GOP nominee heckled in visit to Flint church
Pastor interrupts Trump’s speech after candidate begins to attack rival Clinton
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.”