Grant and the Civil War
Toward the end of his hour-long speech, Trump recalled famous Ohioans and the Union victory over the Confederacy led by General Ulysses S. Grant, an Ohio native.
“He drank a little too much,” Trump said, before describing President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to put Grant in charge despite a drinking problem.
“Grant was a great general, and Grant came from right here.”
Trump also bragged about gains made overseas in reasserting American leadership.
“Under Republican leadership, America is being respected again,” Trump said, drawing an ovation and gesturing to people standing in the rain beyond the protection of the roof over the cattle barn where he spoke.
Trump reported on the freeing of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American arrested during an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government in October 2016.
“He went through a lot, but he’s on his way back.”
Trump also said his administration’s policies were bringing jobs back to the U.S., including steel plants in Ohio.
“They are coming back from Canada. They are coming back from everywhere, because they all want to be where the action is.”
Outside the fairgrounds, souvenirs were being sold at stalls set up along Broadway Avenue as thousands walked the sidewalks leading in.
Democratic supporters mustered just south of the fairgrounds to promote their candidates and question their GOP opponents.
“We don’t have to act like this. We’ve got a party of hate in power,” said Wayne Siebert of Morrow, costumed as Uncle Sam.
Standing near him along Broadway was Patti Keister of Springboro.
“I don’t like what’s happening,” Keister said. “I’m tired of the meanness. It just makes me sad.”
Scene on Broadway
Passing drivers honked, gunned their engines and shouted insults at passengers at the Democratic rally.
Kathy Thompson drove down from Brunswick, south of Cleveland, to stand along Broadway, holding a homemade sign.
“We’re not a mob. We are just exercising our rights,” Thompson said.