Donald Trump promises to keep 'scourge of terrorism' out of country during Ohio speech
CINCINNATI — “Stupid politicians” and lax immigration policies underlay the attack at Ohio State University in which a student rammed a campus crowd with his car and then slashed others with a knife, President-elect Donald Trump said tonight.
Trump spoke for 50 minutes before a crowd of thousands in U.S. Bank Arena in the first stop of his “USA Thank You Tour,” with the Republican at one point talking of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Trump, who takes office 50 days from today, turned a couple of minutes later to the incident on Monday at Ohio State in which Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, injured 11 people before the Somalian immigrant was fatally shot by an OSU police officer.
“You have just experienced a violent atrocity at the great Ohio State University,” Trump said. The attack “fully illustrates” the security problems caused by “stupid politicians” and an immigration system that fails to screen out dangerous, would-be terrorists, he said.
Authorities believe Artan may have been inspired by American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in Yemen who was killed by an American drone strike. They still are investigating if he was a “soldier” for the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Ohio State attack. Trump vowed to hunt down and eradicate ISIS.
“We will do everything in our power to keep the scourge of terrorism out of our country. People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East. We have no idea who they are, where they are, what they’re thinking. And we’re going to stop that dead cold flat. You just take a good look at what just happened in your state,” Trump said.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, spoke before Trump and also brought up the Ohio State attack. “Our hearts go out to the victims and families injured in those horrific attacks.” He also commended the “swift and courageous action of law enforcement.”
Speakers on the undercard included top Ohio Republicans — Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Treasurer Josh Mandel, a potential opponent for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in 2018.
Mandel labeled the Ohio State attack early on as terrorism. “We have certain leaders in this country who are afraid to call out radical Islamic terror, even when it is happening in our backyard.” Mandel said “crazy liberals” want to make Columbus a sanctuary city. “Over my dead body,” he said.
The speech showed the president-elect is not dissimilar in style to the candidate who swept to a surprising victory on the heels of large rallies like those tonight in Cincinnati. It was part pep rally and part sales pitch for his proposals.
“People are constantly telling me and telling you to reduce our expectations. Those people are fools … this campaign proved the old rules no longer apply,” Trump said. “Now is not the time to downsize our dreams, but set our sights higher than ever before for our country.”
While has said since winning election that some fencing may due for parts of the U.S.-Mexican border, Trump again vowed, “We will construct a great wall at the border” to end illegal immigration and illegally imported drugs and gang members, he said. “Build the wall,” chanted the crowd.
Trump talked at length about business and middle-class tax cuts that will revive American jobs and wages and revitalize manufacturing. He promised to create millions of good-paying jobs — and quickly.
Trump bragged on his winning margin in Ohio in the Nov. 8 election, saying he won by nearly 10 points. Final official vote totals released today gave him a 7.9-percent win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In the midst of railing against the “extremely dishonest press,” Trump suddenly turned to the Ohio GOP politicians who refused to support him. “In the great state of Ohio, we didn’t have the upper echelon of politicians either, did we? Trump said a “very nice” Gov. John Kasich, who voted instead for John McCain, called with congratulations, prompting a chorus of boos from the audience.
Trump took the stage nearly an hour late, a bid to allow thousands of late arrivals into the arena. Sections of I-71 and I-75 were closed for about 90 minutes in downtown Cincinnati for his motorcade. Rush-hour traffic and city streets were gridlocked for hours as some motorists ran out of gas.
“I didn’t know what came with this position and I didn’t know they closed down the roads around the stadium for an hour and a half,” Trump said. “We need to work out a new deal with the Secret Service, but we love them … thank you, everybody, for being patient,” Trump said.
This article is written by Randy Ludlow from The Columbus Dispatch and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network.