Trump, Pence swing through King of Prussia
Speech to invited audience focuses on policy
UPPER MERION >> With just seven days left until America chooses its next president, Republican nominee Donald Trump brought out the political firepower Tuesday for a final push in Montgomery County, which is widely regarded as critical to the election’s outcome.
Hundreds of invited guests packed a reception room at the DoubleTree hotel in King of Prussia to hear Trump, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, former GOP primary rival Dr. Ben Carson and members of Congress make their case for a new direction in Washington, D.C.
Chief on the agenda was repudiation of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Led by Wyoming Sen. and orthopedic surgeon John Barrasso, a handful of Republican legislators — most of whom were also medical professionals — blasted the health care law in a series of rebukes specifically designed to try to move the needle in all-important Pennsylvania, where most polls show Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, with a significant lead.
“We have a program in this country passed only by Democrats, that is costly, it is complicated, and ladies and gentleman, it is collapsing,” said Barasso, citing numbers released last week by the Obama administration that showed premium increases, lowerthan-predicted enrollment and a trend of health insurance providers abandoning the marketplace.
Pence reminded the crowd that this was the first day of open enrollment for the ACA and said “millions of Americans would be disappointed by their lack of options” and “shocked by the high premiums and the cost of health insurance.”
Pence pointed toward Clinton’s statement from a town hall during the primary elections in which she touted “Hillarycare,” her push for a universal health care law as first lady, as the precursor to Obamacare, as proof that a vote for Clinton would be “doubling down on failure.”
Trump’s remarks were succinct and on message. He took the occasional jab at Clinton, but opted to use what he described as a “meeting about health care” to outline a broad slate of initiatives, while painting a picture of what a Trump presidency might look like.
Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with a “much better health plan at a much better cost.” He also pledged to bring back the jobs he called “the backbone of the middle class” through renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, ending “currency manipulation and unfair subsidies,” building “modern mines” and stopping China from “dumping” cheap steel in the U.S. — a practice Clinton has accused him of taking advantage of.
“Nobody has been treated worse than these workers, but that will change on Jan. 20 of next year,” said Trump, invoking the possibility of his inauguration to uproarious applause.
On education, Trump promised to eliminate Common Core standards and ensure school choice, while establishing “centers of excellence” for vocational training.
The candidate touched briefly on tax reform and vowed to “rebuild” the military. He also spoke about revitalizing the nation’s inner cities and expressed his support for law enforcement officials.
“I’m not a politician, my only special interest is you, the American people,” Trump said, prompting a standing ovation. “I’m running to restore honesty to our government and safety to our communities.
“I’m asking you to dream big, to push for bold change and believe in a movement powered by our love for each other and our love for our country.”
Republican Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale came away from Trump’s speech energized and impressed.
“The energy we have in this area — King of Prussia, Upper Merion, Montgomery County — is out of this world,” said Gale. “Montgomery County is the third most populated county in Pennsylvania. There’s more than 500,000 registered voters. And I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent, so many patriotic Americans want Donald Trump to get into the presidency and drain the swamp, clean house and have a new start for America and make America great again. I’m so excited to support Donald Trump and proud of what he’s doing.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in King of Prussia Tuesday.
Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, laughs as vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., speaks Tuesday in King of Prussia.