall Street and corporate interests who then received favors, appointments, and were granted other access. “She put the office of Secretary of State up for sale and, if she ever got the chance, she’d put the Oval Office up for sale,” Trump said.
The nominee projected confidence in a Wisconsin victory this November, which has not gone to a Republican presidential nominee since 1984. “We have six weeks to make every dream you ever dreamed for your country come true,” he said. “You have one last magnificent chance to deliver justice for every forgotten man and forgotten woman and child in this nation.”
Several prominent conservatives from Wisconsin and the national stage turned out to offer their support for Trump. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani called Clinton a “professional liar,” while former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson urged Republicans who are undecided to get on board with the nominee. “The Trump train is moving,” Thompson said.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said he’s happy to see more people getting behind Trump, even if it took them awhile to get there. “Better late than never,” he said.
Many of those attending the rally said they are supporting Trump because they believe his business experience is what’s needed in Washington right now. “It’s going to take somebody like Trump to change what’s going on in Washington…somebody who doesn’t have any commitments to other people because of all the campaign donations.”
Troy Fullerton of Waukesha was attending the rally with his son, who will turn 18 just ahead of the election. Fullerton, who supported Rubio during the primaries, said he may vote Libertarian in November, but still wanted to see what Trump had to say.
Trump’s speech did draw protests, with at least one person being removed from the expo center while he was speaking. Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Philip Shulman said Trump was “unhinged and incoherent” during his appearance. Shulman said Trump was “putting on full display that he does not have the temperament to be President of the United States. Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and dangerous policy proposals disqualify him at home and abroad.”