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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 rallies safe places, unless you're a protester

Ellen Abbott
GOP front-runner Donald Trump at a rally in Syracuse Saturday.

Criticism of clashes between Donald Trump Supporters and opponents of the Republican candidate for president, has led to a unique dynamic at Trump rallies. It was no different in Trump’s turn in downtown Syracuse Saturday, when his speech was broken up several times by protesters who had to be led out of the venue.

"The safest place on earth is at a trump rally and you know that, it’s true."

That is, unless you were one of the handful of anti-Trump folk that infiltrated the crowd that jammed into the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse Saturday. It’s become the norm at these political spectacles -- a protester sneaks in, speaks out, and then…

“Get him out!” Trump yells from the podium.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
A confrontation between a Trump supporter and an anti-Trump protester.

Before the rally started, people were advised to react to protesters in the crowd, by pointing at them, and chanting Trump’s name. No one seemed to know if it was serious or tongue-in-cheek.

"You know what happens, my people always make all the noise because they say, ‘there’s one,’ and they start screaming," said Trump.

Syracuse police officers were assigned with the job of escorting the offending protesters out, and sometimes it took a while, pausing the speech for several minutes.

"You know the problem is, it’s so densely packed, it’s hard for the police to get over here. All right, you can’t hear him,” Trump said about the protestor. “Don’t worry, he’s got a very weak voice."

In the end, Trump hijacks the criticism, installing it front and center in one of the messages he’s trying to get across.

"You know why these are safe places, and it’s true every time, because it happens the people in these rooms, I see in these rooms, these stadiums, we had 25,000 people in Tampa and Orlando. The people love each other, and the people protect each other, and that’s the way the country has to be for everybody, for everybody.”

And then the speech gets back talk of jobs, ISIS and walls on the border… until the next protester pops up.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.