GOP nom­i­nee heck­led in visit to Flint church

Pas­tor in­ter­rupts Trump’s speech af­ter can­di­date be­gins to at­tack ri­val Clin­ton

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Jonathan Lemire

FLINT, Mich. — Don­ald Trump was cut off, chas­tised and then heck­led af­ter he at­tacked ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton dur­ing what was sup­posed to be a speech on help­ing where the govern­ment had failed the peo­ple of Flint.

“Mr. Trump, I in­vited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a po­lit­i­cal speech,” said the Rev. Faith Green Tim­mons, pas­tor of the Bethel United Methodist Church.

The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee quickly stopped, then said “OK, that’s good, Then I’m go­ing to go back to Flint” and its wa­ter cri­sis that had sick­ened its cit­i­zens.

But the in­ter­rup­tion seemed to em­bolden those in the sparse crowd. One woman shouted t hat Trump had used dis­crim­i­na­tory hous­ing prac­tices in his build­ings, caus­ing the celebrity busi­ness­man to re­spond, “Never, you’re wrong. Never would.”

Trump abruptly ended his speech, which lasted six min­utes.

More heck­ling fol­lowed him out. One woman, Reneta Richard, yelled: “What do you mean: ‘African-Amer­i­cans have noth­ing to lose?’ ” re­peat­ing back to Trump his re­cent call for blacks to turn their back on Democrats and take a chance on him.

The visit was part of the cam­paign’s ef­fort to per­suade vot­ers that the celebrity busi­ness­man can ap­pear em­pa­thetic and pres­i­den­tial in a cri­sis.

The trip was the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee’s first visit to the pover­tys­tricken city since lead was de­tected in its wa­ter sup­ply in April 2014. More than 100,000 had their wa­ter con­tam­i­nated af­ter the city left Detroit’s wa­ter sup­ply and started us­ing im­prop­erly treated Flint River wa­ter.

Trump did ad­dress the cri­sis, say­ing at the church, “We will get it fixed and it will be fixed and ef­fec­tively and Flint will come back. Most im­por­tantly, we’ll bring jobs back.”

He also be­moaned that pre­vi­ously “cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the wa­ter in Mex­ico. Now cars are made in Mex­ico and you can’t drink the wa­ter in Flint.”

Trump vis­ited the tra­di­tion­ally African-Amer­i­can church to pay trib­ute to the city’s re­siliency. But then, he at­tacked Clin­ton, say­ing “ev­ery­thing she touched didn’t work out.”

Tim­mons then stepped up and in­ter­rupted him.

Later at a rally in Ohio, Trump in­sisted he was un­de­terred by the harsh re­cep­tion and would be “will­ing to cam­paign any­where, even if vot­ers openly op­pose me some­where.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.