COEUR d’ALENE — Amid chants of “drain the swamp,” “Trump 2020” and “four more years,” a spirited crowd lined Northwest Boulevard on Thursday to show their support for the president.
An estimated 125 people participated.
Fueled by a steady stream of honking cars and unfazed by the occasional jeer, the group proclaimed their devotion to President Donald J. Trump along the western gateway to Coeur d’Alene.
“We’re here to show support for our president,” said Tom Henderson of Post Falls, who attended the rally with his wife, Eileen. “I think he’s done amazing things.”
Wearing a trademark red “Make America Great Again” cap, Henderson said he hoped the gathering would sway some voters.
“Trump’s doing what he campaigned on, and he’s delivering,” Henderson said. “We’re here to show support and maybe some of the people driving by who are on the fence will see [the country] is headed in the right direction.”
Henderson said he was dismayed by what he characterized as unfair criticism of the president from political foes and the liberal left.
“[Trump] has got a group of corrupt people who are trying to bring him down and keep themselves in some form of power,” Henderson said. “We’re all behind Trump; he’s doing all the right things.”
Paul Mahlow of Hayden said Trump has been unfairly distracted by political opponents “who have done nothing but try to block and obstruct his efforts as president.”
While calling the president “extremely polarizing,” Mahlow said Trump “has done a fantastic job on keeping the commitments he made on the campaign trail — even though he is getting virtually no recognition from major media across the United States.”
The president’s job has been made exceedingly difficult by a strongly divided Congress that has not been able to act on any substantive issue in the past two years, he said.
Asked if he believed Trump would be elected to a second term, Mahlow said, “I’m not worried about his chances for re-election, I’m just submitting to prayer.”
Wearing a “Women for Trump” cap and holding a “President Trump 2020” sign, Carrol DeMartini of Coeur d’Alene said she attended the rally to show support for the president and voice her opposition on impeachment.
DeMartini said Trump has strong support from women.
“I think it’s totally a lie that women don’t support Trump,” she said. “I mean, if you look around here you see it’s predominantly women [at the rally]. I think there’s definitely media and liberal bias.”
An anticipated anti-Trump rally did not develop. A single man wearing a “Biden for President” cap stood on the opposite side of Northwest Boulevard carrying a Democrat-themed sign.
Trump backer Richard Bassham of Coeur d’Alene said he was impressed by the high turnout of Thursday’s rally, but what stood out more was the energy in the group.
The parade of Trump supporters began its battle cry on Northwest Boulevard and then headed north to the Interstate 90 overpass to demonstrate for cars whizzing by below.
“The numbers are maybe important but it’s the conviction and compassion and that’s what I’m seeing out here,” Bassham said.
Thursday’s rally was part of a national pro-Trump, anti-impeachment effort organized by conservative groups American First and Engage The Right.