The Air Force veteran and retired teacher from Washington, N.H., was among a throng of Trump supporters waiting in the cold and raw rain outside the Southern New Hampshire University arena in downtown Manchester more than eight hours before the president and Vice President Mike Pence were expected to headline a re-election rally.
Grunwald supported Trump four years ago and said he’s solidly behind the president again.
“I like everything he’s done,” he emphasized, adding, “I kind of wish that maybe the rhetoric would be turned down a tad, but you know what, he’s been beat up for three years. What are you going to do?”
Trump supporter Mike Grunwald and his wife stand outside of the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH, ahead of the president’s re-election rally on the eve of the NH primary, on Feb. 10, 2020
The rally comes on the eve of the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, with a large field of Democratic contenders vying to be their party’s standard-bearer.
Grunwald predicted that regardless of who wins the Democratic presidential nomination, “they’re all going to lose” to Trump in November’s general election.
The primary comes less than a week after the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted the president of the impeachment charges he faced. It’s Trump’s first campaign rally since the acquittal.
Grunwald called the House Democrats’ impeachment of the president “all partisan.”
Laurie Reed traveled to Manchester from Plymouth, Mass., for the rally.
She stressed that Trump’s impeachment “made me 1,000 percent more supportive than I already was. It was annoying and a waste of our taxpayer money and time.”
And looking ahead to the general election, she said, “I think that we’re going to win 100 percent and I don’t care who his opponent is.”
Trump supporter Laurie Reed of Plymouth, Mass., stands outside of the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH, ahead of the president’s re-election rally on the eve of the NH primary, on Feb. 10, 2020
The president, vice president and a throng of Trump campaign officials and surrogates were all parachuting into New Hampshire on the eve of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary to take some of the spotlight away from the Democrats. They’re also hoping to pump up turnout in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary, where Trump is the overwhelming favorite over former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.
Trump easily defeated and large and talented field of rivals in the 2016 GOP presidential primary in the Granite State, launching the first-time politician toward winning the nomination and eventually the White House.
But Trump narrowly lost New Hampshire’s four electoral votes in the general election to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign sees New Hampshire as a possible battleground state pick up as they try to defend their 2016 victories in the key Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The trip by Trump is the president’s first back to New Hampshire since August, when he held a large rally in the same arena.
Trump supporter Jay McDonald of North Providence, RI, (on the left) stands outside of the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH, ahead of the president’s re-election rally on the eve of the NH primary, on Feb. 10, 2020
Jay McDonald of North Providence, R.I., said he “100 percent” supported Trump four years ago and “nothing’s changed.” McDonald said he’s “maybe more angry that they could do that to a president and get away with it over nothing.”
“Hopefully he picks up more voters – the independent people – over that,” McDonald said.
And looking to the Democratic primary race, he argued, “I really don’t think it matters. He’ll beat them all.”