Warwick, RI — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rally at Crowne Plaza drew a long line of supporters that stretched from front to the back of the hotel Monday morning, many of whom expressed distrust of establishment politicians.
“I voted Democrat my whole life. I never voted Republican before,” said Thomas Healey of Warwick, there with is partner, Christine Mainey, both Trump supporters.
That was before Trump frankly spoke against the Iraq war, he said. That willingness to buck the GOP establishment won his vote for the real estate tycoon, Healey said.
“I have to give him credit for speaking his thoughts,” she said.
Further ahead in line, near the back of the building, Michelle Abram of Warren said she’s also not concerned about Trump’s misogynist and rude statements on the campaign trail.
“I think we have to hear them for what they are and not take them out of context,” Abram said.
She said she’s more worried about restoring the country to, “…where it used to be. “I think Trump can do it,” Abram said.
Charles DiBartolo stood in line with a poster bearing a photo of his son, Vincent, a US Marine sergeant stationed in Afghanistan. He said his son has told him that if Trump isn’t elected president, “He’s not going to re-up,” when his enlistment is over, DiBartolo said.
There are no other candidates in the race that they trust, he said. The statement inspired a chorus of assenting comments from the people nearby.
DiBartolo criticized the decision to equip the Iraqi army with weapons and equipment they abandoned when faced with having to stand up to Islamic State fighters. He pointed to the 60 years US forces have been committed to Japan, and the long term deployments of troops in South Korea and in Germany after conflicts there, at the sacrifice of US soldier’s lives.
“We didn’t give it back to them,” DiBartolo said.
One pair who didn’t describe themselves a Trump supporters were Micaela Stuttard and Tim Silva of East Providence. Stuttard patrolled the line of supporters holding a sign reading “Free hugs.”
“I don’t want somebody so hateful (as Trump) running our country,” Stuttard said, so she decided to make a positive appeal to the people in line before Trump spoke.
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