By Mark Weyermuller -
It was “Hoosier Hospitality” at its finest as thousands showed up to a middle school gymnasium Thursday night. President Donald Trump held a “Make America Great Again” rally. The event was held at North Side Gymnasium a 7,383 seat multi-purpose arena at 300 Lawrence Street in Elkhart, Indiana. Vice President Mike Pence joined the president. The venue filled up quickly with reports of as many as 6000 outside lining the motorcade routes who were unable to get inside as it reached capacity by 5:00 PM.
The President spoke about waking up at 2:00 am Thursday night to greet the hostages released from North Korea. There is a much anticipated summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jung-Un in June, which will take place in Singapore. Trump spoke about the improvements in the economy and his new tax cuts. He took time to bash Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and, of course, he spoke of “fake news.”
Indiana's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate Mike Braun joined the president on stage. The Republicans hope to flip this seat currently held by Joe Donnelly, a Democrat. President Trump referred to him a “Sleepin Joe” which brought loud applause from the audience. President Trump’s main focus was on eight weeks of big diplomatic accomplishments.
I’ve attended a number of the rallies. There is a huge amount of excitement and electricity in the air as people wait in line for hours. I was fortunate enough to be approved as media obtaining a “White House Press Pool” pass allowing me to enter at a separate entrance. My name was on the list, but what was interesting was another list of people who were not allowed in. I’m curious of who is on that list.
The Vice President was introduced by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (below left). I got a chance to speak with him after the event along with the Greg Pence, who is running for Congress and happens to be the vice president’s brother (below right).
While entering the building I said, “Isn’t it exciting seeing the greatest president ever?” The Associated Press and NBC reporters next to me did not find this amusing. When interacting with the main stream and establishment media, there is obvious bias against the president, his agenda, and his supporters.
I arrived about five hours before the President spoke, so I had plenty of time to tour, see the protesters, and interview people in line. I only saw about 25 protesters staged across the street. Everybody in line was extremely friendly especially law enforcement. There was a huge security presence which included about 50 snow plows parked and circling the building as a perimeter. There was extensive security screening of everybody entering the building.
All in all a fun and exciting day seeing the president. I was impressed with the hospitality here in Elkhart. I hope President Trump considers doing a rally in the Chicago area perhaps in the suburbs. Last night President Trump concluded his remarks by having the crowd repeat, “We want to make America Great Again.”
Mark Weyermuller is a small business owner, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist and regular contributor to Illinois Review. Mark can be heard weekly on the radio in a "man on the street segment" at 2:31pm as a regular guest on the Stephanie Trussell Show heard on WLS AM Saturdays.