Above, 4/28/16, "A sea of cellphones go up as Donald Trump and Bobby Knight make a quick stop in the overflow room after his speech at the Old National Events Plaza Thursday, April 28, 2016, Mike Lawrence/Courier and Press." "An estimated 12,000 people jammed areas inside and outside Old National Events Plaza."
Above, 4/28/16, Trump rally in Evansville, Indiana: "Donald Trump and Bobby Knight" Evansville, Indiana! LETS WIN INDIANA!
Above, 4/28/16, Trump rally in Indiana, "Donald J. Trump's Presidential Rally in Indiana today w/ thousands in overflow.
4/29/16, "Trump draws huge, faithful crowd during Evansville rally," Evansville Courier and Press, by Thomas B. Langhorne
"Call it frustration with the status quo or perhaps a bedrock belief that America’s position in the world is diminished, but Donald Trump tapped into something during his visit to Evansville Thursday.
An estimated 12,000 people jammed areas inside and outside Old National Events Plaza during Trump’s 58-minute speech in the run-up to Tuesday’s Indiana Republican presidential primary. In the auditorium they murmured excitedly in anticipation of his appearance, exploded when he walked onstage, laughed uproariously at his jokes and cheered lustily-several times -when he called for a crackdown on illegal immigration.
The real estate mogul and reality TV star promised to “knock the hell out of ISIS,” do away with Obamacare, stop unfair trade deals and make Mexico pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. He said he will make America rich again because, “unless we’re rich, we can’t be strong.”
With no other states holding presidential primaries Tuesday and the world’s eyes on Indiana, Trump aims to effectively knock out main GOP presidential rival Ted Cruz with a smashing victory in the state. Coming on the heels of decisive victories in five Northeastern primaries this week, he hopes to establish an unshakable vice grip on the Republican presidential nomination by virtue of the sheer size of his lead in national GOP convention delegates. He campaigned extensively in Indianapolis Wednesday.
“We’re going to win on the border,” he said to a crescendo of cheers. “We’re going to win, and we’re going to build a wall and, believe me — believe me — Mexico’s going to pay for the wall.”
By using provisions of the Patriot Act, Trump has said, the U.S. can bring considerable pressure to bear on Mexico to compel that country to pay for the wall. The leverage point is about $24 billion that Trump says is annually transferred from Mexican nationals working in the U.S. back to Mexico. He argues that a majority of that money comes from illegal immigrants, serving as “de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico....
Trump has said allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East would benefit from more vigorous U.S. leadership on the world stage. But on Thursday in Evansville, he said there should be no doubt that America’s economic and foreign policy interests would come first in his administration.
“We’re going to win with great, great trade deals,” Trump said. “We’re not going to let the entire world rip us off anymore. And speaking of our military, we’re defending the whole world and they think we’re all a bunch of jerks.
From now on, we want to help everybody — but they have to help us ...”
The words were drowned out by the cheers.
Trump got critical bench support Thursday from former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, who hailed him as a great leader on the world stage.
“This man (Trump) has created more jobs and hired more people than any American ever has during his lifetime to date,” Knight said. “He’s done this not just in America, but across the world. And he has a great reputation, a great feeling people get for him.”
Knight called Trump “a man who not only gets things done, but he gets things done in the right way and when something needs to be corrected, he can correct it.”
Trump’s America-first message resonates with Ashlee Mercer, an Evansville resident who joined hundreds of people at Tri-State Aero to see him off as he departed Evansville in his black and gold Boeing 757.
Some of the crowd used cellphones to record Trump and his party’s entrance to the facility in SUVs, staying until his jet ascended in the air at 2:44 p.m. They lined the fences, sat in flatbed trucks, waved American flags or stood in clusters straining for a glimpse of Trump.
Mercer brought her 8-year-old son to the airport. She likes Trump’s candor and willingness to say things that more conventional politicians don’t dare. But there’s more to it than that.
“Drugs coming over from Mexico, our jobs going to Mexico,” Mercer started out.
“My husband lost his job to Mexico from Whirlpool,” she said. “I have a child that has chronic health conditions and, even now, with the laws with health care, having a child that’s having to go to Cincinnati Riley and have multiple procedures done, our health care is in dire need — and the fact that illegal Mexican aliens get Medicaid, that’s an issue to me. I pay a lot of money for my health care.”
Outsourcing of American jobs to other countries is a symptom of American weakness, Mercer said. She wants a strong leader — a leader who will put America first and won’t be conflicted about it.
“I think in the United States of America we worry too much about other countries and less about our own,” she said. “We worry about the homeless, the people who don’t have food in other countries — when, you know what? There’s plenty of homeless here in Evansville.”
Mercer had one more opinion: Republican Party leaders who are trying to derail Trump’s candidacy are out of touch not only with the GOP rank-and-file, but “with reality.”
Trump’s trip up U.S. 41 from Old National Events Plaza to Tri-State Aero created a little economic activity at Subway sandwich shop next to the facility. Managers Tim Stallings and Marla Groves said Tri-State Aero asked them to create a foot-long tuna-on-wheat sub for someone — maybe Trump himself — on the billionaire businessman’s jet.
“They said it could be for Trump, that’s what they said — you never know. It could be anybody,” Stallings said, glancing at Groves. “She started it, I finished it.”"