WILKES-BARRE TWP. — As the crowd filtered into the Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday, an older couple searched for their seats carrying a sign that read: “President Trump – God’s gift to politics.”
With a guaranteed capacity crowd of more than 10,000 anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 45th president of the United States, supporters were eager to talk about the man they put their faith in to “Make America Great Again.”
“He’s absolutely amazing,” said Shelley Bailey, 42 of Mansfield. “He’s already done a lot for the country. He’s a president who actually believes in America.”
Bailey said she was registered as Independent in 2016 and supported Trump’s candidacy. She’s now registered as a Republican.
“And I support Lou Barletta for the Senate,” Bailey said. “He stands up for Pennsylvania and America. And he believes in preserving our constitutional rights.”
Three friends from Stroudsburg were sitting stage left waiting for Trump and Barletta to arrive. They said they were at the rally to support Barletta and “get rid of (Bob) Casey.”
Cindy Blake, 57, James Martin, 45, and Christine Wilkins, 47, said they love what Trump has done in his first two years in office.
“President Trump is the first president to keep his campaign promises,” Blake said. “I’m here to support him because he keeps his word to the American people who elected him.”
Martin said he supports Trump because he’s concerned about the future of the country.
“He’s creating more jobs and he’s lowered taxes,” Martin said. “He will win despite the polls. Fake news doesn’t faze him.”
Blake said the politicians in Washington have to stop lying and work together for the good of the country.
“The Democratic Party has to open its eyes and see what people want,” Blake said. “I’m on social media all the time combating all the lies.
“It’s time everybody told the truth.”
Wilkins said if the two political parties worked together, a lot could be accomplished for the country.
Ken Hryhor and Chris Weite traveled to the rally from Monroe Township to show support for both Lou Barletta and Trump.
“Lou Barletta is a great leader now and will be even better in the Senate,” said Weite, 34. “We need to make America great again.”
Attendees were dressed in American flag-inspired garb; red, white and blue hair; and the iconic red “Make America Great Again” hats. Joe Helou, who made the journey to Wilkes-Barre Township from Long Island, New York, sported a white T-shirt with a “Q” on it, symbolizing the group “QAnon.”
“I am in support of the QAnon movement and in support of the president,” he said. “I am not a spokesman.”
Helou said he had never attended a Trump rally, but wanted to experience it.
QAnon refers to a conspiracy theory centered around an anonymous online figure who goes by “Q,” according to a recent National Public Radio story.
The theory is that special counsel Robert Mueller is actually investigating top Democrats for criminal activity.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.