Donald Trump stuck to his usual guns during two campaign stops in Nevada on Wednesday.
The Republican presidential nominee bounced around during his hourlong speech in Henderson, going from attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her private email server to thrashing American foreign trade negotiations and the Affordable Care Act, and even talking about his ambivalent feelings toward Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t love, I don’t hate. We’ll see how it works,” Trump said of the Russian president.
The billionaire hotel mogul’s visit to the Henderson Pavilion was his first campaign rally in Southern Nevada not held at a casino. Trump previously spoke at the Westgate, TI and the South Point. After finishing his first speech, he jetted to Reno for another stumping event at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
While Trump touched on numerous topics in both speeches, he managed to zero in on immigration and why he feels the need to deport undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime and close the U.S.-Mexico border by building a wall.
“If we have no borders, then we really have no country,” Trump told the crowd of about 7,000 supporters in Henderson.
The issue of illegal immigration is an important one to Nevadans. According to Pew Research Center surveys conducted over the past few years, Nevada is tops in the nation in terms of having the highest proportion of illegal immigrants per capita.
At one point Trump brought out members of the Remembrance Project, an anti-immigration group made up of the families of people killed by such immigrants, to tell their stories to the crowd.
“When I’m president, we’re getting them out of our country,” Trump said when talking about immigrants in the U.S. illegally who have committed a crime, bringing about cheers from the crowd and chants of “Build the wall!”
Trump also blamed Democrats, including Clinton, for the high numbers of African-American youth living in poverty in America’s inner cities.
— Elaine M. Wilson (@WilsonElaineM) October 5, 2016
“We’re going to fix our inner cities,” Trump told the mostly white crowd inside the affluent suburban venue.
And as he has done several times over the past few weeks, he asked the black community, rhetorically, “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Trump’s promise to secure the borders resonated with 56-year-old Las Vegan Michael Gallagher.
“It affects crime, education” he said. “We have drugs getting into the junior high school level. These kids can’t become great leaders if we don’t secure the border.”
Other Trump supporters, like 28-year-old Hilary Mathias, were impressed with Trump’s speech.
“I think he reinforced and reiterated his values, which is to put America first,” Mathias said.
Mathias said her candidate probably says statements out loud that should be kept to himself, but it’s a result of the fact that he’s not a career politician.
Mathias said Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her career success is an example of how Trump empowers women.
“His actions speak louder than his words,” she said.
In Reno, Trump followed a similar script that he used in Las Vegas and elsewhere on recent campaign events, announcing that he will immediately repeal Obamacare when he takes office.
“If you want to stop Obamacare, vote for Donald J. Trump,” he said.
Trump said he will lower the maximum federal tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent to keep companies from being forced out of the country, costing people their jobs.
“We are one of the highest taxed nations in the world,” he said.
The 15 percent rate will make the U.S. one of the lowest-taxed countries, Trump said.
Before Trump’s arrival to Henderson, several local advocacy groups made their feelings about the candidate known.
Across the intersection from where Trump T-shirts and “Make America Great” again hats were being sold, women protesters were wearing a different kind of advertisement.
They donned beauty-pageant sashes that read, “miss eating machine,” “miss bimbo,” “miss slob” and “miss piggy” in an effort to highlight what have been called sexist comments made by Trump in the wake of the Alicia Machado controversy. The controversy has become the subject of a Clinton advertisement.
— Natalie Bruzda (@NatalieBruzda) October 5, 2016
“On a daily basis, Donald Trump makes problematic, sexist remarks that I just don’t find attractive or appealing as a candidate,” said Annette Magnus, executive director of Battle Born Progress. “I think if you’re going to run for the highest office in America, you’ve got to be a little more accepting and a little more tolerant of all the people you have to represent as President.”
Battle Born Progress was one of several organizations represented by protesters Wednesday morning before Trump’s speech. Other groups included AFL-CIO, iAmerica Action, Center for Community Change Action, Mi Familia Vota, Nevada’s Voice and NextGen Climate Nevada and PLAN Action.
Review-Journal Capital Bureau writer Sean Whaley contributed to this report. Contact Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Contact Natalie Bruzda at email@example.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.