(GALLERY) Student supporters, protesters experience Trump spectacle downtown
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
Matt Kreutzer said when it comes to Donald Trump, there could be a better choice but there could be a worse choice.
Kreutzer, a freshman accounting major, stood in line outside the Old National Events Plaza Thursday with his two friends, also university students. They awaited entrance to the building for a Trump rally at noon.
Kreutzer and his group agreed the republican frontrunner would be a skilled financial adviser in office.
“We’re business majors,” he said. “That’s kind of why we’re here. We like good business.”
Kreutzer said he isn’t definitively voting for Trump.
“There are some (of his) policies I like and some I don’t like,” he said. “We’re kind of people-watching here.”
Incoming freshman Morgan Vize also stood in line, not donning any Trump attire like the people around her.
She listened to a security officer tell the crowd that any protester trying to sneak in would be arrested.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a protestor, but I’m not for Trump at all,” Vize said. “People are going in anyway.”
She said she seems to like Bernie Sanders, but has not made up her mind yet.
Trump spoke for more than an hour after being nearly 20 minutes late to take the stage.
The rally consisted of him as well as an endorsement from former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight.
“It’s not about republican or democrat,” Knight said. “It’s about picking the best man for the job.”
Trump’s speech primarily focused on his success in other states. He brushed several issues such as Obamacare, the 2nd Amendment and ISIS, but did not elaborate on potential policies.
Junior Holli Melton said as a future teacher, she supports Trump on the basis of education.
“I totally agree with him about ending the common core,” the biology teaching major said. “I’m from Kentucky, but I’ve chosen to not teach in Kentucky because they have adopted the core.”
She said the event was her first political rally, and this presidential election is the first she’s eligible to vote in.
“The rally was very interesting,” Melton said. “People were insane, but in a good way. There was a lot of positive energy. When people say Donald Trump, there’s sometimes a negative stigma, but there were a lot of positive vibes today.”
During and following the rally, Trump supporters and protesters hurled insults at each other from across a street adjacent to the building.
Women screamed “F*ck Trump” across the road as they pushed strollers with peacefully sleeping babies down the sidewalk.
Both sides used gay slurs and expletives to accuse the other of being uneducated.
Freshman Paiden Myers observed from the side and didn’t consider the exchanges violent.
“It’s been pretty peaceful with only one person arrested,” the nursing major said. “There are some chants, but that’s it.”
The police arrested Kelley Lynn Barnes, 36, for public nudity, according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department.
She pulled down her pants in response to the Trump supporters. Her bond was set at $50.
Myers said he enjoyed seeing a potential president in person, and although he mostly supports Trump, he would want to see Bernie Sanders, too.
“Trump did a good job, but he mostly spouted out stuff I already knew before,” he said. “There was nothing new.”