Trump looks at first 100 days in Gettysburg

BY JIM HALE Times Staff Writer |
Saturday, October 22, 2016

See full article here.

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke near Gettysburg Saturday, saying this “hallowed ground” was the right place to unveil his “100-day plan to make America great again.”

In the initial days of his administration, Trump said he would act with the goal of returning to “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” as expressed in President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Noting the deep national conflict of Lincoln’s day, Trump said “It is my hope that we can look at his example to heal the divisions we are living through right now.”

Trump pledged to “drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.” via a detailed list of initiatives in several broad areas: lobbying and the size of government; trade and energy; immigration and executive orders; tax cuts and reform; education and health care; and the military and Veterans Administration. Specifics are at the end of this story.

He also charged that “paid operatives” of the Democratic party have incited violence at other Trump events, and pledged to sue women he said were lying when they publicly accused him of touching them intimately without their consent.

Introducing Trump was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose appearance had not been announced in advance. The audience of perhaps 300 invited guests erupted in surprise.

Enthusiastic cheering and shouts of support were frequent throughout the event. Rhythmic chanting of Trump’s last name greeted his arrival. A chant of “USA! USA!” marked his departure.

There did not appear to be any unusual disruptions during the event, which took place in a ballroom at the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center approximately four miles southwest of the Borough of Gettysburg on Emmitsburg Road.

‘Rigged rules’

“Our system is broken,” Trump told the crowd, and the nation is at “a very special fork in the road.”

Trump said Hillary Clinton is “running against change,” while “I have no special interest but you, the American voter.”

“I am asking the American people to dream big again” and rise above the “clutter” of politics, Trump said.

Trump lamented “rigged rules” that work against “everyday Americans,” of whom he said millions are not working and are living in poverty.

He said every international trade deal negotiated in recent years is “horrible,” creating a “one-lane highway” that sends factories and jobs away while bringing back unemployment and drugs. Under his administration, he said, the agreements “will be unwound so fast.”

By having “failed our inner cities,” the government has let down the African American and Latino communities, he said.

Trump lambasted leaders who “can’t win” wars that are “misguided” and “go on forever.”

He claimed widespread voter fraud exists, charging that many dead people are registered to vote, “and some of them are voting.”

The most “rigged” rule of all, he said, is that Democrat Hillary Clinton has been permitted to run for the presidency. He recited a long list of allegations against her, including what he said were lies to authorities investing email practices during her tenure as Secretary of State.

“Lock her up!” audience members chanted.

‘Liars will be sued’

Trump went on to claim that “paid operatives” of the Democratic National Committee and potentially Clinton’s campaign had caused violence at his rallies and that he is looking forward to filing appropriate litigation.

Trump blasted the “mainstream media” as lying and “corrupt,” charging that it is out to “poison the mind” of voters and make him look as bad as possible, especially by covering allegations that he touched women inappropriately.

“The events never happened,” he said, and “every woman lied” who stepped forward to accuse him.

“All the liars will be sued” after the election, he said, eliciting cheers from the audience.

As president, Trump said he would block various corporate media mergers to avoid excessive concentration of power.

If the media and political establishment can attack a man with great financial resources like himself, Trump said, they pose an even greater danger to everyday people. He said everyday people have already lost jobs and claimed they could lose their gun ownership rights as well.

Giuliani blasts media

Introduced as “America’s mayor” to the surprised cheers of the crowd, Giuliani said Gettysburg is “sanctified by blood” and by Abraham Lincoln’s call for “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

But, he said, the nation today is governed by lobbyists, multinational corporations, and “permanent politicians.”

By contrast, Giuliani said Trump is “his own man with his own ideas” who does not regard everyday people as “the abominables and the irredeemables” but as “the backbone of America.”

Giuliani said he was unsure who was worse, permanent politicians “or reporters.” The comment prompted cheers and laughter as he pointed to the 50 or so media representatives in a roped-off area at the back of the room.

Keith Kellogg, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, spoke before Giuliani. “We are waging another battle” as crucial as the Battle of Gettysburg, Kellogg said, urging the audience to “join our crusade to make this nation great again.”

Pence rally recalled

Before the event, Adams County Republican Chair Betsy Hower speculated the Trump campaign may have chosen to visit the Gettysburg area because of the enthusiasm displayed during his running mate Mike Pence’s rally here Oct. 6.

