Government

Trump Pledges Jobs ‘to Fill Up’ Those Empty Factories

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – President Donald Trump pledged to bring jobs back to the Mahoning Valley during a rally last night at the Covelli Centre.

Speaking to the filled-to-capacity arena, he told of the drive from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station when he saw “some of those big, once-incredible, job-producing factories.” His wife, Melania, asked what had happened to them.

“I said, ‘Those jobs have left Ohio.’ They’re all coming back,” he pledged. “We’re going to fill up those factories or rip ’em down and build brand new ones. That’s what’s going to happen.”

The president also advised the audience largely composed of supporters not to sell their houses. “We’re going to get those values up,” he added.

Trump, making his first visit to Youngstown since his election, sounded several themes familiar to audiences since he first announced his candidacy for the presidency.

On a couple of occasions he referenced the debate under way in the Senate to move forward on debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and to “liberate our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare,” as he described it, and delivering “great health care” for Americans.

With few exceptions no president has done “anywhere near” what he has done in his first six months, he asserted.

“Day by day, week by week, we are restoring our government’s allegiance to its people,” he said. “We are keeping our promises to the people and, yes, we are putting – finally, finally, finally – we are putting America first.”

That includes support for the military and police, standing up for American workers and companies after “years of sending our jobs and our wealth to other countries” and defending national borders after spending billions of dollars defending other nation’s borders.

“We believe in freedom, self-government and individual rights,” he said. “We cherish and defend our Second Amendment.”

Had he not won last November, the Second Amendment “would have been gonzo. It would have been gone,” he predicted.

The president also listed withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the “job-killing Paris climate accord” as two of his most important accomplishments, and pledged to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement if the country is unable to negotiate “a great deal” with Canada and Mexico. “We will never again sacrifice Ohio jobs or jobs in any state of our union to enrich other counties,” he vowed.

Trump said “burdensome regulations” have been eliminated at record speed. “And boy, have we put those coal miners and coal back on the map,” he said.

And he boasted of record levels for the stock market and unemployment at its lowest level since 2001. His proposed tax cut, if Congress enacts what he wants, would be the “single biggest tax cut in American history,” he said. “It’s time to let Americans have more of their own money.”

Trump called on Congress to enact his infrastructure plan, which he said would generate $1 billion to fix America’s roads, bridges and airports, projects that would use American materials and provide jobs for American workers.

The president availed himself of several opportunities during the hour-long address to lambast the news media. He took his first shot barely three minutes into his remarks.

“I’m here this evening to cut through the fake news filter and to speak straight to the American people,” he said.

“What a dishonest group of people out there,” he said.

During his speech, Trump called to the podium Geno DiFabio of Youngstown, a former Democrat who voted for Trump last year and had been interviewed on Fox News earlier in the day.

“Look what you could do in a the bastion of the Democratic Party,” DiFabio said, referring to Trump’s success in attracting support from Democrats locally. He advised Trump to go back to Washington and use that as an example of the support he has to encourage Democrats and Republicans to carry out his agenda.

DiFabio thanked Trump for appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as well as for keeping his promises. And he thanked the president for Melania Trump. “Could we have a more outstanding first lady?” he asked.

But not all in attendance last night are Trump supporters. Two protesters were ejected during Trump’s remarks and two were taken out prior to the president appearing.

“Boy, he’s a young one,” Trump remarked about one of the protestors. “He’s going back home to mommy.”

Other speakers at the event included Eric and Lara Trump, the president’s son and daughter-in-law, Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meacham and Jane Timken, chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party.

Timken called attention to the opportunity to remove a Trump critic in next year’s statewide elections, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Brown, a Democrat elected to the Senate in 2006, votes with another GOP boogeyman, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 97% of the time, she said, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who last year sought the Democratic nomination for president, 94% of the time.

Trump, Timken pointed out, won last year in 16 of the 24 counties Brown won in 2012.

“We have a golden opportunity to rid the Senate of Sherrod Brown next year,” she remarked. “I’m excited to work with you to elect Republicans up and down the ballot in Ohio.”

Trump supporters came from far beyond the Mahoning Valley to see the president in person.

Gene McKahan drove from Columbus for last night’s rally. He said he supports everything Trump is for, including building a border wall, improving the economy and “keeping terrorists out of our country.”

Chuck Vannoy drove in from the Akron area. “I’m just a big fan of Mr. Trump and I saw it as an opportunity to see him live and in person,” he said. “I’m a homebuilder and I believe in American jobs. I like what he wants to do with manufacturing” and putting America first.

Corey Pauley of Youngstown brought her two sons to the event. Trump has “good values” and wants to change America “back into what we used to be and what we used to stand for,” she said. When she was a child, there were plenty of jobs locally and people were making things in the United States.

“I think he has the right ways of wanting to bring back those jobs into our community,” she said.

Also among those attending were former local activist Debbie Taylor and Kathy Miller, who resigned as volunteer chairwoman of Mahoning County’s Trump campaign committee last year after her comments about blacks were reported in a British newspaper.

Taylor, who votes in Ohio but lives part time in Boston, acknowledged there wasn’t anything in Trump’s speech that she hadn’t heard before. “He doesn’t keep changing. He’s not quixotic like some of these other politicians with the polls,” she said. “He sticks to his message.”

She also has confidence that if anyone can bring back the American dream, it’s Trump.

“He brings great optimism and that’s what we really need,” Miller said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.