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Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Trump in Rome: ‘Is anybody working up here?’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to a packed crowd in an airplane hangar at Griffiss International Airport in Rome on Tuesday. Trump hit hard on New York’s economy and the political system.

Trump started by pulling no punches as he listed statistics about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the Utica-Rome area and the median household income in the state. 

“What’s going on?" Trump asked. "Is anybody working up here? We got to change this it’s terrible. The economy is rigged, the banking system is rigged and that’s why a lot of you haven’t had an effective wage increase in 20 years, folks.”

He said he shares a common view with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, on recent trade deals the U.S. has made with Pacific countries; namely that they are a disaster for jobs at home.

“When I get in office, I’ll do real trade deals where we’re going to bring our jobs back just rely on it folks,” Trump said.

He emphasized how his campaign is self-funded.

“I’m working for you,” Trump said.

And how he has the most loyal supporters. He used the platform to summarize some of his top issues.

"We’re going to get a strong military, we’re going to take care of our veterans, we’re going to get a protected second amendment, we’re going to have strong borders, we’re going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something great,” Trump said.

Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News
WRVO reporter Payne Horning interviews John Werczynski and his daughter Ava.

Trump's criticism of the country's economy hit home for many in attendance. The crowd booed as he told them that the Utica-Rome region has lost 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2001. Trump blames trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). John Werczynski said he believes the businessman will be tough on those trade agreements.

"All of the jobs are over in china and the other countries,” Werczynski said. “They need to come back here and that's why half the people don't have any jobs around here."

But Trump's message did not resonate with everyone at the rally. Several people left before he had even finished, including Terry Miller who said the speech lacked substance.

"He didn't really say any policy,” Miller said. “He said a good story. It's comical. It's entertaining, but he never got to the punch line."

Although there were a handful of protestors at the rally, they were escorted out with little commotion.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.
Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.