Trump-Pence Supporters Turn Out Downtown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Supporters of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence turned out in front of the U.S. District Court building downtown Thursday as the vice president unveiled the Lordstown Motors Endurance.

As cars passed by – some with honking horns and others with boos and middle fingers – the crowd broke into chants of “U-S-A,” “OH-IO” and “Four more years” while anti-Trump protestors shouted their own slogans of “No more years” and “Enough lies.” Although the two groups did briefly come face-to-face during an argument, they quickly backed down from each other and returned to their areas along Market Street.

“We figured there would be quite a few people out there. This was fun because [Pence] is going to come right past here. It’s all exciting. We want him to know that we support him,” said Debbie Wilson, a Trump-Pence supporter from Lordstown.

After his appearance at Lordstown Motors in the early afternoon, the vice president will meet with community leaders and law enforcement. For Wilson, whose husband is a General Motors retiree, seeing the plant used again is a sign of hope.

Debbie Wilson of Lordstown was among the President Donald Trump supporters in downtown Youngstown.

“While my husband was working there, there was talk they’d close it or this or that. There was always hope that they wouldn’t, but it happened,” she said. “I heard President Trump was doing everything he could to get something out there. Tim Ryan’s been on the news umpteen times talking about it; he didn’t do anything. It was all President Trump that got it moving again.”

The gathering was organized by the Trump campaign, said Ohio press secretary Dan Lusheck. Even though the coronavirus pandemic suspended in-person campaign events – Trump returned with an event in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden has not held in-person events since mid-March – the campaign has been holding virtual events to keep support up.

“We’ve still been engaging volunteers, holding virtual rallies, holding virtual meet-ups. We’ve made sure that support didn’t drop off. Clearly, our efforts of that 100% virtual and socially distant campaigning has paid off,” Luscheck said. “All these people are appreciative of what President Trump and Vice President Pence have done and they want to show it in a big way.”

The work done at Lordstown Motors and the General Motors-LG Chem battery plant is a sign that Trump’s effort to restore the economy is working, the press secretary said.

“In Lordstown today is the promise of more jobs in this community. With the GM battery plant across the street, that’s additional good news. The more progress that this community sees made, which is driven by Republican leadership at the state and federal level, the more it’ll help all populations of the community,” he said.

But not all are so sure. Olga Irwin, a Youngtown native who led the small group of protestors, said Lordstown Motors is a “scam” and is giving people “false hope.”

A small group of anti-Trump protestors set up in downtown as well.

“They might have the model out and show it off, but I don’t think they’re equipped to build it. It’s nothing but a scam that’s giving people false hope. It’s a publicity thing,” she said. “Why is it invitation only? Why can’t I see it? Why is it not open to everybody? What are you trying to hide?”

And with the controversies around Trump over the past four years – from the impeachment trial to his response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., to the national response to the coronavirus and police brutality – enough is enough, she said.

“I’m sick and tired of what’s going on. I don’t care who becomes president, even if it’s another Republican. As long as it’s not him,” she said.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.