President Donald Trump addressed a packed Memorial Coliseum Monday evening where he touched on recurring themes of his presidency and urged those in attendance to vote Republican on Tuesday.
Jim Banks, incumbent Republican Congressman for the 3rd District emceed the event, which started early due to President Trump’s tight schedule.
Senator Todd Young spoke prior to Trump’s arrival, as did former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz.
Appearing with President Trump were his daughter Ivanka, his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House staffer Kellyanne Conway.
President Trump arrived at the 122nd Air Guard base at Fort Wayne International Airport at around 5:20 p.m.
Memorial Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown expected upwards of 20,000 people at the rally, and while official attendance numbers were not given, that number did not seem far off. More than 11,000 packed into the arena, and thousands more watched from the Conference Center and in the parking lot – watching the rally from a jumbotron.
Outside the Coliseum, along Coliseum Boulevard, more than 200 people showed up to protest the president’s visit. Organizer Ben Schoch said the collection wanted to show that northeast Indiana was not a conservative stronghold.
Protestor Kathy Robertson agreed.
“My mission is to tell the world that we can do better than this,” Robertson said. “We can do a whole lot better than this. There is no respect, no honor, no dignity in this regime. It’s derisive. It’s misogynistic. It is pitting people against each other. Not since the Civil War has it been this bad. I fear for everyone. If we don’t flip some seats and do what we have to do and vote, that’s the tip of the iceberg.”