Donald Trump gathered one of the largest crowds of his presidential campaign so far on Friday night when he held a rally in Mobile, Alabama in front of thousands of people. The numbers aren’t clear but the campaign switched locations twice to end up in a stadium that can hold up to 40,000 people. ABC News says the stadium was “about half full” when Trump began speaking. The campaign said there were about 30,000 people.
Numbers aside, the Washington Post points out that the speech “was about more than showmanship,” describing the location as “coolly strategic” since it involves “an increasingly important early battleground in the Republican nominating contest.” Plus, it was Trump’s way of showing there is support for his candidacy across the country.
Not surprisingly, Trump centered much of his speech on illegal immigration and the need to build a wall. Trump fans expressed support for the real estate mogul’s push to eliminate birthright citizenship in order to do away with so-called “anchor babies.” “It’s not right that they are just coming in free will and having babies and they stay here,” one supporter told AL.com. “It’s not right.” Other supporters had other ideas:
Mobile resident Jim Sherota, clutching a vaporizer in one hand and wearing a t-shirt of conservative musician Ted Nugent, took it one step further.
“The way I see it they ought to make it a vacation spot,” Sherota said. “OK, you want to come to the border, $25 for a permit, you can shoot all the people you want that cross illegally.”
He later clarified that his remarks were “in jest.”
As Trump spoke one man in the crowd could be heard yelling out “white power!” A Daily Kos contributor said this was not an isolated incident and that the phrase was yelled out multiple times by members of the crowd throughout the event.