KGW.com - May 7, 2016
EUGENE, Ore. – More than 4,000 people filled the Lane Events Center to capacity in Eugene Friday night for Donald Trump’s first rally in Oregon.
“This is a hell of an impressive group,” Trump said of the crowd.
The 7 p.m. rally was one of Trump’s firsts since he became the presumptive Republican nominee earlier in the week. Trump said his message is why he became the winner out of a field that started with 18 candidates.
“We have a movement going on in this country that has never been seen before. I am nothing more than a messenger,” Trump said.
Trump believes the large voting turnout in the GOP primaries will translate to success in a general election.
“The only important thing is the unification of the people,” he said. “We have had more people voting in the primaries this year than ever in the history of the Republican Party.”
Trump's speech mostly went without interruption. He briefly paused due to one protester, who he told to "go home to mommy."
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Lane Events Center, where verbal exchanges were made but did not turn violent. Eugene police reported they did not arrest anybody in connection with Trump's visit.
Inside, Trump harped on many of the same messages he’s shared throughout the primary season from making American great again, to building a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, to mocking political pundits and the “dishonest” media.
The New York businessman spent noticeably more time attacking his likely foe in the November general election, Hillary Clinton.
Trump said that the Democratic front-runner is going to attack him for being disrespectful towards women but said her husband treats women worse than he does.
“Nobody in this country…was worse than Bill Clinton with women. He was a disaster,” Trump said. “She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler. What she did to a lot of those women was disgraceful.”
Trump repeatedly referred to the Democratic front-runner as “Crooked Hillary,” and also called Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren “goofy.”
The presumptive Republican nominee briefly addressed some of Oregon’s economic issues, citing a decrease in timber and manufacturing jobs. He said Clinton’s policies as Secretary of State and the passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during her husband’s presidency contributed to the loss of jobs.
“NAFTA is a disaster. NAFTA has destroyed big, big sections of our country,” Trump said.
At the end, Trump said he’s looking forward to facing Clinton.
“I really want to run against her. And the last person she wants to run against is Donald Trump.”
He urged Oregonians to vote for him in the May 17 primary and said he believes he can turn Oregon into a red state in the general election.
“In November, we are going to carry your state,” Trump told the room full of supporters.
Trump will continue campaigning in the Northwest with multiple events in Washington state on Saturday. Washington's Republican primary is May 24.