Trump backers rally against Clinton at Wayne State

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — As hundreds lined up Monday to enter a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the Wayne State University campus, about 50 supporters for Republican rival Donald Trump gathered to show their opposition.

The Michigan Conservative Coalition coordinated the appearance of what it called a “flash mob” of protesters outside the Matthaei Center in Detroit, who held up signs that read “Lying Screaming Hillary,” “Women for Trump” and “Trump is not a politician.”

“We just want to try to change some young folk’s mind that has maybe not lived through what we have lived through in this country and we think Mr. Trump has a better message for young people and for all of us oldsters as well,” said Mary Ann Andrus.

The 72-year-old Brownstown Township resident carried a sign that read “Detroit for Trump.” She said her granddaughter attends Wayne State University and that she’s a registered voter.

“She’s registered, but I don’t know what she’s going to do about me out here,” Andrus said with a laugh.

She said she supports Trump because she says he’s not a politician and a liar.

“Those are the two main things,” Andrus said.

Her sentiments were shared by many participating in the flash mob, according to the Michigan Conservative Coalition.

“None of those attending the Trump rally believe that electing a career politician will be a good thing for our country,” Rosanne Ponkowski, president of Michigan Conservative Coalition, said in a statement. “The Democrat candidate represents all that is bad with the current crooked and rigged system.”

Ken Crider, 51, of Livonia said he wanted to show people that someone in his demographic, a blue collared skilled tradesmen, can support Donald Trump.

“I want to see Michigan go back to work again,” said Crider, who has done heating and cooling sheet metal for 33 years. “The union I belong to is down from 1,600 union members to 900 union members. I want to see that grow. I want to see Michigan go back to work. ... I think we have a better chance with Trump. The answer lies with God.”

He said other issues that were important to him was lowering taxes and electing an official who respects life.

As an adoptee, Crider said he is proud his mother only had two choices in 1965: Either keep him or give him up for adoption.

“I’ll do anything to fight for those that can’t fight for themselves,” he said.

James Hooper, 49, of Livonia said he’s participated in Trump rallies before, but not one that was anti-Clinton.

“This is an important election,” said Hooper, who held a sign that read “Make America Great Again.”

He said he’s against everything Clinton stands for.

“I do believe that she’s a criminal,” he said, referring to an attack on a Libyan embassy that left four American officials dead. “I believe she left people to die in Benghazi for political reasons. ... I do believe that she wanted to have dealings done through the Clinton Foundation that were not accessible to Freedom of Information Act requests.”

Hooper said he wasn’t sure if the event would persuade Clinton’s supporters to switch to Trump.

“I think both sides are very polarized right now,” he said. “I don’t know if either side wants to hear the other side’s position.”

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311