Central Kentucky religious leaders and Democrats spoke against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Blue Grass Airport Monday afternoon, just hours before he landed in Lexington for a private fundraiser.
The group, led by 6th Congressional District candidate Nancy Jo Kemper, said a divisive man like Trump should not be chosen to lead the country through tumultuous times.
“The truth is that Donald Trump is a weak man who needs our compassion and care and help,” said Kemper. “He does not however need his finger on the nuclear buttons, he does not need to be setting an example for our children and our grandchildren.”
Trump’s plane landed at Blue Grass Airport at 4:55 p.m. Monday for a fundraiser at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky. The cost of admission to the event was $1,000 and a photograph with Trump cost $5,400 per couple.
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Members of the media were not allowed near the museum and Trump’s campaign had no comment about his trip to Kentucky.
The parking lot at the airport’s museum was filled late Monday afternoon. Police and Secret Service did not let media in.
The event marked Trump’s third campaign visit to Kentucky and first to Lexington. He was in Virginia Beach, Va., earlier Monday and is to be in Indiana Tuesday for another fundraiser. Trump won the Kentucky presidential caucus in March.
Trump has tapped into nationwide discord that has been just below the surface for years, said Reverend Clark Williams, director of Shiloh Baptist Church
“During this, our season of undeniable discontent, from Baton Rouge, La., to Falcon Heights, Minn., to Dallas, Texas and beyond, Americans everywhere are looking for an answer,” Williams said. “But those who are coming out to support Donald Trump here today, please know that he is not that answer.”
Kemper, the Democratic nominee who faces Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington in the fall election, said Trump would only deepen the nation’s divide.
“Every time this man calls a woman a fat pig or a disgusting animal, he teaches countless impressionable boys and young men that it’s okay to talk to women this way,” Kemper said. “When he incites fear of black men and Muslim families and immigrants, he contributes to the violence and anger and distrust in our streets.”
Dr. Nadia Rasheed, a Muslim and activist, said Trump is furthering harmful stereotypes of the Islamic faith.
“I am deeply disturbed today by the atmosphere of division in this country, and the dividers are relentless in the spread of racism, bigotry and Islamaphobia,” Rasheed said. “This is my country. Terrorism is un-Islamic; Islamaphobia is un-American.”
Latino community advocate Freddy Peralta said there are major problems with immigration in the United States, but that Trump would not be the person to fix them.
“It has to be a humane, just realistic immigration reform,” Peralta said. “We cannot take 12 million people and deport them and build a big wall, that’s not going to work and that’s very un-American.”