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My Donald Trump Experience in San Diego

My Donald Trump Experience in San Diego

“We are going to start winning again, Big League!”

Earlier this week, I was mulling over whether to go to Donald Trump’s rally with my teen son.

Based on suggestions from friends and readers (thank you Valerie), I arranged for a security detail in the form of my fellow San Diego blogging group friend and former Green Beret, Barry C. Jacobsen. We headed down to the Convention Center to enjoy the full Donald Trump Experience!


One of the most intriguing aspects of my adventure is comparing what I actually saw to how the mainstream media is reporting it. Questing for some information about the rally, I noticed all the headlines focused on the protesters who assembled outside as if this were the only story:

LI #48b headlines

This is not even a small portion of the real news.

Another disturbing aspect to the media distortions is the number of attendees who reports state participated. In order to attend, you had to register for tickets (2 maximum). Journalists kept repeating that there were 10,000 in the audience, despite the fact that both the electronic registration and the jam-packed arena indicate that at least 20,000 came to hear the presumptive GOP nominee speak yesterday.

This rally may provide a preview of a Trump presidency. Anticipating demonstrators, the Trump Team mounted a massive security effort, including riot police who were stationed and ready at the end of the event (when most of the problems with previous protests had occurred). I noted that Trump’s supporters were continuously thanking the police officers entering and exiting the Convention Center.

To say their pre-planning was superb would be an understatement. They staved off an Albuquerque II, because this is how the anti-Trump hooligans were behaving towards security:

I took us one full hour to enter into the rally area, which included a detailed search of my purse (I lost my snacking apple in the process). While standing in line, I noticed the crowd was very diverse: Many young people were there, sporting “Trump for President” gear, there were plenty of “Latino’s for Trump” signs, and many women were waiting to hear Trump speak.

There were a few speakers before Trump appeared. Perhaps the most moving were the two women from The Remembrance Project, who have lost family members at the hands of illegal aliens and want the robust border protection that has been the focus of the Trump campaign. They both highlighted how much hope Trump had personally given them.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the arrival of Sarah Palin, one of Trump’s earliest and best-known supporters. In an entertaining moment following a review of Obama’s foreign policy disasters, she summarized the Trump Doctrine simply: We win, they lose.

While we were waiting for Trump to arrive, I interviewed the crowd around us. About a half-dozen 18-year old voters were nearby, and they all indicated they were #NeverHillary. Mark Leuschen, who owned a construction business before the Great Recession and who had given up dreams of having one again under Obama, tried to convince us we could go beyond #NeverHillary.

“Trump is a businessman, wired to do what businessmen do. He is going to gather the information from the best sources. Then, he is going to weigh the pros and cons. Then he is going to make the smart choice, and act on it quickly.”

Interestingly, Leuschen drove down from Huntington Beach after having been at the Anaheim event earlier this week. He also noted that the media focus was too much on the protests that occurred after the speech.

A short time after my impromptu interview, the big moment arrived…with all the fanfare I have come to expect from Team Trump.

Trump was interrupted twice by protesters. During each incident, the crowd cheered enthusiastically as the very vigilant Secret Service agents hauled them out of the auditorium. I had a close-up look as one group was forcibly removed (spewing anger and profanity during the process): The joy on their faces during their mock-martyrdom was indescribable.

The speech that Trump gave was not a traditional political address, but a series of off-the cuff remarks and free-form current events commentary. For me, it was interesting for its description of the business processes he was handling. The address was peppered with affectionate references to San Diegans and jibes about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump concluded: “We are going to start winning again, Big League!”

After the event, we were directed to an exit as far away from the anti-Trump mob as possible. The only way pro-Trump attendees were going to interact with the anti-Trump group is if they went out of their way to do so. This image gives a sense of how far apart the groups were (and symbolically are):


Americans love winners. Comparing the arena filled with joyful, motivated supporters to the bitter demonstrators clinging to their social justice insanity outside, I suspect Trump will be the winner in November.


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legacyrepublican | May 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Americans love winners. Comparing the arena filled with joyful, motivated supporters to the bitter demonstrators clinging to their social justice insanity outside, I suspect Trump will be the winner in November.

I was talking to a roofer in early March who had voted for Obama. He told me that this time he was voting for Trump because it was a Republican’s turn.

He had no knowledge of the issues. Just thought it was time for a change. Wouldn’t even listen to what I thought of Trump nor why I thought Cruz was a better choice.

He just thought it was a Republican’s turn.

