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Trump highlights Republican points at Las Vegas rally — BLOG

Updated February 21, 2020 - 2:11 pm

President Donald J. Trump spoke for an hour and 45 minutes, highlighting all major points of the Republican Party’s effort as election season gets into full swing, including the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.

Trump concluded his theme of making America wealthier, better and greater than before.

“The best is yet to come,” he said.

— Marvin Clemons, 2:10 p.m.

Praises military, courts

President Trump noted the recent creating of the sixth branch of the military, the Space Force.

He noted the administration’s effort on the U.S. judiciary system.

“To uphold the rule of law we have approved a record number of 217 federal judges who will interpret the Constitution as written,” he said.

He said the Democrats were for the “obliteration of the Second Amendment,” receiving loud applause.

“We believe that faith and family, not government bureaucracy are the true American way.”

— Marvin Clemons, 2:05 p.m.

Praises health care efforts

President Trump said he will make health care a big part of the campaign.

“We are pushing down costs after premiums more than double in the five years with Obamacare,” he said. “We’re fighting to protect your Medicare, your Social Security and your health care.”

He said he’d like to finally eliminate the Affordable Care Act if he could win the court case.

He said he would attempt to get coverage for pre-exisiting conditions back into the offerings.

He also said the administration is getting more generic and cheaper drugs approved, “a record number” that the “drug companies hate.”

He noted that “right to try” measures are allowing more terminally ill Americans to try experimental drugs.

— Marvin Clemons, 1:50 p.m.

Illegal immigration costs

President Trump said illegal immigration costs each household in Nevada $1,500 per year for medical and other costs.

“That’s $1.6 billion a year for Nevada,” he said.

“The Washington Democrats sold out the American people in illegal immigration,” he said to cheers. “They put the needs of any illegal immigrant walking across the border before American citizens, but you knew that and that’s why you voted for Trump.”

He said sanctuary cities are deadly to Americans.

He said his administration has completed 122 miles of the wall on the Mexico border, adding that Hispanics in American understand the need for the wall to protect their jobs and houses.

Trump said by sometime next year 500 miles of wall will be completed, “faster than anybody thought was possible.”

— Marvin Clemons, 1:34 p.m.

Won’t fund Yucca Mountain

President Trump said he will not fund research and licensing at Yucca Mountain, an issue that Nevada has been “fighting for 30 years.”

“Why should you have nuclear waste stored in your back yard,” he said.

— Marvin Clemons, 1:22 p.m.

Praises GOP momentum, salutes Adelsons

President Trump said the Republican Party is a “movement,” with more enthusiasm than even in the 2016 election.

“This is 9 months from election season and election season is when you have like two months to the election and the enthusiasm is even bigger than in 2016,” he said.

He then saluted Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Sands, who were in the crowd. He also noted Rick Harrison, own of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

He claimed the Republicans are getting great support from unions because he is “for the working man.”

Trump said 125,000 jobs have been created in Nevada since his 2016 win, including 40,000 manufacturing positions.

He said the unemployment numbers are the best in American history, including every ethnic group. He said the unemployment rate for women is the lowest in 71 years.

— Marvin Clemons, 1:15 p.m.

Critical of Democrat hopefuls

President Trump assailed every candidate running for president during his speech.

“Bernie (Sanders) is too emotional and (Joe) Biden is angry,” he said. “Biden can’t get the words out because he’s so angry.”

Tom Steyer was a target.

“This schmuck spends $250 million and ends up with one-third of a percent in Iowa, but they can’t count the votes in Iowa, so he might have one, who knows.”

He noted Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s attack on “mini” Mike Bloomberg over non-disclosure agreements from former company employees, indicating he thought Bloomberg’s run was finished, but saying he expected the New York billionaire to spend another $500 million.

— Marvin Clemons, 1:03 p.m.

Brings up fans from crowd

President Trump brought up three fans from the audience, including a Las Vegas resident who is often seen riding his bicycle around the city with a “Fake News” t-shirt that is critical of all television networks, especially CNN.

The other two, a couple, met in the Trump rally in Colorado last night and came to Friday’s rally. The man said he has attended 80 Trump rallies.

— Marvin Clemons, 12:54 p.m.

Lauds his poll performance

President Trump said he had his “highest rating ever in the polls,” mentioning one in Wisconsin without providing any specifics.

He did so while assailing the “fake news” media, singling out CNN. He repeatedly attacked the news media during his speech, including ABC, Comcast, “MSNDC” and others. He called people who work at the networks as “crooked.”

He also attacked former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg’s performance in the Wednesday night Democratic debate, also criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren for “yelling” at Bloomberg.

— Marvin Clemons, 12:43 p.m.

USA hockey team honored from 1980

President Trump brought up 14 members of the U.S.A. Olympic hockey team that stunned the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics.

Captain Mike Eruzione and goalie Jim Craig were front and center. The team is being honored Saturday by the Vegas Golden Knights on the 40th anniversary of their defeat of the powerful Soviet Union team.

“He orchestrated the greatest sports moment of the 20th century,” Eurizone said of late coach Herb Brooks who guided the team to one of the biggest upset in all of sports history. “He was a great motivator, perhaps too great.”

— Marvin Clemons, 12:37 p.m.

