El Paso And Dayton Welcome Trump With Chants Of “Go Back To Where You Came From” And “Words Matter”
Days after two white terrorists sent shockwaves across the country with back to back attacks, Donald Trump is on tour of both Dayton and El Paso – where the shootings take place. He’s set out to play ‘consoler-in-chief’ but before the trip even started he was proving that wasn’t likely to happen.
Trump was expected to draw a chilly reception in both cities and although there have been a few groups of MAGA hat-wearing supporters, his visit has drawn sizable protests.
Trump started out the day in Dayton, Ohio where a gunman opened fire and killed nine on Aug. 4.
Outside a Dayton hospital that the president was scheduled to visit, protestors inflated a large balloon of Trump as a baby, with signs reading “you are why” and “words have consequences.” Another group of protestors gathered near the site of the shooting, chanting, “Do something.”
“His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think people should stand up and say they are not happy if they are not happy he’s coming,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told reporters.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown met with Trump during his short visit. Both said they reiterated the importance of urgent action surrounding gun laws.
Brown said he put pressure on Trump to move faster on signing a bill that would put background checks in place, but suggested that the president’s response was passive.
“He only said that, ‘We will get things done,’” Sherrod said at a news conference following the meeting.
While in Dayton, the usually very public president didn’t allow himself to be photographed and didn’t make any public remarks.
Many thought it was a smart decision given his statements earlier in the day. His advisors probably didn’t want to risk him saying offensive while in a hospital that was treating victims of a terror attack.
But he didn’t stop himself from tweeting.
Just moments after leaving grieving victims and first responders, Trump took to Twitter to share his experience. He said there was “tremendous enthusiasm & even love.” Interesting choice of words.
Then he went on to attack his political opponents in typical Trump fashion.
Following Dayton, Trump traveled to El Paso where an alleged white nationalist gun downed 22 people and used the same anti-immigrant rhetoric as Trump.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, an ongoing letter campaign, drafted by immigration advocacy group Border Network For Human Rights, had collected the names of more than 19,000 people urging Trump not to come.
“Stay home,” said Pablo Lucero, 59, directing his words to the president. “Don’t use us as your photo op. Your words have done enough harm. You’re not welcome. If you really want to come, apologize first.”
El Paso, a city of more than 700,000, is a predominantly Mexican-American community and a Democratic stronghold. Top local, state and national Democrats — from U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, to presidential candidate and Beto O’Rourke and others — have urged Trump to stay away from their hometown.
Dolores Guerrero, 60, told Dallas News, “We’re all very sad, shaken and feel directly targeted. He [Trump] has nothing to do here in El Paso. We don’t want him here, the same way he doesn’t want us here.”
One woman who is being touted as a hero during the El Paso shooting had this message for Trump:
I think he should be careful of what he says, his words, because this is what happens,” she said, overlooking the Walmart parking lot where she spotted her vehicle. “You preach and say things and this is what happens. This is what happens to my hometown, to my people. This is what happens. No human should go through this. No human. No one needs to go through this.”
Before Trump departed for Ohio, he defended his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Trump defended his anti-immigration rhetoric on Wednesday, saying it was uniting the country, hours after slamming Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for saying that the president’s “racism” was responsible for the recent mass shooting that left nearly two dozen people dead in O’Rourke’s hometown, El Paso, Texas.
“It brings people together,” Trump said of his language. “Our country is doing incredibly well.”
He continued to call illegal immigration a “terrible thing for our country” while saying he has toned down his rhetoric.
He also used the opportunity to attack Beto O’Rourke, a native Texan from El Paso.
O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, has been an outspoken critic of Trumps since the shooting on Saturday. It seems that his attacks have gotten under Trump’s skin because the president wasted no time firing back.
Except for Trump, he’s attacking a man whose hometown was just attacked by a white nationalist who wanted to kill Latinos.