UNR students attend rally for former President Donald Trump in Reno – The Nevada Sagebrush

Trump is on stage in front of a podium that says 2024 and in front of a giant American flag.
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
Former president, Donald Trump gives a speech to Reno rally attendees at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Donald J. Trump, former president and current 2024 candidate for the Republican Party was expected to arrive at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Dec. 17, 2023 to give speeches at 2 p.m.

The lines were wrapped around the building for Trump supporters, decked out in “Make America Great Again” hats and Trump supporting shirts. Inside, there were two giant American flags to take pictures in front of as well as a “Team Trump” backdrop.

Women looking down texting wearing lots of Trump merchandise and Trump pins, including a "Make America Great Again" red hat.
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
Reno Trump supporters come to the Dec. 17 rally wearing lots of “Make America Great” gear and Trump merchandise.

Two students in attendance at the event, Ryan James Christian and Nate, spoke about their attendance at the rally, saying they were both here to politically engage.

“I’m here because I like to engage. As cliché as it is, civil engagement is very important to me. That’s also why I tried to go to [Kamala] Harris and her thing at UNR,” Christian said. “I personally don’t agree with Trump at all, but I also don’t agree with the Democrats and Joe Biden at all.”

Even though the two students were here, they noted that there were not many students in attendance and the general population at the rally was older. Christian said that the average age in the room was “probably 80.”

“I’m mostly here to see what it’s like to be at a political rally,” Nate added. “Also, [I’m here] just kind of learning more about what Trump stands for. I like to go to other political candidates’ informational sessions as well to just kind of see what they stand for.”

Nate said he saw a few students wandering around, but the majority were above the typical college age range.

“I believe civic engagement is pretty important, personally,” Nate said. “I think it’s important to support who you support and try to get change made in your community as best as you can, and it definitely needs to happen more than it does.”

Man in leather jacket holds "Trump 2024" sign at rally.
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
Reno-Sparks Convention Center hosts Trump rally on Dec. 17.

After time to grab seats and get settled, the rally attendees listened to Nevada politicians and local government leaders who gave speeches at the start of the rally, including Ken Gray, state assemblyman from Douglas County who led the audience in the pledge of allegiance and endorsed Trump for 2024. Alexis Hansen, a Nevada assemblywoman, and Ira Hansen, Nevada state senator, both gave their full support to Trump in the upcoming 2024 election.

Trump officially took the stage at approximately 3:30 p.m. He wished his supporters a “Merry Christmas” and encouraged voters to vote for him for the Republican party caucus on Feb. 8 in Nevada.

“We are going to make America great again,” Trump said many times throughout his speech.

Women in a large crowd of Trump supporters wears a "Make America Great Again" hat.
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
A large crowd of Trump supporters listens to introductory speeches at the Reno Trump rally on Dec. 17, 2023.

Trump also denounced Joe Biden by calling him “Crooked Joe” multiple times, further claiming the current president was a “laughing stock” and “the most corrupt president” in U.S. history.

In his speech, he claimed a lead in the polls over Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador for the United Nations, and Ron DeSantis, current governor of Florida. He also denounced the “fake news” that has been delivered about him and his efforts to keep America “safe from terror.”

He told his supporters that he was going to “prevent World War 3” and referenced the armed conflicts in Israel and Ukraine. He said he would cut funding to schools teaching critical race theory, would “keep men out of women’s sports”, drill more oil and stop the push for electric vehicles.

Man holds up fist in front of U.S.A flag at Trump Rally in Reno.
Zoe Malen/Nevada Sagebrush
Attendees of Trump rally yell and shout in support for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

“Together we are going to save America. We are going to bring back our country,” Trump claimed.

The voting for the Republican primary ended on Feb. 6 with Biden winning 36 Nevada delegates and Trump winning 26 Nevada delegates in the Feb. 8 caucus, according to the Associated Press. 

Jaedyn Young can be reached at jaedynyoung@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.


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