Trump endorses Oz, Vance, other candidates

·6 min read

Sep. 18—YOUNGSTOWN — After railing for several minutes against an "invasion" of "illegal alien gang members" from countries in Central and South America, former president Donald Trump switched gears, stating that he was doing surprisingly well among Hispanic voters himself.

"They let in millions and millions of these people, and they vote for Donald Trump," the embattled former Commander-in-Chief said, referring to border security under President Joe Biden and other Democratic lawmakers. "So thanks a lot."

Trump addressed a large crowd at the Covelli Center in downtown Youngstown on Saturday night, where he blamed undocumented immigrants for "sky-rocketing" numbers of murders, rapes, and car-jackings in the U.S. (In fact, FBI statistics indicate that rape, robbery and larceny rates decreased in 2020, though rates of murder and motor vehicle theft saw sharp increases).

Trump pledged to seek the death penalty for "drug dealers and human traffickers" if re-elected, citing what he called a discussion with Chinese president Xi Jinping about that country's low rate of drug offenses.

"If somebody is caught distributing drugs in China," Jinping is reported to have told then-President Trump, "we find out if they did it. And if they did it, they get immediately executed."

Trump also blamed Democrats for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"That would never have happened if they hadn't rigged the election," Trump said, referring to unsubstantiated claims that he won the 2020 presidential election "by the biggest margin in history — it wasn't even close."

Trump took shots at the mainstream media, citing reports in a major newspaper that Ohio senatorial candidate J.D. Vance "wasn't sure he wanted [Trump's] endorsement."

"He's kissing my ass," Trump said, to laughter from the crowd. "Of course he wants my endorsement."

In his speech Saturday, Trump endorsed Vance, as well as Ohio 7th-district Congressional candidate Max Miller; 4th-district U.S. Representative Jim Jordan; 13th-district candidate Madison Gesiotto Gilbert; 9th-district candidate J.R. Majewski; and Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.

'The most dangerous material in the United States of America'

An eclectic crowd wearing shirts bearing an assortment of Trump-related slogans attended Saturday evening's 'Save America!' rally. As overhead speakers played audio clips of conservative pundits accusing the FBI and Nancy Pelosi of masterminding the Jan. 6 attempt to storm the U.S. Capitol, volunteers with green badges ushered new arrivals to their seats.

Several middle-aged men wore shirts proclaiming their allegiance to "God, guns and Trump." A younger man with blonde hair sported a MAGA hat and a shirt emblazoned with the distinctive skull logo of popular Marvel Comics anti-hero The Punisher, only rendered in vertical streaks of red, white and blue.

A blonde woman dressed in a tight black t-shirt with TRUMP written across the front in glittery gold letters. An elderly man dressed as Uncle Sam posed for selfies with enthusiastic attendees. Two college-aged girls were outfitted with MAGA hats and bright red 'Let's Go Brandon' t-shirts. A Black man led the crowd lined up outside in a loud chant of the same slogan.

Nearly four hours before Trump took the stage, Majewski — the first in a succession of Ohio Republicans to address the crowd — was also the first to take aim at trans and non-binary residents.

"I'm J.R. Majewski, and my pronouns are 'patriot' and 'ass-kicker," he said.

Claiming to have worked with radioactive chemicals in the course of his career, Majewski nonetheless classified the Democratic Party as "the most dangerous material in the United States of America."

"We're here to fire Lyin' Tim Ryan and Nasty Nancy Pelosi," Majewski told the cheering crowd. "No more locking us down, no more masks, and no more grooming our children."

Gilbert spoke next, calling the U.S Constitution "not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, but an instrument for the people to restrain the government."

Gilbert had strong words on abortion rights, calling Democrats "those who want to kill babies all the way up until the day of their birth."

Max Miller referred to Democratic opponent Tim Ryan as "a puppet of the radical left," and presaged Trump's comments on border security, accusing Dems of wanting to "defund the police, open the borders, and use the power of the government to intimidate their political enemies."

"They're allowing drugs, weapons and sex workers into our communities," Miller said of Democrats.

He also accused the government's "fraudulent, Banana Republic-style investigative committee" of persecuting former president Trump, and the FBI of raiding Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate over "a paperwork dispute."

'We're gonna defund the Department of Education'

Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also made an appearance, advocating for a "Parents' Bill of Rights" that would give parents "full control over their children's education," and threatening to defund the U.S. Dept. of Education if the agency opposed the maneuver.

Greene then took stark aim at supporters of transgender rights, accusing Democrats of seeking to "confuse the most innocent among us that gender is changeable" and creating "an industry of genital mutilation," allegedly to benefit drug companies.

"They call this sick child abuse 'gender-affirming care," Greene said, stating she had a simple message for trans citizens.

"Stay out of our daughters' bathrooms, and stay out of our sports," she said.

Johnson again offered remarks on border security, saying that immigrants should encounter a sign reading 'Do Not Enter' upon approaching the nation's southern border.

Vance was the last speaker to take the stage before Trump, stating his support for industry, gun rights, and his determination to make Ohio "a proud state, in a proud country that makes things."

Vance also took aim at Tim Ryan, citing the difference between 'D.C. Tim' — who votes for Democratic policies — and 'Campaign Tim,' who rejects culture war issues.

"We need to kick D.C. Tim to the curb and tell him to get a real job," Vance said.

'No other country did that'

Jordan delivered a few positive comments amid the fiery rhetoric that dominated Saturday's rally, describing a tour he'd taken of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park.

"The Wright brothers didn't make it very far," Jordan said. "They flew for about a hundred feet and got maybe 12 feet off the ground."

But over the next six decades, said Jordan, an American citizen not only became the first pilot to break the sound barrier, but the first to walk on the moon.

"That's one lifetime," he said. "In 66 years we went from two guys flying a hundred feet to putting a man on the moon."

"This country did that," Jordan said. "No other country did that."