Donald Trump Jr. was the latest in a wave of campaign surrogates to visit Northern Colorado in the last days of the presidential campaign.
The son of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump stood before an audience of several hundred people at Colorado Youth Outdoors near Interstate 25 and Kechter Road on Thursday, flanked by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and Mark Geist, a member of the annex security team during the 2012 attack by Islamic militants on U.S. governmental facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
Colorado Youth Outdoors president Bob Hewson and board chairman Calvin Schriener also spoke at the event.
Geist plugged a book he co-authored about his time in Benghazi and warned the audience that who they vote for would be responsible for sending their sons and daughters into harm’s way.
“It was all for political purposes,” he said of his time in Benghazi. “It wasn’t the right thing for America. It wasn’t the right thing for Libya. It was for her (Hillary Clinton).”
When Smith took the stage, he echoed a Facebook post he made earlier in the morning, saying, “You can’t sit on the bench this time.”
He said Colorado is not a blue state and cannot afford another four years of the leadership it has endured during President Obama’s administration.
“The reality is that we’ve watched over the last eight years as the rule of law has become an endangered species within our nation,” he said.
He then introduced Trump Jr., who spoke for about 30 minutes.
Trump Jr. emphasized the lessons he’s learned from being an outdoorsman before delving into campaign rhetoric. He described the childhood summers he spent in Czechoslovakia with his grandfather, who taught him to shoot and fish.
“I’m an unlikely guy to be talking about the outdoors,” he said, noting his life on Fifth Avenue in New York City and his being the son of a billionaire.
However, he said he’s fought for “this cause” of being a hunter and has taken heat for it.
He then covered more typical campaign topics, including corruption, media bias and the problems with Obamacare.
When he mentioned the Clinton Foundation and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails, the crowd broke into chants of, “Lock her up. Lock her up.”
He concluded his speech by talking about the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court and the list of possible judges his father has culled.
“Oh, by the way, don’t forget about the Supreme Court,” he said. “For the shooters in the room, don’t forget about that.”
The crowd clamored around him as the speech ended for a group photo and autographs.
For many event attendees, their presence was a show of support. Many had attended previous local rallies and had already voted.
Severance resident Carey McGrath was there with her 8-year-old daughter Esther. The duo — who wore matching “Adorable Deplorable” shirts — attended Donald Trump’s rallies in Loveland and Greeley, Mike Pence’s rally in Loveland and Eric Trump’s rally in Greeley.
Carey said this year was the first time she has attended rallies and become a volunteer for a candidate. Her family has a real estate business, so she said she appreciates Donald Trump’s business-minded approach, as well as his tax policies, promise to bring jobs back and ability to “tell it like it is.”
She also said she’s been an active member of Christians for Biblical Equality, a nonprofit group that teaches “the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups,” according to its website.
Trump has empowered and employed women and treats them equally, she said. She isn’t concerned about Trump’s troubles that have been “blown up” in the media.
As the two left the rally, Esther proudly stuck two Trump-Pence bumper stickers onto the back of her mother’s vehicle.