Trump supporters rally hours ahead of Waterford Township speech

WATERFORD TWP., MI — Some slept in their vehicles overnight. Others arrived with just minutes to spare.

But the hundreds of people who showed up at the Oakland International Airport Saturday, Feb. 17, had one thing in common: they wanted to show their support for Donald J. Trump in his bid for a second term in the White House.

“He kept his promises,” said Pamela Melnyk of St. Clair County on why she chose to spend her Saturday outside amid freezing temperatures, toting Trump-branded gear.

“He said he was going to do something for the people, for us, and he did it,” she added. “He stood up to what he believed in.”

Trump, the 45th president and current frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary, will speak Saturday evening at the airport as part of a Get Out the Vote rally.

For many of those waiting in line Saturday morning, hours before doors to the event open at 4 p.m., the Waterford Township rally was their first. Many are veterans of the Trump campaign circuit, and they have the buttons to prove it.

John Franks of Paw Paw traveled across the state, arriving around 4 a.m. to be one of the first in line Saturday. He commended Trump on his southern border policies and hopes a second term will bring down what he described as elevated costs of living.

“It’s difficult right now,” Franks said.

He also said he believes Trump puts the priorities of the American people before the needs of other nations.

“We’re taking the brunt of it, the American people,” he said. “It’s making it a challenge and I don’t think it’s needed.”

Others spoke of their belief that Trump gave them a voice when they felt they had none.

“He gave a voice to the conservatives,” said Jennifer Wilson of Ypsilanti. “For so long, conservatives have been pushed away. Our voice wasn’t heard. He gave conservatives and he gave Christians a voice again.”

Many in attendance shared that they found a source of familiarity with Trump, despite him being a billionaire.

“You wouldn’t think a billionaire like him would relate to everyday people (but) he does,” Melnyk said. “He’s not an elitist like the (other candidates).”

“Some say it’s hard to relate to a rich billionaire,” added Franks. “But why would a rich billionaire do the things that he’s doing?”

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