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Trump rallies Southwest Florida crowd

By Staff | Sep 19, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to a standing-room only crowd at Germain Arena Monday afternoon. MICHAEL PISTELLA

Running through a litany of the dead, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stressed the need for American – and worldwide – security at a campaign rally at Germain Arena Monday afternoon.

To the cheers of the filled-to-capacity crowd as he opened with jabs at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s position on radical Islamic terrorism –“the words she can not say” – and somber silence as he listed terrorist attack after attack, Trump pounded his point home.

“Immigration security is national security,” he said.

“My opponent has the most open border policy of any person to seek the presidency.”

There are thousands of dangerous individuals here awaiting deportation, Trump said, but instead, they are staying in America, becoming citizens because their own home countries won’t take them back.

“Because their home countries wouldn’t take them back, they didn’t want them,” Trump said. “They said keep them United States, we don’t want them.”

“This isn’t only about terrorism,” he added. “It’s about quality of life.”

That isn’t something Clinton can deliver and that isn’t something America can tolerate, he said, adding her election would be “four more years of Obama – but worse.”

“We cannot let this evil continue, we can not do it,”?Trump said of terrorism. “We cannot do it.”

He offered himself as a solution.

“We can defeat the Islamic threat as we have every threat before it,” Trump said before touching on campaign loadstones – that the U.S. can and will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it.

“We have to put America first, we have to put America first,” he said to cheers.

Thousands waited hours to make it into Germain Arena, filed to standing room only, with many still waiting outside.

Groups, families and friends traveled from other cities – and even other states – to make it out to the Monday afternoon rally in Estero.

“Eight of us drove from Lake Placid to show our support – and to show women support Donald Trump,” said Dorothy Sweatt.

Naples resident Jamie Cassin’s family, including infant Axyl, also came out to show their support.

“I’m ready to see some change so my health insurance no longer costs as much as my mortgage,” Cassin said before heading to her seat.

While the crowd continued to flow into the arena, people appeared positive and eager, smiling and cheering “America” in unison.

Music as diverse as opera and Credence Clearwater streamed from the loud speakers as seats continued to fill up and the crowd cheered.

Before heading back to their seats, Bob Gregory and his wife Barbara, along with friends Donna and Ron Moeller held up a portrait of the Gregory’s daughter, Jessica, with Donald Trump when she won Miss Massachusetts the 1990s.

“The crowd energy is very high – very positive – here. Everyone is so happy and nice to each other. We only saw one protestor outside,” Donna Moeller said.

Mickie Roerty and her eighth-grade son, Steven, were among the crowd at the All American Grill following the event.

Exhausted from the long day – they had been in line since 9 a.m.- they agreed it was well worth the time spent and were eager to talk about how smoothly everything had gone.

“Everything just went really well. It was a great rally, and everyone was so caring and considerate of each other, even with the traffic and the lines. It was certainly well worth the wait,” Mickie said.

Steven thought of those who came but still missed it as turnout was much higher than expected.

“I just feel bad for all of those who couldn’t make it inside,” Steven said of the thousands who were denied entry due to the arena reaching its maximum safety occupancy. “I hope they were still able to have a good time with the amenities they were provided.”

Running through a litany of the dead, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stressed the need for American — and worldwide — security at a campaign rally at Germain Arena Monday afternoon. To the cheers of the filled-to-capacity crowd as he opened with jabs at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s position on radical Islamic terrorism —“the words she can not say” — and somber silence as he listed terrorist attack after attack, Trump pounded his point home. “Immigration security is national security,” he said.

Running through a litany of the dead, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stressed the need for American — and worldwide — security at a campaign rally at Germain Arena Monday afternoon. To the cheers of the filled-to-capacity crowd as he opened with jabs at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s position on radical Islamic terrorism —“the words she can not say” — and somber silence as he listed terrorist attack after attack, Trump pounded his point home. “Immigration security is national security,” he said.