Thousands attend Trump rally in Rochester
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to upstate New York in Rochester Sunday. But just how many people attended the rally is open to a bit of debate, with estimates ranging anywhere from 6,000 to about 9,000 people at an airport hangar.
But what was obvious was that the vast majority of those attending are true believers. From the opening speakers for the event -- including Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino -- to the main act itself, the crowd often broke into chants, that sometimes just included yelling "Trump, Trump" over and over again.
Trump, who is well ahead in the polls in New York state, was confident as ever Sunday. Much of Trump's nearly hour-long appearance was spent sounding his now-familiar themes: build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and make Mexico pay; the U.S. got a raw deal with the Iran negotiations; and current trade policies need to be turned around.
On that last point, Trump reiterated that he doesn't like NAFTA and also thinks the White House has done a poor job of protecting American interests in these trade negotiations.
Trump talked about the manufacturing jobs lost in Rochester over the last couple of decades, and says if elected, his administration would make Rochester "better."
The candidate also chastised the media on a number of occasions, drawing cheers or boos every time he did it. He said the press is dishonest, and expressed doubts that the media would report how large Sunday's rally was. He also spent time criticizing major newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.
On foreign policy, Trump also said the U.S. has to be tougher in demanding payment and other concessions when helping various countries including Japan, saying, "Why are we the dummies all the time."
Trump also told the crowd inside the large hangar that his campaign is a movement of love and not hate.
Although the crowd was exuberant in showing its support for Trump, there were a handful of protesters in the venue who were led away by police. But there were no major incidents at the event. There were protests outside the hangar, with the Trump opponents on one side of the road and supporters on the other, with police in-between keeping an eye on things.
A number of Trump enthusiasts were turned away from being able to hop on the shuttle buses to the event when the crowds grew too large. There were estimates that more than 18,000 sent in RSVPs requesting tickets.