Candidates stomp for votes during rallies at Ocean Center, Daytona State
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Despite serious clashes between Donald Trump protesters and supporters in some major U.S. cities, there were no incidents reported during his stop Wednesday in Daytona Beach.
On Wednesday, the presidential nominee spoke to a massive crowd of about 8,000 at the Ocean Center.
Only a small group of protesters outside held signs and shouted their disdain for Trump.
“I grew up in Daytona and when I heard that he was coming here. I felt compelled to come out and protest,” said Steve Polzella. “I believe that Trump is a White supremacist with a little-grade lexicon. How could he operate a country and a nuclear arsenal? He also has a small vocabulary.”
Lindsay Temple echoed, “Trump is the most terrifying presidential candidate that we ever did have. I am amazed at the turnout for support. He uses scare tactics. He is a bully, ill equipped, racists, homophobic, misogynic, narcissistic. He is all for himself and not about bettering the country or its people.”
Sticking with Trump
Supporters who did get inside felt the energy given off by Trump and his speech.
Frank Lewis commented, “I am a first-time voter. I think that this country is going to hell. I think that Trump is the guy that will pull us out of it. I think he is just the fire that we need.”
As usual, Trump slammed Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and the media.
“Lock her up’’ and “Build the wall’’ were frequent chants.
Despite Trump’s tough week, which has angered Republicans over his refusal to endorse Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and his criticism of the parents of Muslim Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq, the nominee had this to say: “The campaign has never been so well united. I would say we’re the most united we’ve ever been.”
Supporter Robin Stasko is sticking with Trump.
“I think Trump is the candidate that is best for America. He is for making our country stronger again. I’m for making America great again,” Stasko said.
Vet: He’s a bigot
But Tammi Girgenti, who said she’s an Army veteran, former counter terrorism analyst with the CIA and former Arabic linguist and intelligence analyst with the NSA, wasn’t buying it.
“I served. My father served. This is the first time that I will not be voting Republican in a presidential election,’’ she said. “Trump is a bigot. He is anti women, anti-Muslim and he picks on disabled people. He is not good for our country. He is not good for our veterans. He wants to take away a veteran’s Purple Heart. He dodged serving in Vietnam.”
All calm for Kaine
Just a day before, Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine was at Hosseni Hospitality College on the campus of Daytona State College.
A few Trump supporters were seen riding by with signs but there were no protests.
One young observer at the Kaine event believes he won over some voters.
“I’ve been following politics for a while. I think the Clinton campaign has a better attitude than Trump’s. Kaine may have got some of the voters here today to vote for Clinton,” commented Colton Asnes, who soon will be a sophomore at Spruce Creek High School.
The scene at Daytona State was smooth with a good crowd for Kaine.
“I am supporting the Clinton/Kaine ticket. I like their stance on issues such as immigration, the LGBT community and equal pay. I also like that they have an economic plan for jobs. They also support schools and an increase in the minimum wage. I live close by so this was a good opportunity to see Kaine in person,” said Sophia Rivas.