Says Dems can’t count votes

“They have a big election tomorrow, but we’ve already won the state,” President Donald J. Trump said as he opened his Keep America Great rally Friday.

Trump began his speech at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 12:20 p.m., criticizing the Nevada Democratic Party, saying they can’t count votes and have computer problems.

“With your help we are going to defeat the radical, socialist Democrats this fall,” he told a packed house.

— Marvin Clemons, 12:25 p.m.


The rally is underway. Watch our live stream here.


Thousands showed up for President Donald Trump’s rally Friday morning, forming a line that stretched nearly a quarter mile around the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Doors opened at 7:52 a.m. First in line was U.S. Army veteran Dean Poirier, who came from California to show his support for the president. Poirier stood in line in very chilly overnight temperatures starting Thursday at 3:15 a.m. He is a disabled veteran who said Trump has helped improve medical services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“President Trump has put things in place where I’m now getting fixed for things that for more than a dozen years have been getting dragged on with the VA and now I’m actually getting fixed,” he said.

— Glenn Puit, 8:08 a.m.

Chanting crowd

With chants of “USA!” And “four more years!” echoing in the background, Trump supporters continued to stream into the convention center at a steady pace.

One woman in line was Megan Heaps of St. George, Utah. She attended a Trump rally in Phoenix Wednesday, then drove to Las Vegas and spent Thursday night sleeping in front of the convention center.

“I was so tired from the last rally that I slept like a rock,” she said. “I wouldn’t do this for a rock star but this is something we will never see again in our lifetime. We’ve made so many friends with everybody. A MAGA family.”

— Glenn Puit, 8:16 a.m.

Fans line up early

About 15 people were gathered outside the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall at noon Thursday, 24 hours before President Donald Trump is set to speak at a rally.

The group said they wanted to get out to show support for Trump, to get to the front of the Keep America Great rally and to enjoy the community-centered tailgating aspect of camping out.

Lynn Caplan, a Las Vegas resident, said she loves Trump because he’s “a true patriot.” She said she hopes to see him re-elected, chanting “Four more years!”

“I’d crawl through a minefield to vote for that man, because fake news is fake and we’ve had enough,” Caplan said. “Communism is not going to take over America.”

Cathy Sampson drove six hours from Crescent Valley, and she’s not even staying for the Friday rally. She said she’s just here because she saw a good opportunity to sell her shirts.

There are two shirts: one that says “WE THE PEOPLE Have Had ENOUGH,” and another that calls for a nationwide boycott against “All Fake News Medias For Blatantly Undermining Our President,” claiming there were “Too many to put on this T-shirt which is Appalling!!!”

Sampson said the first shirt was inspired by Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian who said on Fox News that the nation’s politics wouldn’t change until Americans stood up to say “We the people have had enough.” (Sampson was requesting a $10 donation for the T-shirts.)

Keith Edwards drove to Las Vegas from San Diego with his parents to attend the Trump rally. He said that his main concern is love and unity in the nation, and he thinks Trump is the best man to lead that charge.

He said that Democrats have long been known to stand up and fight for what they believe in, but that Trump is the first Republican leader he’s seen push back.

“I think that’s a lot of what the people like is the pushback,” Edwards said. “Not so much the violence or the anger, but the pushback.”

He said he’s glad Trump is in office because he thinks his presidency has broken the ice that could have led to another American civil war. He credited Trump with getting more people into politics, on both sides of the aisle.

Edwards hopes to see people come together this election season and make their voices heard and reach bipartisan solutions.

“It’s been bad on all sides, it’s been good on all sides, but everybody gets to vote to make their voice heard and that’s how we make decisions,” Edwards said. “My goal is to bring that together.”

— Alexis Egeland, 12:30 p.m. Thursday

Security measures for Trump rally

Metropolitan Police Department officers will be staffing the Keep America Great rally on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Police spokeswoman Alejandra Zambrano declined to say how many officers would be at the event due to security concerns.

Metro also will be assisting with security detail for any other visits Trump makes while in the valley, although Zambrano said that is mostly handled by the Secret Service. Henderson, North Las Vegas and Clark County School District police departments also said they would be assisting Metro while Trump is in town.

— Katelyn Newberg, 3:40 p.m. Thursday

When does the rally start?

President Trump’s Keep America Great rally begins at noon Friday in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. Friday.

A queuing line will be set up Thursday afternoon in the plaza area in front of the North Hall entrance, according to a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority official. The line will continue south as crowds grow.

The Convention Center building will close to the public at 8 p.m. Thursday. Porta-potties will be available outside. Some food trucks may be available as well.

What can I bring to the rally?

While waiting in line, there are no restrictions on what people may have with them, the LVCVA official said.

Be sure to being water while you are waiting.

These are the items that will not be allowed inside the venue: Homemade signs, banners, professional cameras with a detachable lens, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, backpacks or large bags. Small bags will be allowed inside.

Where can I park?

Rally attendees may park in Silver Lot 3 or the Bronze and Platinum lots for the standard $10 parking fee. That allows attendees to come and go from the convention center.

Silver Lot 3 is at Desert Inn and Paradise roads. The Platinum lots are on Swenson Street just south of Desert Inn Road. The Bronze lots are on Sierra Vista Drive, between Paradise and Swenson.

Silver Lots 1 and 2 will not be available for public parking.

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