Trump, Pence swing through King of Prus­sia

Speech to in­vited au­di­ence fo­cuses on pol­icy

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Os­car Gamble ogam­ble@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @OGam­ble_TH on Twit­ter

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.”

EVAN VUCCI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump speaks in King of Prus­sia Tues­day.

EVAN VUCCI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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