POLITICS

Thousands Gather Hours Before Trump 2020 Rally

Jun 18, 2019, 1:33 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:05 pm
Supporters turn out hours before U.S. President Donald Trump is to appear at a rally to officially announce his 2020 reelection bid at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Tens of thousands of requests for tickets, according to the Trump campaign, prompted the outside event dubbed "45 Fest" by organizers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A boisterous crowd of thousands of supporters has gathered in front of the Amway Center arena in Orlando, Florida, hours before President Donald Trump will hold a rally to formally launch his reelection campaign.

A cover band on a stage played Southern rock standards such as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home, Alabama.”

Vendors for blocks around sold water, as well as pins, hats and T-shirts with slogans including “Trump 2020” and “ICE ICE Baby.” In the summer heat, some women wore “Make America Great Again” bathing suits.

Fifty-six-year-old Margaret McDeed says she came from Tampa and supports Trump because “his policies are for the American people.” She adds that, as a tax accountant, she’s seen savings from the Republican-backed tax cuts.

Thirty-three year old Alex Fuentes wore a shirt that said “Make Democrats cry again.”

The rally is set to begin at 8 p.m. local time.

To Trump, Republican enthusiasm is at an all-time high. But the political event is also drawing protesters.

Trump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. In a tweet, he says: “People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild — See you later!”

Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. The city is home to a large Puerto Rican population and it’s also where a shooting at a gay nightclub killed 49 people three years ago.

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Thousands Gather Hours Before Trump 2020 Rally