Trump calls on Pennsylvania crowd to cheer African-Americans who ‘didn’t come out to vote’
Donald Trump’s barnstorming tour across the states that won him the White House continues to feature far more taunts of triumph than notes of healing after a bruising election.
Thursday’s rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, found the president-elect calling for the mostly white crowd to cheer for African-Americans who were “smart” to heed his message and therefore “didn’t come out to vote” for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
He also edged closer Thursday to completing his Cabinet, announcing his choice for interior secretary: Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, who should fit smoothly into an administration favoring more energy drilling and less regulation.
The president-elect — who also found time to hit Twitter, playing media critic and then stating anew his doubts about charges that Russia hackers tried to disrupt the U.S. election — boasted to the crowd in Pennsylvania that he captured a state that for many Republicans was “the bride that got away.”
“Everyone leaves Pennsylvania, Republicans, thinking they won Pennsylvania. And they never do. They just don’t win Pennsylvania,” said Trump.
Pennsylvania had not gone for a Republican candidate since 1988. But the Trump campaign staff long thought that the state, rich in white working-class voters, would be receptive to his populist message and not be part of Clinton’s hoped-for firewall.Trump repeatedly campaigned there, drawing some of the largest and loudest crowds of the campaign. He won the state by less than 1 percentage point, giving him a vital 20 electoral college votes.
The evening rally in Hershey also featured a nearly 20-minute recap of Trump’s election night win with the crowd cheering as the president-elect slowly ticked off his victories state by state, mixing in rambling criticisms of incorrect pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle.Trump earlier praised Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, as having “built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues.” Zinke, 55, was an early supporter of the president-elect and publicly expressed his interest in a Cabinet post when Trump visited Montana in May.