“I think Mr. Pence recognized it,” Hower said, calling Adams County residents “such genuine people, he wants to be around them.”

“Adams County is the heartland of America,” Hower said, and its “solid workers” are “part of the soul of our country.”

Trump has ‘matured’

Trump has “matured as a candidate,” audience member Gary Desilets said after the event.

Compared to a year ago, he said, the candidate is “a different Donald Trump.”

Desilets said he was “appalled” by Trump during the primaries, but during Saturday’s speech, “I said to myself, ‘I like this guy.’”

Interacting with so many Americans during the campaign has “humbled” Trump, “and you can see the change,” Desilets said.

Deborah Desilets was also favorably impressed. “I really like that he gave a lot of specifics” because it indicates that Trump has engaged in serious thinking about the issues, she said.

The couple hail from near another Civil War battlefield, Manassas in Virginia.

Another audience member made a prediction.

“He’s going to win in a landslide,” said Rick Arango, who was clad in Harley-Davidson motorcycle gear and said he had traveled to the event from his home Follansbee, W. Va.

After the event, Arango called Trump “the people’s president” and said he will “get rid of the establishment.”

Trump will be “a hell of a president,” said audience member John Kane of Shermans Dale, who sported a Disabled American Veterans cap.

Kane said he welcomes initiatives to improve VA services. He said his own treatment at Lebanon and his own experience with seeking private care through the VA have been excellent, but he expressed strong concern for veterans affected by poor service in other areas.

Initiatives detailed

Trump began with a list of six items he said centered on ethics: a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Congress; shrinking government through attrition via a hiring freeze on federal employees except in public health, public safety, and the military; the mandatory elimination of two existing federal regulations each time a new one is created; a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists; a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for foreign governments; and a ban on foreign lobbyists.

Job creation was the heart of seven more initiatives, Trump said: “totally renegotiating” the North American Free Trade Agreement; undoing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; declaring China a currency manipulator; identifying and negating other anti-worker measures; removing restrictions on domestic energy sources including shale oil, natural gas, and clean coal; removing “roadblocks” for transportation infrastructure such as the Keystone XL oil pipeline; and canceling payments to “United Nations climate change programs.”

Trump said five more items were related to national security and the rule of law: cancel “every unconstitutional executive order” issued by President Obama; begin the process of replacing late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whose wife has a Trump sign in her yard, the candidate said; cancel federal funding for “sanctuary cities” that don’t prosecute undocumented immigrants; begin deporting two million immigrants that he said have criminal records and punish countries that won’t “take them back”; impose “extreme vetting” of immigrants because “radical Islamic terror is right around the corner” and “we want people that can love us”; and suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions” where vetting is impossible. He reiterated his pledge that Mexico will reimburse the United States for the cost of a wall along the border and called for a series of automatic jail terms for immigrants who return illegally, especially those with criminal records.

Trump pledged to create 25 million jobs in a decade through measures including: pass a middle-class tax cut that would work out to about 35 percent for a household with two children; reduce the number of income tax brackets; “greatly simplify” tax forms; encourage corporations to bring money back into this country by letting them do so at a 10-percent tax rate; impose tariffs on goods imported by domestic corporations that have sent jobs abroad; and provide tax incentives to spur infrastructure development.

Trump urged education reforms including: enabling parents to send students to public, private, charter, religious, or magnet schools of their choice, or to home-school; ending “Common Core” educational standards in favor of standards set by each community; and expanding vocational and technical education, in part, he said jokingly, so that some of those involved could help build the border wall. He called for tax deductions for child care and incentives for business to provide onsite child care.

Regarding healthcare, Trump pledged to: “repeal and replace Obamacare” with “health savings accounts”; permit insurance to be purchased across state lines; let states administer Medicare money; cut the amount of time required for federal approval of drugs; create a tax deduction for elder care; and institute dependent care savings accounts with matching contributions for low-income families.

He said he would “rebuild our military” by eliminating the sequestration of funds and expanding military investment to provide “peace through strength”; improve defense against “cyber attack”; provide additional police training; and improve Veterans Administration services, including allowing veterans to seek private care to avoid long waits for treatment.

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