America cannot continue to be the place “led by stupid people,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of thousands of central Ohioans at a rally in Springfield on Thursday.
“I think we’ve had enough of the Clintons,” he told the crowd. “Don’t you?”
Supporters handed out signs as people squeezed into the Champions Center Expo at the Clark County Fairgrounds to hear one of Trump’s final pitches for support for the Nov. 8 election.
Trump continued to push his main points to Ohioans on the economy, national security and foreign policy.
He quickly attacked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton saying she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, caused central Ohio to close factories by signing free trade agreements such as NAFTA.
“Ohio has lost thousands of jobs due to NAFTA. Every closed factory you see was essentially caused by the Clintons,” he said.
Trump promised to put a 35 percent tariff on products from companies that close their domestic factories and move out of the county to sell those products back to America.
One point that resonated with the crowd was his stance against the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Six companies are leaving the regulated healthcare exchange in Ohio, according to media reports.
“Here in Ohio, another five companies are dropping out of Obamacare. Good luck with that folks. Good luck with negotiations,” he said. “Obamacare is a total joke.”
Dave Owen, of Union County, was among those in attendance. He told The Press Trump’s stance of starting over on healthcare reform is the right move for small business and big business alike.
“All of our major insurance companies are losing money, and they’re adding 10 to 15 percent,” he said.
Trump also doubled down on his trademark stance on immigration, saying “we have to” build a wall across the Mexican border.
“And who’s going to pay for the wall?” he asked the crowd, who answered back yelling, “Mexico!”
“I have a message for the drug cartels the gangs and the criminals,” Trump said. “When I am president your reign of terror will come to a beautiful crashing end.”
On foreign policy, Trump mostly discussed defeating the terrorist group Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS, highlighting their brutal methods for keeping territory in Syria and Iraq.
“We’re going to keep radical Islamic terrorism the hell out of our county,” he promised.
In other foreign policy matters Trump dismissed allegations he supported Russian President Vladimir Putin or does business in Russia. Regardless, he said he would try to get along with the country.
“Wouldn’t it be great to get along with Russia and other countries?” he said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to get together and knock the hell out of ISIS?”
Ohio Republican officials were also in attendance, urging people to get out and vote.
“I encourage people to vote from the top of the ticket,” said Ohio Senate President Keith Faber. “What I call from the White House down to the courthouse.”
The Madison County Republican Party received 10 VIP tickets to the event, according to Chairman Steve Saltsman. Four families showed interest, but Saltsman didn’t know if they attended or not.
So far, the local party has given out 650 Trump yard signs to supporters.
“Maybe another hundred on top of that, but now we’re completely out, waiting for more,” Saltsman said. “I certainly hope this translates down the ballot.”
The Chairman also pushed for Madison County republicans to vote on Nov. 8.
“Get yourself out and vote,” he said. “If you don’t vote you can’t complain, whatever the results.”
Kevin Stockham, chair of the Madison County Democratic Party, issued a statement in response to Trump’s visit so close to Madison County.
“These are serious times and our country is facing serious issues that require qualified and proven leadership,” he stated. “I think Hillary Clinton is the right person for the job. I want to see our country united and all people represented. Not rhetoric that appeals to our basic instincts and tears apart our nation. As a husband and father of a daughter, I want to see women judged by their character and their work, not demeaned on the basis of their looks.”
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.