Government

Trump Opponents Respond Quickly to News of Visit

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Within hours of the announcement yesterday that President Trump would hold a rally at the Covelli Centre here, Mahoning Valley Young Democrats began organizing a counter event, “Rally to Save Our Care,” and local Republicans were preparing to turn out in force.

The Trump rally will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to advisories emailed by Donald J. Trump for President Inc., his campaign committee.

“It certainly is exciting that President Trump is coming to the Mahoning Valley,” Mark Munroe, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican party, said.

Despite “negative press,” the president “enjoys wide popular support for his efforts to repeal Obamacare, reform our tax system, fix bad trade deals and finally repair our broken immigration system,” Munroe said.

“One thing is for certain: President Trump is sure to receive an enthusiastic welcome among his thousands of supporters.”

That support won’t be forthcoming from the Mahoning Valley Young Democrats, which will hold its rally at 5 p.m.

Locally, many of our loved ones are dependent on Medicaid and on the Affordable Care Act. Let’s join together as one voice and show President Trump that the Mahoning Valley stands against any cuts to Medicaid and any bill that will jeopardize the lives of so many that we care about,” the group posted on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile registered voters and people who had attended past Trump campaign events began receiving automated calls from a woman identifying her as Lara Trump – who is married to Trump’s son, Eric — instructing them how to reserve tickets via their phones.

David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, responded sarcastically to news of the president’s rally. Asked for comment, he alluded to controversies over Trump-branded products being made overseas – an issue given new prominence this week as the president tries to spotlight U.S. manufacturing – and the unfolding scandal involving Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump.

“I assume he’s coming to cut the ribbon for the new steel mill he promised, or perhaps its to roll out his great new health-care plan, or maybe he’s going to announce that he’s going to move production of all the Trump-branded goods that are made overseas by cheap and slave labor to the Valley,” Betras said.

“Otherwise I don’t know why he’d be coming – there aren’t a bunch of Russians living here for him to collude with,” he added.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said Trump “made a lot of promises” to Youngstown and communities like it during the presidential campaign. The deep inroads Trump made in traditionally Democratic strongholds like the Mahoning Valley garnered international media attention and helped him win Ohio.

“As of now, I have only seen a long line of broken promises,” Ryan said.

“We need good paying jobs. We need an infrastructure package that brings us into the 21st century,” he continued. “We need to address the opioid epidemic that is ripping apart families here in Ohio and across the country. We need to increase coverage and strengthen the American health-care system – not raise costs and kick 23 million Americans off their plans.”

In February, Trump was expected to come to the Mahoning Valley to sign legislation reversing the Department of the Interior’s Steam Protection Rule. The trip was not announced by the White House but local officials confirmed a visit Feb. 16 was being planned. It was cancelled Feb. 13.

Doors open for next Tuesday’s event at 4 p.m. Supporters are advised to arrive early and limit personal belongings to expedite entry. Prohibited items include homemade signs, banners, professional cameras with detachable lenses, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, backpacks or large bags.

Tickets are available here.

Trump last visited the Mahoning Valley as the GOP’s presidential nominee on Labor Day 2016 where he walked through the Canfield Fair and briefly addressed the crowd assembled outside the Mahoning County Republican Party’s tent.

On Aug. 16, he addressed a small, invitation-only audience at Youngstown State University where he outlined his proposals to counter terrorism and control immigration from Middle East states.

Pictured: Then-candidate Donald J. Trump at YSU Aug. 16, 2016

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.