Story by Andrew Tsubasa Field
Having defeated all contenders to the Republican nomination, presidential candidate Donald Trump urged his Oregon supporters to vote, having only the delegate majority to win.
On Friday evening at the Lane Events Center, Trump spoke to a crowd of 4,000 Oregonians from all over the state. Trump celebrated the campaign’s success and reaffirmed calls to build a wall along Mexico to halt illegal immigration, while lambasting his rivals, media coverage of his campaign, and U.S. free trade agreements.
The toupee touting real estate mogul responded to speculation of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts being selected as Hillary’s running mate. Specifically, he questioned her claims of being of Native American descent.
“Her whole career is a fraud because she says that she is Native American,” Trump said. “She is a Native American, five percent, and therefore, her whole career because she is a minority.”
In usual fashion, Trump criticized the media coverage of his rallies, particularly accusing videographers of not filming his crowds, only protestors. Trump described his rally in Charleston West Virginia, which the New York Times estimated to have drawn 12,000 people.
“And then we had this guy here, with a voice like Pavarotti, screaming and screaming,” he said to laughter from the audience. “And the cameras were bent around like pretzels.”
Despite concerns for a potential breakout of violence during the rally from Eugene police, only two protesters were shown the door at the auditorium. When security escorted a woman out after shouting out during Trump’s speech, the crowd drowned out her out with cries of “U-S-A!”
“But look at the cameras, they’re all showing how many people are here!” Trump said sarcastically, as journalists directed their phones and cameras towards her.
For Toby Jones, a senior at Portland State University, with worker’s rights advocacy ambitions, it is Trump’s criticisms of unfair trade deals with foreign countries which most resonates with him.
“Other modern nations are exploiting the workers and using that as economic power against us and the rest of the Western world” said Jones. During the rally, Trump alluded to U.S. Department of Commerce figures that trade deficit increased to $505 billion dollars in 2014.
Although, Jones proudly sports Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” at the rally, he says that it is tough to be a Trump supporter at PSU, indicating to when his “Students for Trump” group’s first meeting was halted by student protestors in April.
However besides Jones, university students (who were there to support Trump at least) were scarce. At nearby Monroe Park, a crowd of 200, led by primarily college students gathered before Trump’s arrival, to protest primarily against Trump’s rhetoric regarding underrepresented groups. Trump has called for the deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“[His rhetoric] is hateful and it is really detrimental to my community, it doesn’t appreciate what my community, as a latino, has been doing for this country for lots of years,” said Aldo Solano, a student at Chemeketa College who spoke at the protest rally. “He doesn’t want us to be here and we are already part of this community. This is a country of immigrants and it’s always going to be that way whether he likes it or not.”