Donald Trump skates into Valdosta, after black students escorted out

It was a fact Trump flaunted to the more than 7,500 supporters in attendance here at Valdosta State University.

“Every single online poll, every single event I’ve been No. 1,” he said.

The New Yorker drew an enthusiastic and at times rowdy crowd to the university’s basketball stadium. He was met with deafening cheers from the audience, which held up signs saying “build that wall” and “the silent majority stands with Trump.” It cheered so loudly when Trump said he would scrap Obamacare and Common Core that the bleachers shook.

At least another 12,000 supporters were outside, he said, unable to get into the event.

Trump asked for the crowd’s support Tuesday and promised a strong showing.

“We are going to win at every single level. We are going to win with health, with education, at the borders, with our military. We’re going to win, win, win, win,” he said.

Trump otherwise delivered his stump speech, touching on immigration, free trade, his business record, guns and the Pope.

He drew fans from central and southern Georgia, as well as some Floridians and curious VSU students.

Trump’s “powerful” persona is what’s been driving such large levels of support, said Lorra Baccili, 54-year old union laborer from Perry.

“He is a powerful individual. His strength in his voice speaks for the country,” she said.

Lori Tompkins from Turner County, who assists medical patients without insurance, said Georgians in particular are flocking to the billionaire because of his business savvy.

“He’s helping us stand up for our country again, to try and improve business. Georgia, especially this part of Georgia, is an extremely poor area and we would love to see manufacturing come back to this country, especially here in Georgia,” she said.

The rally also drew its share of anti-Trump protestors, who were roped off across the street from the venue. The crowd inside the building booed a protestor Trump kicked out of the event. The Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs also reported that upwards of two-dozen black VSU students were kicked out of the rally.

From the USA Today account of the same incident:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...
X