As thousands of Donald Trump supporters waited in line for hours Monday in front of Freedom Hall — some for 14 hours before the president’s 7:30 p.m. speech — hundreds of protesters stood behind metal gates voicing their disdain for him.
Dave Hall, a retired union millwright, carried a sign outside the Kentucky Exposition Center’s main entrance that featured a photo of Trump and the words “Biggest Mistake in U.S. History — Resist Resist.”
“Donald Trump scares the hell out of me,” said Hall.
The anti-Trump signs were plentiful, including: “The GOP Will Make America Needy Again,” “Drain Our Swamp — McConnell, Paul, Massie. Impeach Trump,” “Cut the BS, Not Big Bird,” and “Trump Makes Me Sick and Trumpcare Won’t Make Me Well.”
Sage Martin of Louisville said she was protesting Trump and Republicans because of their desire to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood has saved my life,” she said. “I would like to have a few minutes with the president and tell him that.”
George Bodine of Fort Wright in Northern Kentucky said in the crowd of protesters that he was a registered Republican who could not support Trump.
“This president has gone beyond the pale,” said Bodine, a former police officer and Navy pilot. “It just comes down to trust and I think he’s showing every day that he cannot be trusted.”
Bodine said he “gave up” on Trump in last year’s election when he criticized U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona for being a prisoner of war.
The line of people waiting to enter Freedom Hall before the doors opened at 4:30 p.m. stretched from Freedom Hall along and behind the South Wing building, at least a half-mile in length.
“I am a supporter of Donald Trump,” said Greg Cagle, an Oldham County pastor who declined to give the name of his church. “I support his decisions.”
Ronald Hicks of Owensboro brought his two children, ages 9 and 7, who are home-schooled.
“For us, this is an educational event,” he said. “We get to see the president of the United States.”
Gary Whitener of Elizabethtown said he came to Freedom Hall to “show support for the president. He’s different from other politicians. He gives no bullshit. He cuts to the core on issues.”