I suspect that is why everyone on the outside the event was bitter. They have lost their hold on the kind of people that comprise the voting block that roofer represented for this election cycle.

    tom swift in reply to legacyrepublican. | May 28, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    That reasoning is not uncommon.

    “Party A has ——- up the country for long enough, so I’ll vote for Party B.”

    As algorithms go, it’s probably not the worst.

    Although I do know a few voters who have managed to get it backwards, voting for the party which they declare has already ——– things up.

    Well, it takes all sorts. That’s what universal suffrage is.

Thanks for the report, Leslie.

    Common Sense in reply to snopercod. | May 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I echo that Leslie. Great job!
    We are so tired of the media distorting what is going on.
    I think Trump will win in a landslide!

      wyntre in reply to Common Sense. | May 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

      If commentators like Leslie start reporting fairly and accurately on the Trump phenomena I may have to resubscribe to LI.

      Excellent report, Leslie.

      You are a brave one for daring to present a positive Trump article at the now-notoriously #NeverTrump LI.

      I can’t tell you how many posters I come across on other blogs who have stopped reading here since it turned into National Review Online light.


Bitterlyclinging | May 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

The MSM is wishing and hoping for a violent confrontation or even a series of violent confrontations that drive the Trump supporters into the shadows, quickly followed by the Trump campaign itself.

    I suspect that is not going to happen. There was a lot of joy in the arena during the rally…and most of the Trump supporters were all too happy to stay away from the anti-Trumpers after the event.

      Whether you want to debate it or not, Trump’s attack on the judge in his case was utterly despicable.

      Many Republicans and conservatives jumped down Obama’s throat when in 2010 he attacked Supreme Court justices during the State of the Union address.

      Now, when Trump does something that is arguably worse as the case involving Trump University is still ongoing, you want to give him a pass?

      Trump raised the race card when he labeled Judge Gonzalo Curiel as a Mexican and yet Curiel was born in East Chicago. Doesn’t it bother you that Trump plays so fast and loose with facts? That he says things that are factually wrong ti incite crowds?

      Does it not bother you in the least that Trump lied? Does in not bother you that Trump thinks he is hated by the judge simply because he has made rulings against Trump? (And don’t forget that a New York judge ruled against Trump as well in a class action case filed in that state.)

      Does it not bother you that Trump sued one of the plaintiffs in order to stop the lawsuit? (It’s a pattern with Trump to sue people for speaking out.)

      If you seriously aren’t offended by Trump’s speech and attacks, then the drink you are serving on the Trump train is Koolaide.

      I get the idea that Trump is better than Hillary, but turning a blind eye to the wrongdoings of Trump says a great deal about his supporters.

        DaMav in reply to gitarcarver. | May 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

        Speaking of blind eyes, how about 8 paragraphs of rant against Trump and his supporters with nary a single word of praise or support for either.


          Exactly what I am supposed to support?

          Am I supposed to support Trump who lies as much as Hillary, flip flops on everything, is woefully ignorant of issues, has emotional issues, is thin skinned, uses money to suppress those who disagree with him, and is a nothing more than a left leaning liberal running as a Republican? I am supposed to support him for that? I am supposed to support a candidate who runs on two issues and on those issues has already changed his stance?

          I have more morals and value my vote more than to support Trump.

          As for Trump supporters, when it came time to vote in the primary, I walked to the polling place and was approached by a Trump supporter. She said that I should vote for Trump because no one liked him in Washington and the media.

          When I asked her about Cruz, she said, you shouldn’t vote for him because the media hates him and so does everyone in Washington.

          However, some Trump supporters have demonstrated the ability to count to eight, which is a good thing.

          Is that they type of support you are looking for?

        Zachary in reply to gitarcarver. | May 29, 2016 at 12:12 am

        Nah bro, just chant “We are going to start winning again, Big League!” and as your eyes glaze over you will realize everything will be ok.

        Choo Choo!


      JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Leslie Eastman. | May 29, 2016 at 7:16 am

      I’m glad you found the courage to go. But more, that it turned out to be a positive experience.

“The speech that Trump gave was not a traditional political address, but a series of off-the cuff remarks and free-form current events commentary. For me, it was interesting for its description of the business processes he was handling. The address was peppered with affectionate references to San Diegans and jibes about Hillary Clinton’s emails.”

So the roughly one-fifth of the “speech” he spent attacking the judge and plaintiffs in his T-rump University case got by you entirely?

Many of us would call that “poisoning the jury pool” if it were done by someone else.

Or “cowardly”, in that a judge cannot respond when attacked.

    Rags…I am not going to debate you, because quite frankly I suspect Trump is getting a raw deal. That you see it differently is OK with me…and that is why I included the full address. If someone wants to listen and judge for themselves, it will be easy enough to do.

