Trump Goes Stumping In The Rockies, With Campaign Stop In Colorado

Jul 29, 2016
Originally published on July 29, 2016 4:53 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A common theme this week at the Democratic National Convention was that Republican nominee Donald Trump is too inexperienced and lacks the temperament to be president. Well, today Trump is responding at a campaign stop in Colorado. He mimicked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

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DONALD TRUMP: And she said something about the campaign. Donald Trump doesn't know how to campaign - something like that. I just beat 16 people, and I'm beating her.

SIEGEL: NPR's Sarah McCammon joined us earlier from outside that event, and she described the noisy scene.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: There was a big line to get in today here in Colorado Springs, and so there are Trump supporters who are - have been chanting build a wall; build a wall. These are folks who couldn't get in - and also protesters who are chanting things like, love trumps hate. So we're seeing a little bit of back and forth - seems pretty peaceful right now, though. I just saw someone blowing bubbles actually.

SIEGEL: (Laughter) How would you describe what Donald Trump is trying to accomplish today?

MCCAMMON: Well, you know, the Democratic National Convention is over. Hillary Clinton had her big night last week, so you know, he wants to get back in the spotlight, really keep himself in the spotlight. He's been campaigning hard this week in swing states and fundraising. He's got two stops in Colorado today.

And you know, Hillary Clinton has been making the case that Trump's temperament can't be trusted at a time when the nation faces threats like terrorism. So Trump has been, as you heard, going after her, responding, calling her speech very average. And he's criticized her for not using phrases like radical Islamic terrorism.

SIEGEL: He's also spoken, by the way, of Bernie Sanders as having sold his soul to the devil, meaning having made a deal with Hillary Clinton. Does the Trump campaign regard Colorado as a state in play?

MCCAMMON: Well, from the polling I've seen, the recent polling, you know, Colorado is leaning Democrat right now. But it is a swing state. It is one of those places that's seen as a place to win over voters. Colorado Springs, where I am at the moment, is a very Republican-friendly town, heavily military, heavily evangelical. This is where Focus on the Family has their headquarters.

And so you know, Trump has been making veterans a big issue throughout the campaign. Marine veteran Mark Geist, who was present at the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, gave one of the opening speeches. That was really well received. Trump, you know, has been going after Hillary Clinton for her handling of that event while secretary of state.

And when it comes to evangelicals, you know, I spoke to just one woman right beforehand who said she's an evangelical. She preferred Ben Carson in the primary, but she's coming around to Donald Trump. She likes him more and more, she says.

SIEGEL: Do you get a sense of whether people react positively there to Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton?

MCCAMMON: You know, so far from what I've heard both here in Colorado and, you know, across the country this week traveling with Donald Trump, yes, absolutely. These are crowds that come out to see Trump and many of them, perhaps even more so than being pro-Trump, are anti-Hillary Clinton. We often have been hearing this chant that really seemed to start at the Republican National Convention of lock her up, referring to Hillary Clinton. Those seem to be the lines - the anti-Hillary Clinton lines that get the most response from these crowds.

SIEGEL: OK. That's NPR's Sarah McCammon with the Trump campaign in Colorado where Donald Trump is speaking. Sarah, thanks.

MCCAMMON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.