Ivanka Trump rallies support for president in Fort Myers
President Donald Trump sent his top ambassador to Lee County Wednesday as daughter Ivanka Trump spoke in front of a crowd of several hundred supporters of the president at Top Rocker Field in Fort Myers.
The event, five days after the president’s visit to a private function in Fort Myers, drew an enthusiastic response from Trump loyalists. The speech was not as combative as the attacks in Fort Myers from the president last week against his challenger, former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr.
This time, there were no noticeable protests in the vicinity of Thunder Road, off Daniels Parkway and Intercom Drive near a collection of auto dealerships and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Center. There were no confrontations in the street as were seen Friday in downtown Fort Myers.
Ms. Trump, a polished speaker, said her father “built the greatest economy in American history and now is leading the greatest American comeback.”
Known as an advisor to the president as well as a successful businesswoman who was a longtime participant on the family’s show “The Apprentice,” Ms. Trump paid tribute to late Cape Coral native and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Eggers and his family, who were in the audience on Friday. “We are profoundly honored to be joined by Daniel’s family,” Ms. Trump said. The crowd chanted “USA” at the mentioning of Eggers.
Eggers, a Green Beret killed in Afghanistan in 2004, was honored by the president in a Memorial Day service this year at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Ms. Trump touted her father’s foreign policy, including attacks on terrorists.
By “advancing peace through strength,” Ms. Trump said, “our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are coming home.” Trump said 2,000 servicemembers returned home last month.
“When my father makes a promise, he keeps it. In less than four years, President Trump has rebuilt the United States military, secured America’s borders, defeated the ISIS caliphate, fostered peace in the Middle East, delivered historic tax and regulatory cuts, fixed our broken trade deals and brought jobs back to America and back to Florida.”
Ms. Trump noted two major peace deals in the Middle East which the Trump administration helped to broker.
She also pledged that her father would always protect Social Security, Medicare and patients with pre-existing conditions.
“Whether you agree with him or not, you always know where he stands,” she said of her father. “I recognize that my father’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered but see, some people love him. This crowd loves him.”
Ms. Trump vowed that if her father was re-elected to another four years, every student in the country will have their choice of schools. Under the president, Ms. Trump said, the U.S. has become a net exporter of gas and oil. She touted the president’s signing of the “Great American Outdoors Act,” which she said will help restore the nation’s parks.
The president’s daughter also highlighted a program she initiated to get fresh produce from the nation’s farms to the needy during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in one of the few comments to focus on the issue. “The Republican party is the party of safe re-opening,” she said.
Her most strident remarks concerned “the swamp,” as she referred to politics in Washington D.C. She said that Trump had done “more for Florida in 46 months than Joe Biden did in 47 years.”
As the crowd steadily gathered over a course of more than two hours on the greenery of the field in a scene reminiscent from a concert, popular music mostly from the 1980’s selected by the Trump team were played, along with older songs by James Brown, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
A couple of supporters in “Women for Trump” shirts jumped up and down and danced as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” featured prominently in “Rocky III,” played on the speaker. Ms. Trump was introduced as Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” was played. She faced a sea of red, with many in the crowd wearing Fox News hats that said “Trump 2020,” “I was right all along” and “Keep America Great.”
Florida Rep. Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers), who addressed the crowd ahead of Trump, said the upcoming 2020 election “is not the most important election of our lifetime.” He said the most important election was in 2016, when Donald Trump was first elected president.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who also briefly addressed the crowd, said “the reason we live in a very secure, law and order society here today is because of our president and the support that we get from the top. Let’s make certain that we all get out there, we all vote, because we’re going to keep America great.”
Marceno said “We’re going to keep our president in place and we’re going to be the winning team on November 3.”
Lee County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Martin said “Lee County is going to vote overwhelmingly for the president. The president understands having the base energized. The fact that we can announce an event a couple days before and have a great turnout shows how energized Florida is for the president.”
As of Oct. 6, there are 210,819 registered Republicans in Lee County out of 489,192 registered voters according to records kept by the Lee County Supervisor of Elections. There are 133,278 registered Democrats and 145,905 voters who are either Independents or affiliated with another party.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Trump said “Washington has not changed Donald Trump. Donald Trump has changed Washington and he is not done yet. America doesn’t need another empty vessel who will do whatever the media and the fringe of his party demands. Now, more than ever, America needs a warrior in The White House.”