Trump Touches Down Here Hoping to Knock Out Kasich

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump flew into the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport Monday evening to tell a crowd of more than 2,000 that he will “make America great again” and Gov. John Kasich will not.

Trump began his remarks by noting the rally inside a Winner Aviation hangar resulted from his campaign changing plans Sunday afternoon. A rally scheduled for tonight in Florida, where polls show Trump with double-digit leads, was canceled so Trump could fly his jet to the Youngstown area and make one last pitch for votes in Ohio, where polls show he’s in a tight race with Kasich.

“You’ve got to beat Kasich,” he implored. “He’s not going to be a great president. He’s weak on the borders and when he was a congressman he voted for Nafta, and now he wants to sign TPP.”

Trump warned if the Senate ratifies the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, “It’s going to be bad for Ohio. It’s going to take all of your car business. He wants TPP and nobody knows why he wants it, including him,” Trump said of Kasich. “Maybe his lobbyists are demanding it. Maybe the other countries that are going to benefit from it are demanding it.  Who knows?”

Trump’s criticism of Kasich on trade issues – a vulnerability he perceives in the governor just as Democrat Bernie Sanders does in Hillary Clinton’s voting record – is integral to his campaign’s strategy to convince blue-collar Democrats they should cross over to the GOP primary. Elections officials in Mahoning and Trumbull counties confirmed last week that large numbers of Democrats had asked for Republican absentee ballots, and many of them stated their intention was to vote for Trump.

Should Trump beat Kasich tomorrow in Ohio’s winner-take-all primary as well as in Florida, his delegate count would be insurmountable, experts say, and guarantee him the Republican Party nomination.

“Ohio is going to make America great again,” he said.

“Your governor is totally overrated. He hasn’t done a thing for this state. Without [finding] oil [in the Utica shale play], you’d be in worse shape than any other state in the union.”

Trump’s remarks, which lasted about 45 minutes, did not refer to Saturday’s night’s disruptions in Chicago, nor were protesters in tonight’s crowd who interrupted the candidate before they were ejected.

Any potential confrontation appeared to be contained early this afternoon, CNN reported, when the Trump campaign determined that people who wanted to attend the rally would have to park their cars at Eastwood Field in Niles and board shuttle buses the campaign provided. Handmade signs were not permitted on the buses. But at one point before Trump began speaking, a crude message about Hillary Clinton, scrawled on the back of a Trump sign, was visible via a camera that streamed the event live on WFMJ.com.

While Trump’s focus was squarely on Kasich’s record, calling him an “absentee” governor for “living in New Hampshire” in the months before that state’s primary, he did not tag Kasich with a demeaning name like he has for his two other opponents, “Lying” Ted Cruz and “Little” Marco Rubio.

Subjects he touched upon ranged from the nuclear arms treaty with Iran and the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – “We’ve become third-world in many respects – to repealing and replacing Obamacare and, of course, building the wall along the border with Mexico.

“We’re going to build the wall. The wall is going to be built, 100%,” he said to loud cheers.

“Build that wall. Build that wall. Build that wall,” he led the crowd in chants.

“And who’s going to pay for the wall?”

“Mexico!” the crowd roared.

“You’re losing your jobs. You’re losing your factories. Japan is killing us with the cars. We don’t make good deals anymore and we don’t win anymore,” he said. “We lose on trade. We lose on the military. We can’t beat ISIS. We don’t even know how to win anymore – it’s not in our culture.”

Trump described his campaign as a movement, and said what’s happened to the Republican Party, which has become “obsolete” is “the single biggest story in politics in the world.”

He closed by promising those who vote for him Tuesday will cast the “single greatest vote you’ll ever cast. You’re going to be proud of your president and proud of your country. We’re going to start winning again.”

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.