    However, as the presumptive GOP nominee, I hope to give our readers a sense of the reception the candidate received in San Diego. I assert that based on the joy palpable in the room, that Trump will win in November.

    If you recall, I am a #NeverHillary voter. Once the Republican nominee was selected, I boarded the Trump Train and am now tending bar in the bar car.

    If you chose, to board the train, come by an say “hi”. I will pour you a drink on the house.

    If you chose not to board, I will wave as we pass.

    Have a great Memorial Day, and I hope you find other candidates in other races you can support as enthusiastically as I now will be supporting Trump.

Nope. Neo-fascism always seems necessary.

“…they saw him towering over among them, and they raised their hands to him in worship.”

[Trump] is “vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and his ideas almost idiotic.”

-Sinclair Lewis’s (re: Buzz Windrip), It Can’t Happen Here.

Great report that again shows how MSM distorts. However, this was one of my least favorite Trump speeches. I was uncomfortable with all the talk about Trump U. On TV, it seemed like it took energy out of the room.
Ultimately, this is about identity, not policy, so I agree that Trump will win.

Thanks Leslie for the vicarious trip. I tried to watch Trump’s speech live, but CNN and even Fox didn’t carry a word of it. Instead they devoted ALL their coverage to protestors. A local San Diego station, Fox Ch 5, picked up only the end of it.

Noblesse Oblige | May 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm

The despicable media covered only what they thought/hoped would be violence. Check out CNN? The worst. The media is the second worst of our many big problems. The educational system is the worst. It indoctrinates, does not teach; It teaches WHAT kids should think not HOW to think. Unless it is reformed we are finished.

    And the California rags are even worse.

    20,000 attendees, 1,000 (mostly paid) protesters, and all that’s covered are those fools screaming and yelling, trying their best to negate the First Amendment Rights of those they disagree with.

    The Tyranny of the Minority is on full display. If media continues in this vein they should be stripped of the special rights afforded the press in the constitution. They are no longer press. They are propagandists.

Thanks Leslie!

Very brave of these guys to temp fate and challenge these phonies !!! ABJ

Interestingly enough, I walked into a patient’s room yesterday, (Friday) and saw that the Trump rally disturbances were being discussed on CNN. My pt has been hospitalized now for two months, and his window to the outside is the TV (poor fellow). He is quite intelligent and by my assessment, an agile conversationalist.

When I asked him what he was watching, he told me the tensions at the Trump rally. I remarked, ” Oh, democrats are preventing a republican from exercising his right of free speech? He said “absolutely not, it is the republicans that are protesting Trump”.

I found that very interesting.

“He said “absolutely not, it is the republicans that are protesting Trump”.
ICU Psychosis??

Great report!

It’s really refreshing to read an accurate, upbeat account punctuated by photos and videos (Sarah Palin too!), and piquant analysis. What a contrast with the dour, sour whining by the perpetually aggrieved #NeverTrump leftists still scattered about in the shadows and underneath the rocks and bridges in the LegalInsurrection landscape.

It is indeed meet and just that American patriots and true conservatives keep a smile on their lips and a song in our hearts, refusing to be bogged down or disheartened by the Rabidpierres or Chubby Flippers mingling in our ranks and seeking to sap our joyful spirit of freedom, justice, and victory.

Common Sense | May 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm

I am on the train with you and millions of other supporters.
TRUMP 2016

JackRussellTerrierist | May 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Pffft! What a disgusting debacle all around.

Blech to the hump, his cultist followers, and the protestors. It’s all so ugly.

conservative tarheel | May 28, 2016 at 11:36 pm

not sure what I am going to do …
If I were single I would probably just eat my gun
but I am not ready to board the train …
I will not support this sob ..
I will not make phone calls, I will not knock on doors
I will not write a check, I will not put up a yard sign
or bumper stickers. the only thing I will maybe do
is pull the lever for him, which is what I did with
Mittwit ….

    I doubt I can even pull the lever in disgust this time. I guess that makes me a leftist now according to some dimbulbs. At least I’m in good company.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Zachary. | May 30, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Nope, it doesn’t make you a leftist. It just makes you exactly what Hillary wants you to be if you won’t vote for her.

#NeverTrumps Climb Wall, Attack San Diego PD, Get Beating

More San Diego from Rebel Pundit

Trump 2016!

