Trump's Expo Center Visit Draws At-Capacity Crowds, Protests
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at the Travis County Expo Center last night – capping off a day of events in Fort Worth and Austin. We sent KUT’s Mose Buchele and Ben Philpott over to the rally provide full coverage of the event – inside and out – along with photographers Gabriel Cristóver Pérez and Miguel Gutierrez Jr. You can view the moments they captured in the slideshow above.
The standing-room-only event featured many of the rhetorical hallmarks of the GOP presidential candidate's speeches, with immigration factoring prominently into the speech.
But, as Patrick Svitek writes for our political reporting partner the Texas Tribune, Trump's tone was different than his tone hours before, when he spoke of "softening" immigration laws at an event at the Moody Theater in Downtown Austin:
At the rally, Trump stuck to more familiar talking points, pledging to build a wall along the border and focus more on enforcing immigration law than the current administration does. Calling Clinton a proponent of "totally open borders," he said she would "catch and release" those in the United States illegally and offer them more benefits than many veterans currently receive from the government. Trump brought several mothers on the stage whose children he said were killed by people in the country unlawfully. They were joined by a number of Border Patrol agents, including one who warned audience members that the country — and their homes — will not be safe until Trump is president. "We are with you 100 percent, and your children did not die in vain," Trump told the mothers, whom he said he met with earlier in the day.
Trump also took the opportunity to renew his recent pitches to African-American voters and attack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton after recent reports of close ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State.
While there were protests outside the event, they were in fewer number than the throngs who gathered outside Trump's event at the Moody Theater earlier in the day, and were outnumbered by the roughly 8,000 in attendance at the Expo Center.