Yesterday it was Tulsa’s turn to embrace “The Donald.” Contrary to national media reports; Trump’s Tulsa talk in style and substance was not enraged ranting, but more like how a group of friends might discuss politics during Happy Hour. Light on substance, biting in criticism and frequently comedic in delivery; the event suggested it would be fun to hang-out with Donald Trump if you don’t offend easily.
Nearly nine thousand supporters of leading Republican candidate packed the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University Wednesday afternoon to see and hear Donald Trump address the issues of the day and the race to lead America.
The featured late addition; 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin delivered a better speech than she premiered in Iowa the day before in an endorsement of Trump’s campaign for President. As the warm-up act, Palin got right to the point in tone.
“People say this base of support is angry,” she said. “Darn right we’re angry.”
Palin spoke for about 19 minutes, covering topics as broad as how the current administration has failed the American people by descending into a morass of political correctness and how President Obama has become a “capitulator-in-chief” referencing the recent incident involving the Navy boats and sailors detained and paraded for propaganda in Iran and the subsequent release of four out of five Americans detained as hostages by Iran in exchange for 21 Iranian terrorists.
Palin also addressed son Track’s recent run-in with law enforcement that resulted in his arrest on domestic abuse charges calling it her “elephant in the room.” She said her son was a combat veteran who suffered from PTSD, and while she did not use that as an explanation or an excuse for the alleged incident she did compare and contrast that to the problems that the Veterans Administration has endured during the Obama presidency.
Palin said Trump’s “ability to go rogue” and attack everyone from party establishment to liberals “who wear political correctness like a suicide vest” is the outstanding feature of his candidacy.
Palin then introduced Trump, and the newest populist in politics did not waste time holding fire. He unapologetically railed on all of his enemies, political and media with no critic safe from his ire. That may be why so many admire him – for driving a stake in the heart of contrived political correctness sucking life from Liberty in America.
Trump started with President Obama, the man he hopes to replace a year from the day of his Tulsa talk, identifying Obama as “stupid” and criticizing the administration’s $150 million in “ransom” for nuclear peace. He noted the sailors and others detained in Iran were held on questionable, if not totally fraudulent, espionage charges.
“The Persians are great negotiators,” Trump said. “They always have been throughout history… They made us look like a bunch of dummies.”
Both the invasion of and withdrawal from Iraq were mistakes, Trump said. “In 2003 and 2004, I said, ‘Don’t go into Iraq.’ And I’m the most militaristic person there is,” he said. “We shouldn’t have been there, but once we were there we shouldn’t have gotten out that way, and we should have kept the damned oil.”
Trump called Bowe Bergdahl, the captured U.S. soldier who was returned in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees, “a dirty rotten traitor” who should be dropped into the heart of ISIS territory “before we bomb the hell out of it.”
Trump went after the Republican establishment’s candidate for nomination, Jeb Bush, saying he “is probably an honest guy, but a stiff.” It reminded several Tulsa Today reporters of those who begin an insult by saying, “with all due respect.”
Then Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came into the crosshairs.
He characterized Sanders as a socialist/communist “whack job” who was beating Hillary Clinton, and when it came to the former first lady Trump said, “I don’t know if Hillary is going to make it. She may not make it with the voters. She may not make it legally. … You notice how positive she is about the president. You know why? She wants to stay out of the klink is why.”
The rally was not without protesters. They lined up on one street leading to the Mabee Center waving signs and shouting and, inside the arena, Trump’s remarks were interrupted four times in separate incidents. Curiously, Trump allowed the protests, even using them as material in his speech to attempt to embarrass the protestors. He pointed out that the only time that the media showed the large crowds at his rallies is when someone decides to protest him, stating that the only time that the cameras turned was when someone was being escorted out.
“I hope there are more (protesters),” Trump said after the first one was removed from the arena. “The only way the cameras will turn to show the audience … the only time they show (the crowd) is when we have a protester.”
One male protester wearing a bandana over his face hoisted a clenched fist above his head, and another sported a t-shirt with the handwritten message: ‘We come in peace’ and a yellow star of David – of the type Jews were required to wear in Nazi Germany – with the word ‘Mexican’ emblazoned on it.
Continuing to talk about the media, Trump said: “They’re dishonest people. They’re totally dishonest people, they really are.” Apparently, he doesn’t know there are some honest media just like there are some honest politicians. However, this is a theme with many conservatives like presidential candidate Mike Huckabee who once said on his own TV show to, “never ever trust a writer.” In behalf of conservative writers trying to earn a living – gee thanks all.
The protesting incidents inside the venue were minor both easily and rapidly handled by security. As Trump concluded his speech he said he would be back in Tulsa at a later date in appreciation of the thousands of supporters turned away at the door.
Was this a typical Trump campaign stop? It certainly was entertaining. One reporter based in San Francisco covering the event for CNN expressed surprise at the number of young people and women. School busses from Northeastern Oklahoma were parked close to the entrance, but they may have been protesting or cheering Trump.
Those inside the venue in vast overwhelming majority were cheering.
This presidential election cycle officially begins next week with the Iowa Caucus and Oklahomans will vote in the presidential primary March 1, 2016.