Leslie, I was really pleased to read your account of the rally. I was wondering if you would go to a Trump rally, and cover it, the way you did with the Cruz rally. Well done! I’ve spoken to friends, in different states, who have been to rallies. They all had the same experiences as you. Palpable excitement inside, protestors outside. It is beyond annoying when “news”casts lead off with the protestors, rather than the crowd inside, and the message they are hearing. This election cycle really has opened a lot of eyes re: how the media tries to shape opinion. Thank you for your honest assessment of the rally!

New Clout Research poll of LV Oregon!: Trump 44, Hillary 42.
Independents: Trump 53, Hillary 26

Leslie: You’re response to Mr. Rags was the epitome of civility and deportment.Moreover,thanks for the report on a Trump rally.

I’ve FWD your report to 40 Colorado TV stations & newspapers.
Thank you.

This is what had Der Donald all wee-weed up.

What is it we say about sunlight and disinfecting?

And, Leslie, that you came away feeling “joy” at being told a pack of obvious lies opens a window on your judgment. The view is not flattering. That you won’t engage in a dialog on it tells me you are a timorous fan-gurl. You know you’re wrong at some level. That is correct.

But your choice: your credibility.

Rags :
Leslie is open to actual evidence over the sincerity & thinking of Trump supporters.
You’re trapped in your own bitterness & anger. That’s what comes from a lifetime of hatred.
A year ago I was inclined towards your boy Cruz. People like you are one of the things that changed my mind. Trump people go & have a good time. Cruz supporters like you & others on this site are incapable of having that simple good time. That’s why you invariably lose.

    Ragspierre in reply to secondwind. | May 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Standing in a crowd being lied to my a fraud is your idea of a good time?

    Does Leslie exhibit any…ANY…critical thinking about what she heard from T-rump? Does she even report on it with any balance, or is this just another tongue-bath from a writer who did not identify herself as a newly minted fan-gurl until called on her “reportage”?

    Well, based on your posts over the last several weeks, I can believe that being lied to by a huckster IS a good time for you. Readily.

For those interested:

500,000 – 1 million bikers, including many vets, at 29th annual Rolling Thunder to honor POW’s and all those who died fighting for this country

Trump will speak at 2:30.

Wonder if any “protesters” will show up. /sp

Here’s a great livestream:

    Ragspierre in reply to wyntre. | May 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    .@realDonaldTrump: “Memorial Day… it’s our day and we have to be very proud of it and we are very proud of it.”


    What an idiot.

Trump is making the right enemies. For some people that’s enough, but I can’t put aside my judgement and principles I spent decades honing quite so easily. This is well written and I appreciate it, but the ending says its all – “Make America Great. Big League” is just mush that you can read whatever you want into, and not even well crafted mush. Yes, we all know Pericles is dead and none can replace him. I’m not asking for Jeffersonian treatises on liberty, but come on, is this all it takes nowadays?

    Ragspierre in reply to tyates. | May 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    “We have become a third-world country, folks, and it’s not going to happen any longer.”

    That’s such a stupid, farcical lie, it’s amazing even HE would mouth it.

    But there it is.

    “I’m gonna create so many jobs…”

    Would anyone let Obama get away with that bullshit? No POTUS “creates jobs”. It’s a lie.

    But not a whisper of dissent from anyone here, and certainly not Leslie.

    Social Security and other entitlements are going to be fully funded. That’s simply impossible. Up until lately, nobody would even ALLOW some lying idiot to say that without booing them off stage, except at a Deemocrat event. Even then, the more realistic members of the Left would mock the idea.

    That’s just a small sample of the obvious lies told by this Collectivist fraud in his typical word-salad. It would be fun to count number of “OK?”s in a transcript.

      A politician saying ‘I’m going to create jobs’ is also one of my pet peeves. It has become such standard boilerplate that everyone gets a pass on it. Obama said the same thing. You think the media called HIM out on it. The correct thing to say is ‘I’m going to create an environment where business can flourish and jobs will be created’. In this sense I like what Trump has been saying about deregulation and specifically the energy sector. If he does what he says he’s going to do, and jobs are created as a result, I’ll give him plenty of credit.

      I’m under no illusions that Trump will cut any social services. No politician can or will. As much as I’d love to see the government be as small as possible I know it isn’t happening without another revolution. Good luck with that. People are too fat and happy to give a damn.

      As for Trump being a liar it comes with the territory. Show me a politician who isn’t a liar and I’ll show you an ex-politician. When he lies about something that I really care about maybe I’ll give a crap.

        Ragspierre in reply to Mojo56. | May 29, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        “It has become such standard boilerplate that everyone gets a pass on it. Obama said the same thing. You think the media called HIM out on it.”

        That isn’t the point.

