Trump goes on the attack

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds the crowd as he walks along the stage on his way back to his plane after holding a rally Tuesday at West Star Aviation.



Harry Truman made a whistle stop in Grand Junction in 1948 before he was elected. John F. Kennedy appeared on KREX for an in-studio interview in 1959, a year before he defeated Richard Nixon. Ronald Reagan spoke at Walker Field Airport, then headed to a fundraiser at the Holiday Inn, in 1980, less than two months before he won office.

Historically, that’s pretty much the extent to which presidential candidates have stumped in the Grand Valley. Those seeking the highest office in the country traditionally ignored the Western Slope as they made their rounds soliciting votes.

But that’s changed in the last four presidential elections. At least one vice presidential or presidential candidate has campaigned in Grand Junction every election since 2004. Here’s a look back at those visits:

• Oct. 23, 2004: Vice President Dick Cheney stumped for a second term for President George W. Bush in the West Star Aviation hangar.

• Sept. 15, 2008: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama campaigned at Cross Orchards Historic Site, making him the first Democratic presidential nominee to visit Grand Junction since Kennedy.

• October 20, 2008: Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin addressed a crowd at Lincoln Park.

• Nov. 5, 2008: Arizona Sen. and Republican presidential nominee John McCain rallied at the West Star Aviation hangar hours before the polls closed on Election Night.

• July 10, 2012: Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a town hall meeting at Central High School.

• Oct. 22, 2012: Wisconsin Rep. and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan spoke at Colorado Mesa University’s Brownson Arena.

• Oct. 18, 2016: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addressed supporters at the West Star Aviation hangar.

Source: Daily Sentinel research

Arriving at a West Star Aviation hangar at Grand Junction Regional Airport to the theme song of the Harrison Ford movie, “Air Force One,” Donald Trump gave supporters plenty of red meat to chew on Tuesday while also proposing a package of ethics reforms he claimed would clean up corruption in the nation’s capital.

The Republican nominee for the White House spent much of his roughly 50-minute address to thousands of backers repeating verbal attacks he’s launched at other campaign stops against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the media.

“Almost as corrupt as crooked Hillary is the media right back there,” Trump said, pointing to the television cameras at the back of the hangar. “(The polls) say we’re tied. I don’t think we’re tied. One says we’re two up, one says we’re four up, one says we were six or seven down. That was the one that they show on television. They don’t show the other ones. These people ...”

At one point, he accused the media of possibly being more dishonest than Clinton.

“They want to cover fictitious stories about me,” he said. “Wikileaks has provided things that are unbelievable. The media, you have to remember, is an extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Without that, she would be nowhere. The press has created a rigged system and poisoned the minds of the voters.”

While on the one hand he criticized the media, Trump simultaneously pointed to a Wall Street Journal story on Monday about a retired general pleading guilty in federal court to lying to investigators who were probing leaks made to reporters about a secret program to hack Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

That case involved four-star Gen. James Cartwright, who was questioned by the FBI in 2012 for confirming classified information about Iran’s nuclear program. Cartwright on Monday pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and faces a punishment that could range from a $500 fine to six months in prison, according to The New York Times.

Trump said that wasn’t as bad as what Clinton did when she used a private computer server, and then destroyed thousands of emails that were to be turned over to federal investigators.

“This is a tiny fraction of what (Clinton) did,” Trump said. “This is so disgraceful. She shouldn’t be allowed to run for the office. This is many times worse than Watergate, and we’re going to put an end to it.”

In another part of the speech, Trump said he would end government corruption, in part, by cleaning up the Washington, D.C., “swamp.”

The GOP nominee said he would implement several ethics reforms in government policy, including barring executive branch workers from working as lobbyists for at least five years after leaving government service, and a lifetime ban on senior officials.

Trump also said he would get Congress to introduce a new law to ban former congressional members and their staff from becoming lobbyists, approve new campaign finance laws that bar foreign lobbyists from raising money in U.S. elections, and expand the definition of lobbyist to close all loopholes.

“Former government officials label themselves consultants and advisers when we all know they are just lobbyists, right?” he said. “If I’m elected president, I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. I’m proposing term limits of six years for members of the House and 12 years for a member of the Senate.”

Trump also said he would fix U.S. trade deals with other nations, lower corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent, bring back U.S. jobs, build the wall — “and Mexico is going to pay for it” — and keep “radial Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.”

He painted in broad strokes on several issues that resonate with many Western Slope residents, telling them he would roll back Environmental Protection Agency regulations, put miners back to work and protect Second Amendment rights.

Early in the speech, Trump urged people to cast their ballots on Nov. 8, or earlier if possible.

“Early voting is, what, the 24th? Is it the 24th? Yes,” Trump said. Ballots were mailed on Monday and voters should be getting them as early as today. “So do the early voting if you can, but definitely Nov. 8.

“Either we win this election, or we lose the country.”

The event attracted thousands of people, but an exact number was not available. Grand Junction police officer David Keech told reporters that the fire marshal ordered that no more than 2,000 people be allowed inside the hangar, with another 2,000 on the tarmac just outside, though Keech said, “I don’t think they got there.”

Still, there were large numbers of late-arrivers who were barred entry because the venue had reached the maximum. Keech said officers were told that about 5,000 tickets were issued for the event.

Trump arrived in Grand Junction late Tuesday afternoon after addressing supporters in Colorado Springs earlier in the day. He then flew to Las Vegas for tonight’s third and final presidential debate.

As Trump was leaving the rally, the final song that played over the loud speakers was the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”



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Kudos to Charles Ashby for his excellent reporting of yesterday’s deplorable circus.  It’s now time for the Sentinel to preserve its journalistic integrity by endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.

Perhaps in response to local “deplorables’” whining about its purported “anti-Trump bias”, the Sentinel gave “wall-to-wall” coverage to Trump’s “whistlestop” in Grand Junction – but failed to mention that his turnout (less than 4000) was much smaller than Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole’s on November 3, 1996. 

Predictably, the Sentinel’s coverage also included not one word of “fact-checking” – even though Ashby aptly noted that Trump spent most of his 50-minute “speech” merely “repeating verbal attacks he’s launched at other campaign stops against” the media and his eminently more qualified Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, most of which have been substantially or entirely debunked by multiple reliable sources.  For example, just today Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler gave Trump “three Pinocchios” (“mostly false”) for alleging collusion between the State Department
and the FBI regarding a belatedly up-classified but originally
“Unclassified” e-mail.  See:

Likewise, FBI Director James Comey stated and testified last July that “there was no intentional misconduct in connection with” the sorting and belated destruction of Hillary’s 30,000 personal e-mails.  Meanwhile, Trump still refuses to disclose his tax returns (offering only false excuses), and his third “trophy wife” and resume-falsifying would-be “first lady” has not yet provided the evidence he promised that she did not commit immigration fraud.

What becomes perfectly clear from the opinions expressed by the several Trump supporters interviewed by the Sentinel’s reporters is that both the Donald Trump they adulate and the Hillary Clinton they revile are both figments of their delusional imaginations. 

For this, the Sentinel’s reluctance to “fact-check” Trump remains sordidly responsible – and can best be disabused by a forceful endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.

A photo of the Trump rally in the printed version of the paper features Trumper Kathy Svenson, who was the member of the Delta County School Board who said she wanted to castrate transgender children before allowing them in school locker rooms.

I can’t think of a more perfect “deplorable” person to feature at a trump rally.

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