AP NEWS

Around The Rally: People Share Their Views On Trump Visit

August 3, 2018

We talked to those who came to hear President Donald Trump speak — or protest his appearance — at the rally for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta R-11, Hazleton, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp.:

Incoming King’s College freshman and Wilkes-Barre resident Nick Lutz was at the rally with his mom, Alaina. Mom is a big Trump supporter and wants to hear about immigration and border security, aka “The Wall,” among other topics.

Nick voted for the first time in May’s primary election. He’s a registered Republican but is open to voting for another party if he likes their ideas.

— BILL WELLOCK

Charles Hanks of Danville said he got to the parking lot at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp. around 4:10 p.m. and got one of the last parking spots left. He got inside after waiting in line for about 90 minutes.

“This is my third one,” Hanks said, adding he saw Trump at a Harrisburg rally and at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2016.

— MICHAEL P. BUFFER

Diane Ray of Zion Grove came to protest the president. He needs to see opposition, she said. “I think it’s important especially in this area, that they know that’s there’s another side to it,” she said.

She wants more Democrats in Congress. Only a few Republicans, such as U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, will stand up to President Trump.

“For the most part, he’s got them in line. I don’t know why or how,” she said.

— BILL WELLOCK

Judy Secoda, 51, and Michael Israel, 29, came from the Allentown area. Secoda thinks Trump’s tariffs will bring economic pain now but pay off long-term. Both are strongly pro-life. Neither is too familiar with Lou Barletta, but came here to learn more.

— BILL WELLOCK

Max Kench, 32, is from the Quakertown area and wants highly skilled immigrants, not unskilled.

“That’s the future of the country for decades and decades to come,” he said.

The market for low-skilled jobs will decline because automation will replace human workers, he said.

“We don’t need masses of unskilled immigration,” he said.

He was also interested to see Trump live after watching speeches on news.

— BILL WELLOCK

Bill and Colleen Kelly of Allentown listened as Trump mentioned the economy, manufacturing, immigration, borders and more.

“He hit on just about everything I wanted to hear,” Bill said.

Both are unfamiliar with Lou Barletta, the Senate candidate Trump was promoting, and plan to research.

— BILL WELLOCK

Laura Teal stood across the street from Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Thursday afternoon, holding up a sign that read “Trump for Prison.”

The Plymouth resident was the first visible protester outside the arena, where President Donald Trump was scheduled to appear at 7 p.m.

Teal and her sign drew lots of attention from those driving by on Highland Park Boulevard, already packed with vehicles before 3 p.m.

Some honked or waved in support. Some called out in disgust.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” one woman shouted as she drove past.

A man riding in the back of a pickup truck about to turn into the arena parking lot screamed, “Don’t you people work during the day?”

Teal, who said this was her first public protest, took it in stride. She said she resolved to share her feelings about Trump with the world because he “really needs to leave office.”

“He never tells the truth,” Teal said. “These are scary times.”

Despite the sign she carried, Teal said she would be happy to see Trump leave office whether or not he ever faces criminal charges.

The country “can’t go through another two years” of Trump as president, she said.

— ERIC MARK

A protester in the crowd was removed by police ahead of Barletta’s introduction. It looked like it was just one woman being forced up the steps by someone in security or law enforcement. “Get ’em out of here,” said Trump, which prompted a brief “USA, USA, USA” chant from crowd.

— BILL WELLOCK