        WE DID. WE called him on it. WE would not tolerate it.

        Are you a liar? Everybody lies, right? Does that make you a liar as we use the term? No, I suggest not. That’s reserved for someone who makes lying a practice.

        That’s what T-rump is, does, and will do. That’s not OK with me.

        Look up his Field & Stream interview for how he really feels about energy development in the Western states. Read it.

I too attended the rally Friday even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay long enough to hear DT speak due to a prior commitment. I just wanted to get a feel for the atmosphere and be a part of the event.

The first thing I realized was that the crowd was way younger than I thought it would be. LOTS of teens and twenty somethings. Everyone was upbeat and you could literally feel the enthusiasm.

I left after Sarah Palin’s speech around 1:30. There were thousands of people streaming into the convention center and thousands more waiting in line to get in. As I passed the initial police checkpoint I gave my ticket to a guy who didn’t realize you needed a ticket to get in. ‘How much?’ he asked. ‘The same as I paid. Zero. Here you go. Have fun.’

As I left I took a picture of the protesters across the street from the Convention Center. I couldn’t help but notice the obvious difference between the 2 groups. Plenty of signs saying ‘F*** Trump’. Plenty of people giving the middle finger salute. Just a general feeling of hate. Ironically (or not?) I noticed a ‘Love Trumps Hate’ sign right next to a sign showing a fist smashing Trumps head that I think said ‘smash capitalism’. But it’s the Trump supporters that are violent. Right.

I came into this election year thinking that Trump was a self promoting blow hard. He may indeed be just that but I have to admit I’m warming up to the guy. The speech he gave in N Dakota the other day on energy independence was excellent. He is saying things which appeal to me as a businessman. I do think he loves this country and wants it to be a better place.

For me it comes down to this. A friend of mine who can’t stand Trump asked me if I thought Trump would actually do any of the things he is promising. I said I would prefer Trump not doing anything he promises, to Clinton doing even 1 thing that she promises. #neverhillary

Leslie, thanks for the report, and most especially the links to the speeches.

I am glad you went, with help. I am a big believer in conflict avoidance, especially in large crowds. Big guys are really handy for that. So much just does not happen!

Your take on the crowd was substantially different from the reporters of the San Diego Union-Tribune. They sound like they really want the Trump supporters to be violent, and the only way they can link violence with them is to write about both them and the protesters in the same sentences.

Meanwhile, it turns out my youngest son, a college freshman, also attended the Trump rally. This was a surprise, and I asked him if he was there for the rally or to protest. He said he was there to hear the speeches. He was still outside for Sarah Palin’s speech, but made it inside for Trump’s. He said the man spoke for a whole hour, and did not say much. He said the speech was boring, and all about how great he was. He also said that later, he had fun watching the police arrest a lot of protesters.

This assessment sounds very like him, which is precisely why I was surprised he went: most of the things Trump had to say flew right over his head, because he lacks context.

The one issue that he understands is that college tuition is too high. This is the issue for college students, and they are right: we have made a mess of higher education. Bernie is the only politician who has bothered to pay attention to them, and they seem to favor him.

One thing I will say: if Trump gets his vote, he’ll take the country in a landslide.

As someone who worked the event on the skirmish line, the media portrayal of the “protesters” was absolutely incorrect. 95% of the protesters were 15 year old kids who didn’t want to go to school and just wanted to be on TV. From my perspective, there were NO real political protesters there. Just silly trouble makers. And the “melees” you saw on TV were really minor in the grand scheme of things. Nothing more than TV ratings grabbing snippets. The police presence crushed the protesters from the get go, not allowing them to organize and ramp up.

On the flip side, almost every single Trump supporter that walked by thanked the officers standing there and expressed their gratitude for law enforcement. And every normal person was very supportive of us. Every business we walked by in the Gaslamp district had patrons cheering us on. All in all, this was an absolute non-event, especially when compared to New Mexico. Now that was a clusterF.

I bet some of you dupes are actually surprised, or in denial.

I almost feel sorry for you.


Leslie, I am happy that you were safe.

I am happy that you had a good time, and that your son had a nice experience.

I am going to ask a question that will probably be crude. Sorry, sometimes I don’t express myself well. That is a biggun you got there.
Do you ever wonder how he ever fit?

Thanks for your report, Leslie. My brother attended the Fort Wayne rally before Indiana’s vote and his first comment was how very different his experience was from the media reports. He reported how optimistic and upbeat everything was, but you would never think it from the reporting.

buckeyeminuteman | May 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

This should be his new slogan:

“I’m Not Hillary!”