President Donald Trump held a rally at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday, March 20.
During his speech, President Trump discussed many current topics, including his plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, his campaign to build a border wall between The United States and Mexico and his “America first” foreign trade policies.
“Our dying factories will come roaring back to life, it’s already happening,” Trump said. “We will find a new era of security, cooperation and peace. We won’t be played for the fool, and we won’t be played for the suckers any longer.”
Trump also discussed how he plans to improve the country.
“We are going to drain the swamp of government corruption in Washington, D.C., and we will not allow other countries to take advantage of us like they’ve been doing to a level that’s hard to believe,” Trump said. “The single best way to protect—and you have to do this, you have to do this—and to keep foreign terrorists from attacking our country, is to keep these foreign terrorists from entering our country in the first place, and we will stop radical Islamic terrorism.”
Gov. Matt Bevin attended the rally and responded to questions regarding the repeal of the ACA.
“There’s been a lot of discussion with the U.S. Congress, the president’s office and various governors (myself included), so I think those conversations will go on for some time and it will be a lot easier to answer questions once we know what the final bill looks like,” Bevin said.
“The bottom line is, Obamacare is failing, it’s broken, it’s unsustainable, something has to change and that’s what people are working on now,” Bevin said.
Bevin discussed Sen. Rand Paul’s involvement in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“Rand is very principled in his belief that certain things need to be done and I think lot of people agree, disagree or are somewhere in the middle and I think these processes are the result of people working together to come up with a solution, so whether he supports it or not is going to depend on what the bill looks like,” Bevin said.
Bevin expressed thoughts about the rally happening.
“I’m grateful that the president is here, these are the kind of things that are good for Kentucky—I think it shows that Kentucky is visible on the national scene,” Bevin said, “It’s a high compliment to us, it really is.”
Protester Emily Martin led the crowd in a series of chants about democracy.
“I’m here for every cause from climate change to Black Lives Matter to women’s reproductive rights,” Martin said. “There’s so much at stake here at this time, and it all needs to be fought for hard.”
Jennifer Lawless was among the protesters gathered outside during and after the rally.
“I have a myriad of reasons for being here; I’m a gay Muslim who raised black children,” Lawless said. “I’m out here today, specifically, to ask them not to repeal the ACA. Four hundred and forty thousand Kentuckians gained great insurance through medicaid expansion, and I can’t believe that Governor Bevin is in support of repealing the ACA.”
She made a sign with a graphic containing the word liar that pointed to Trump, Bevin, McConnell and Ryan.
“Trump doesn’t need an explanation; every other statement he issues is a lie as Comey proved today on capitol hill,” Lawless said. “In regards to Bevin, several times I have been to meetings with Bevin where he talks about being for the middle class, and one of the first pieces of legislation that was introduced this year was to make Kentucky Right to Work.”
Sitting down next to Lawless was Mason Barnes, a Trump supporter who attended the event wearing a jersey that displayed a message of support for the forty-fifth president.
“I love seeing protesters and people using their first amendment rights that they have, and I love seeing people protest for either side, no matter how ridiculous it may sound,” Barnes said. “Stuff like this in other countries is not allowed whatsoever, so it’s really beautiful to be able to come out here and to see people actively speak their mind and say what they want.”
The two had taken a seat together and were calmly discussing the issues that were brought up by President Trump earlier.
“With today’s age you’re gonna get the wild right and the wild left, the people that like to yell at each other like they’re doing here, so if I were to go over there and just start yelling, not a lot would get done,” said Barnes. “In order for me to see what they’re really here for and what they really mean is to be able to sit down and talk like civilized people rather than yell at each other.”
Trump and his supporters had a lot to say about the coal industry.
“There’s another promise that is deeply important to me and I know it is deeply important to you: We are going to put our coal miners back to work,” Trump said. “Since my inauguration, we’ve already added nearly half a million new jobs and that’s, believe me, just the beginning. Just the beginning.”
“Kentucky is a huge coal industry, like, Eastern Kentucky. I’ve got an uncle from Harlan, we’ve been down there multiple times just to see the kind of environment it is and, it’s not a good one, it’s pretty perverse.” Barnes said, “To see [Trump] recognize that and recognize Kentucky’s workers and Kentucky’s coal workers is pretty big, so I support it one hundred percent, put coal back to work.”
The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a focal point of Trump’s rally.
“Half of our counties only have a single provider right now. It’s a financial disaster waiting to happen right here in your own state,” the President said during his speech. “Thursday is our chance to end ObamaCare and the ObamaCare catastrophe and begin delivering the reforms our people deserve.”
“The ACA has specific requirements in there for to cover the families of miners who get black lung,” Lawless said, “as you see, Bevin’s also going to sign a bill into law allowing for them to reduce mine inspections.
The protesters expounded on the idea of unity between Kentuckians.
Caroline Henry (10, HSU) was a protester who emphasized her issues with the campaign cycle and Trump’s proposed ideas.
“The biggest issues I personally found residence against were the ban specifically on countries with a Muslim majority, and he’s said some pretty misogynistic things that I don’t support. As a woman I want to have rights and I want to speak up and be equal to all people,” Henry said.
“I think that Obamacare wasn’t perfect, but he covered lots of ground. People have been trying to get universal healthcare for decades, and the fact he got that off the ground was a symbol of progression. The fact Trump is coming in and taking that away is terrifying,” Henry said.
As the rally approached its end, Trump stressed the importance of unity and what will be promised to Kentucky.
“A new spirit of optimism is sweeping across our land, and a new national pride is swelling our hearts and steering our soul. Just imagine what we can accomplish if we stand together as a united American people: our economy will be unleashed, and millions will be lifted from welfare to work,” Trump said. “I proposed a budget that calls for one of the largest increases in defense spending history, and we need it.”
“Together, we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again,” Trump said.