A large crowd formed hours before President Donald Trump’s arrival. Candy Woodall, firstname.lastname@example.org
The large crowds gathering early in Hershey were unfazed by the unveiling of articles of impeachment coming at the same time.
HERSHEY, Pa. — This is ground zero of a divided nation.
As House Democrats on Tuesday morning charged President Donald Trump with two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, his supporters called the political moves “a sham,” “a joke” and “a disgrace to the nation.”
Trump voters started lining up in Hershey before dawn. They came from all over the country to hear Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who are expected to take the stage at 7 p.m. at a rally. Traveling from parts of California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, other states and local counties, they all had one thing in common: they love this president.
At the president’s “Keep America Great” rally, one in a series through important swing states, these voters found camaraderie.
”It’s like a Grateful Dead concert without the drugs,” said Bob Donnelly, a supporter from Syracuse, N.Y. The rally Tuesday was the seventh Trump rally he’s attended.
For John Kircher, of Pittsford, N.Y., it was his first rally. Decked out in head-to-toe hunting gear and puffing on a cigar, Kircher affirmed his support for the president and said it wouldn’t be his last rally.
“This impeachment is just a scam. They’ve wanted to impeach him since the day he was elected,” Kircher said.
The president earned his support in 2016 because he reminded him of former President Ronald Reagan, he said.
”It’s the whole idea that government is the problem, not the solution,” Kircher said.
Robert Plank, a federal worker from Lancaster County, was also attending his first Trump rally. He said he has supported the president since 2016 because of his immigration policies.
”I’d like to see border security increased,” Plank said.
His support for the president wasn’t changed by the recent impeachment process.
“Congress has to do their job, but I don’t think the impeachment is based on any real evidence. The Constitution is open to interpretation,” Plank said.
The Trump rally and Trump teddy bear she was holding was an early Christmas present for Elaine Hawkins. She and Wayne Holland traveled from Delaware to support the president. The impeachment has only increased their support, they said.
”It’s a farce,” Holland said. “There’s no foundation for the impeachment. They’ve been on his case since he was elected, and they never give up.”
Hawkins said she was a Democrat her entire life, but she voted Republican in 2016 because of Trump.
“Democrats used to be for the small person and helping the poor, but they haven’t done a damn thing. I supported Trump because I thought he would actually do something and he has,” she said.
Derrick Gibson has voted for some Democrats in the past, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But Obama only got his vote during the 2008 campaign.
“I thought he was fake after that. Trump is real. I know not everyone loves how he talks, but I do,” Gibson said.
The Queens, N.Y., native said the Hershey rally was his first and thinks a lot of black and Latino voters will support Trump in 2020.
”They’re not public about it because they don’t want the scrutiny, but the impeachment is bringing a lot of people to his side,” Gibson said.
As rain fell and the crowd got larger in Hershey, Gibson said the impeachment has helped the president.
”A lot of people can see the impeachment is a joke, a sham, a disgrace to our nation and founding fathers,” he said. “In 2020, Trump is going to win by a landslide.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Related: Remember when Trump came the state Farm Show Complex?
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