Voice of The Martyrs |
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Vermont on Thursday evening was disrupted repeatedly by protesters despite attempts by Trump’s staff to screen the crowd.
Thousands of people stood in line for hours waiting to get into the Burlington event after the campaign distributed 20,000 free tickets to the Flynn Center for the Performing Art, which has just 1,400 seats.
To whittle down the crowd, rally-goers with tickets in hand who’d waited for hours in the cold were asked as they entered the venue whether or not they supported Trump.
Those who said they didn’t were promptly escorted out of the building.
Among those turned away was Adam Linnebur, of South Burlington, Vermont, who was asked whether he planned to vote for Trump. When he said he didn’t know, he was asked to leave.
“It’s not what I expected,” said Linnebur, who is supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, but noted there was nothing on his ticket that said he had to support Trump.
Trump defended the decision, describing it a matter of loyalty.
“We have more than 20,000 people that showed up for 1,400 spots. I’m taking care of my people, not people who don’t want to vote for me or are undecided. They are loyal to me and I am loyal to them,” he said in a statement released by his campaign.
The event was nonetheless interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who were escorted out of the theater throughout the night.
Vermont is a staunchly Democratic state and the event was held in Burlington, a liberal bastion, just a few feet from the City Hall where Sanders, a Vermont senator, got his start as mayor.
“Most of the guys are not coming up here. They’re afraid to come up here because it has a tendency to be a little bit liberal,” Trump observed as he kicked off the rally.
At first, Trump seemed to embrace the disruptions, taking them as a badge of honor.
“Isn’t this more exciting?” he asked the crowd.
Later, he suggested that security staffers confiscate protesters’ coats.
“Keep his coat! Confiscate his coat! You know it’s about 10 degrees below zero outside,” he called from the stage. “You can keep his coat. Tell him we’ll send it to him in a couple of weeks.”
But as the disruptions continued, Trump’s patience appeared to wear thin.
“We’ve got to get the security moving a little bit faster here,” he said, suggesting security officers were afraid to respond with force.
“This is why we’re losing control of our country. This is why. We lose control of our country ’cause everybody’s afraid to do anything,” he said. “They’re…
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on TennesseeWatchman.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of TennesseeWatchman.com or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.