NASHVILLE, Tennessee–A huge crowd turned out at Legislative Plaza on Saturday to attend the Spirit of America rally in support of President Trump’s policies.
Rally organizer Mark Skoda told Breitbart News that the crowd size was estimated at 2,000, a number that was also reported and tweeted out by a number of people who were in attendance.
Several dozen Spirit of America rallies were held across the country on Saturday. Nashville appears to have held the largest rally.
The legacy of Andrew Breitbart was front and center at the boisterous and upbeat event, which Nashville entertainer Ty Williams kicked off with a crowd-pleasing rendition of his new song, appropriately titled, “Make America Great Again.”
Skoda told the crowd that he befriended Andrew Breitbart and Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft, one of the rally’s speakers, back in 2010 at the first Tea Party Convention held at the Gaylord Convention Center in Nashville.
In his speech, Hoft paid tribute to his good friend Andrew Breitbart, who died in 2012, as a key ally and inspiration whose vision helped him withstand the many attacks launched by the left as the Gateway Pundit broke story after story during the 2016 Presidential election.
Hoft noted that Gateway Pundit has just received White House press credentials and will have a Washington based correspondent who will be covering the Trump administration.
He praised President Trump’s decision not to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, “where they attack him for two hours.”
“If he wanted that, he could turn on CNN in the morning,” Hoft said, to huge peals of laughter from the crowd.
“Donald Trump is not going to the White House Correspondents Dinner, so a group of us only thought it would be fair if we started a competing dinner,” Hoft added.
“Today I’m going to announce there’s a group of us and we’re starting The Real News Correspondents Dinner. It will be across town from the other dinner, and we hope to have some big speakers,” Hoft announced, breaking news for which the crowd cheered wildly.
Rally organizer Skoda opened the event at 11 a.m. by announcing that the rally was designed for peaceful expression, and that anyone not interested in abiding by that standard should leave the event.
A plethora of conservative legislators and activists spoke for the next two hours, and the crowd maintained its enthusiasm throughout.
Tennessee House Majority Leader State Rep. Glen Casada, a co-sponsor of the rally, highlighted the reasons why Trump won the election, and why it was so important that conservatives and everyday Americans who voted him into the White House stand by him and help push through his agenda.
Casada was followed by Rebecca Burke, a member of the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee and a conservative firebrand, who outlined the many ways the election of Donald Trump will save America.
Nashville talk radio host Ralph Bristol spoke about the patriotic hearts of supporters of Donald Trump.
State Rep. Judd Matheny spoke on the need to keep the pressure on the politicians in both Washington and Nashville to support the Trump agenda. Matheny emphasized the importance of holding judges at both the state and federal level accountable for decisions that are not constitutional.
There are three branches of government, Matheny noted, and the judiciary is just one of those three. It is not superior to the other two branches–the executive and the legislative.
Judges at the federal level who make decisions counter to the Constitution can and should be removed by the legislative branch, as is both their right and their duty, Matheny noted.
State Sen. Mae Beavers spoke about the importance of defending religious liberty, particularly in regards to constant assaults on Judeo-Christian values.
Former Nashville talk radio host Steve Gill, well-known as the leader of 2000-2002 rallies that defeated the imposition of a state income tax in Tennessee, spoke about the need for activists and political leaders to fight back against any efforts to raise taxes.
He specifically pointed out the need to fight back against Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to increase the gas tax by seven cents a gallon in the state.
Tom Zawistowki, the Ohio Tea Party leader who was a driving force in the Tea Party for Trump project which partnered with the National Rifle Association in a get-out-vote effort that was the turning point in Trump’s victory in the Buckeye State, thanked Tennesseans for their role in helping Trump win that key state.
A small group of about a dozen protesters, many dressed in black, some wearing masks, attempted to disrupt the event, to little effect.
One woman stole merchandise from one of the vendors selling Trump T-shirts. Though she ran away from the scene of the crime, she was apprehended and charged.
Another protester vandalized the motorcycles parked near the stage by a group of bikers who support President Trump. That protester was taken to the ground by law enforcement officials before he was able to do much damage, and was also arrested.