Trump tour draws Kentucky students, governor



Bailey Vandiver

Chants of U-S-A echoed around the US Bank Arena long after it emptied following the first leg of President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence’s “thank you” tour on Dec. 1.

Cincinnati, Ohio was the first stop of Trump and Pence’s post-election tour to thank their supporters in the swing states that secured their victory.

Trump previously visited a packed US Bank Arena during his campaign tour. At his first post-election rally, the arena was sparser, but the attendees did not lack enthusiasm.

Sharon Caliguri, 59, attended the last rally and said, “It was great, I loved it.” She was happy and surprised to be able to attend another one, and appreciated that Trump was a “non-career politician” and that he was returning to give his thanks.

Kentucky resident Lee Mullins, 32, arrived at the last rally six and a half hours early, and this one three hours early.

“The wait was well worth it because I knew that he was going to win,” Mullins said. 

The audience was diverse in age, from children waving “Trump-Pence” signs in the air to older gentlemen with “Make America Great Again” hats. One young man came as Trump himself, complete with a suit and a wig.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was one of many featured speakers at the event. He praised Ohio for being “the state where we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat” and recollected Trump’s vast victory in Ohio, in which he won 80 out of 88 counties. 

Husted said he believes that Trump will not only make America great again, but will “make it greater than it’s ever been.”

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin spoke and drew cheers from the many Kentuckians in the audience. Governor Bevin praised both Kentucky and Ohio.

“I’m proud that we represent the same core values that are on this side of the river, too,” Bevin said.

Bevin warmly introduced Vice President-Elect Pence, referring to him as a close political and personal friend.

Pence personally thanked voters in Ohio, Kentucky, and his home state of Indiana. He spoke of his and Trump’s visit to Indianapolis earlier that day to celebrate the carrier jobs that will stay in America.

He introduced President-Elect Trump, who took the stage as “Proud to Be an American” played over the speakers. Trump began his remarks by apologizing for the traffic around the arena.

As he looked back at his campaign, Trump said, “It really has been fun.”

Sally Martin, a marketing and media arts major, made the trip from Lexington to Cincinnati to the event because of her interest in politics. 

“I could definitely tell he was more relaxed than he has been in the past,” Martin said. “As a Republican, I wanted to attend the event to see him for myself, even though I am not fully a Trump supporter yet.”

Trump said that his first reason for returning to Cincinnati was “to say thank you to Ohio.” His second reason was to outline his plan to make America great again, which included reiteration of his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, build a wall to stop illegal immigration and defeat ISIS. 

While talking about terrorism, Trump offered his condolences to the victims of the attack at The Ohio State University earlier this week. He vowed to keep the country safe from security threats such as these by not allowing sanctuary cities. Other speakers also offered their thoughts and prayers for the OSU community.

Trump encouraged all Americans to dream big. 

“Now is not the time to downsize our dreams,” he said. He looked forward to a time in which “every child is included in the American dream.”

Trump’s overarching message was one of a great, unified America.

“We’re not going to be divided for long,” he said.