YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Former President Donald Trump took the stage at the Save America rally in Youngstown shortly after 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
He got right into several topics, including immigration and border control under President Joe Biden.
“The southern border has been completely erased, we no longer have a border… our country is being invaded, it’s an invasion by illegal aliens all over the planet,” he said.
The crowd cheered when Trump says he is 18 points up on Biden in the latest poll that came out.
Thousands of people lined up early Saturday to see the former president in Youngstown.
He’s visiting the Covelli Centre to campaign with Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who hopes to defeat Tim Ryan in the general election. Trump said it’s time to give Vance a landslide.
The former president said he noticed as he was rolling into town that 50 years ago the factories were incredible. Now, they’re not looking so good.
“I will never quit, because the fate of our country is at stake,” said Trump.
He also spoke on inflation, stating that under the current administration, prices have skyrocketed.
He talked about how the Democrats have tried to stop the Make America Great Again movement.
“That’s what they’re doing,” said Trump. “They’ve already taken away your vote. They’ve taken away your voice, and now they want to take away your freedom. And it’s not going to happen, by the way.”
Trump said he believes America has the weakest border, even comparing it to borders of developing countries. He claimed no matter how poor they are, they would not let what happened to the American border happen to theirs.
“They use knives, not guns, because it’s more painful. They want pain. They don’t want to shoot somebody. They want to cut somebody up. And they do. They cut up two young six year old girls going to school. They cut them up for fun and killed them both. These are animals and they allowed them into our country and we have them by the thousands. And we were taking them out by the tens of thousands and we were bringing them back to their countries,” he said of the illegal immigrants coming into the country.
Trump compared America’s laws to a conversation he had about China.
“In one of my meetings early on, I said, President, President, do you have a drug problem in China? And he looked at me like, ‘What’s this guy crazy?’… And he said, ‘We find out that they did it. And if they did it, they get immediately executed.’”
Trump went on to say an immediate death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers would benefit the county.
It was an hour into his speech before he began speaking about Vance and his candidacy. He welcomes Vance onstage to share remarks.
Several speakers took the stage before Trump appeared. Among those speakers were J.D. Vance and Representatives Jim Jordan and Bill Johnson.
Vance took the stage and shared with the crowd a little about himself and his upbringing. He shared how his grandparents raised him and his love for his hometown of Middletown.
“I feel like the luckiest kind in the world to be standing up here representing the Republican Party,” he said.
Vance went on to criticize Tim Ryan and his voting record.
“He says that he didn’t support the policies that destroyed our energy sector and raise prices. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to say we need to get back to the policies of the real Donald Trump, not fake Tim Ryan, trying to pretend to be somebody he’s not. Because, look, the consequences of those policies are all around us,” he said.
The crowd began to chant “USA, USA, USA.”
Republican nominee for U.S. State Representative for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District J.R. Majewski spoke first. He got the crowd cheering and clapping as he said they are “leading the path to take the country back.”
“We’re all here today because we believe in the American dream,” said Republican nominee for U.S. State Representative for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District Madison Gesiotto. “Our Founding Fathers would be horrified, they would be rolling in their graves if they could see what has happened in America.. We must stand up and fight against these people who want to bring us down and lie to us.”
Max Miller, Republican nominee for U.S. State Representative for Ohio’s 7th Congressional District took the stage next.
He spoke on political intimidation and “assault on men and women in uniform.”
The crowd cheered loud when U.S. representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stage.
“Under Republicans thanks to my favorite president and yours, President Trump made border security a tight issue,” she said.
She went on to talk about President Joe Biden, claiming he and the Democrats are the cause of high gas prices.
“Under Republicans, we must make America energy independent again… Just like we were less than two years ago under President Trump,” she said.
Greene went onto speak on topics such as transgender rights, stating that children should be “protected” and that kids should just be kids.
“Stay out of our daughters’ bathrooms and out of our sports,” she said.
Then she criticized former Pennsylvania surgeon general and current Assistant U.S. Health Secretary Rachel Levine.
“We must stop the sexualization and dangerous promotion of genital mutilation of children. Listen, just because Dr. Richard Levine is suffering from gender dysphoria and changed his name to Rachel, doesn’t mean the 12-year-old girl should get double mastectomies and hysterectomies, or that boys should be chemically castrated,” she said.
U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District Bill Johnson spoke next. He talked about gas prices under President Biden.
“Two years ago you could afford to drive your family on vacation, today you can barely afford to drive to work,” Johnson said. “Too many Americans are having to choose between putting gas in their cars and buying groceries.”
Johnson encouraged everyone to vote and to help send J.D. Vance to Washington.
Jim Jordan, U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District took the stage and addressed several topics.
“The left controls big media, the left controls big tech, the left now controls big sports… But the left doesn’t control we the people,” he said as the crowd cheered. “And we the people have had it.”
Jordan spoke on the rise in inflation, crime levels and border control. He also spoke on President Biden’s action to reduce student loan debt.
“Thank you for helping President Trump these last several years,” he said to the crowd. “No president has done more than what he said he would do than President Trump, and he did it with everyone against him.”
Doors opened at 2 p.m., but the line began to form well before that. The line stretched through downtown past Eastern Gateway Community College. Some people even camped out in their cars to be sure to get a good spot in line.
Along the side of the streets are tables full of T-shirts, signs, hats and more with Trump’s name and image and quotes on them.
First News reporters spoke with several people in line who said they traveled hours to be at the event. Debra Phillips came from Michigan and said she was looking forward to hearing from the former president.
“Trump always gives more of a voice. He expresses the things that we want to say but we haven’t been able to,” she said.
Several people stated they would like to see Trump run for president again and hoped he would make a comment on it at Saturday’s rally.
“Food’s high, everything’s high. You know, inflation is crazy. I think Trump can do a better job, and also get a lot of the bad people out of there. You know, I’m Blue Collar, and so, I’m just trying to make a living,” said Brandon Bell, of Columbus.
But the rally was also met with some differences in opinion regarding the former president’s appearance. A group of about a dozen protesters stood with signs outside the federal courthouse.
The protesters were members of groups like Ohio Poor People’s Campaign and the Mahoning valley Democratic Socialists of America. Others were former employees at now-defunct factories in the Valley.
Following the rally, Ohio Democratic Party chair Elizabeth Walters released a statement regarding Trump trying to compete with Ohio football.
“Did anyone even watch that?” read the statement.
Sources say they expected roughly 7,000 people to attend.
Hanna Erdmann contributed to this report.