Donald J. Trump, the GOP nominee for president, rallied with supporters in Chester Township, Pennsylvania with his call for a law and order program that protects all citizens and a new plan to drive down the cost of public college tuition.
“The rioting in our streets is a threat to all peaceful citizens. It must be ended,” said Trump, who did not directly name the mayhem and violence that dominated Charlotte Tuesday and Wednesday–but, it was clearly understood by everyone in the audience at the Sun Center Studios.
“The main victims of these violent demonstrations are law-abiding African-Americans who live in these communities and only want to raise their children in peace,” he said. “Who is looking out for them?”
In addition to his call for law and order, Trump stressed the value he puts on education.
“The opportunity to attend a two or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, should be easier to access, pay for, and finish,” the developer said. “Education is the bedrock of our society.”
Trump isolated on a scandal of the federal government spending more and more to support college students, while colleges respond by increasing tuition and fees.
“We have to break this cycle,” he said.
“I’m going to work with Congress on reforms to make sure that if universities want access to all of these special federal tax breaks and tax dollars – paid for by you – that they are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt, and to spend their endowments on their own students,” he said.
“The federal government spends over $70 billion in higher education every year, plus another $130 billion on federal loans,” he said. “Here again, the universities don’t use the money to reduce the price of college – but to increase it.”
Trump’s sustained outreach to black voters has confounded pundits, but it is obvious now that the candidate is committed to this line of attack which he really began with his West Bend, Wisconsin speech, the day after racial-charged pandemonium overwhelmed Milwaukee.
In 2008, President Barack Obama received 95 percent of the African-American vote and his GOP rival Sen. John S. McCain III (R.-Ariz.) received four percent.
In 2012, Obama took 93 percent with Republican W. Mitt Romney taking six percent. Black turnout surged in 2012 to 67 percent, which was the first time African-American turnout topped white turnout by percentage.
The surge of black support for Obama was his margin of victory in seven states for a total of 112 electoral votes.
Trump addressed the concerns of black Americans directly.
“For every one violent disruptor, there are thousands of moms and dads in those same communities who just want their kids to be able to walk home safely from school,” he said.
“To all our citizens, in all of our inner cities, and all across the country, I say these words to you tonight: I’m with you and I will fight for you,”
“The job of a leader is to stand in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Hillary Clinton calls people who don’t support her deplorable, and irredeemable,” the New York City developer said. “I call anyone who doesn’t support me an American citizen who is entitled to equal representation under the law.”
Trump was introduced by Hall of Fame college basketball coach Bobby Knight.
“Donald Trump is an interesting guy,” said the coach of three national championships.
“I mean really interesting,” he said.
“I only know one thing about life,” the coach said. “I only studied one thing and that’s how to win–but, I can tell you one thing for damned sure–I know how to win and he’s going to be the best winner we’ve had in a long, long time.”
Knight was wearing his trademark red sweater vest and shared the stage with a life-size cutout of Sylvester Stallone as another champion Rocky–not a bad touch considering that the rally was some 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
Another touch was Trump adding the theme song to the 1976 boxing film, “Gonna Fly Now,” to the pre-rally playlist.