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Supporters enjoy Trump Jr.'s stand-up comedy style in Pinellas rally

Tampa Bay Times logo Tampa Bay Times 10/16/2020 By Natalie Weber, Tampa Bay Times

Donald Trump Jr. returned to the Tampa Bay area Friday at Quaker Steak and Lube in Pinellas County to energize voters and express support for Republican congressional candidate Anna Paulina Luna.

“Remember guys, my father likes to fight but he can’t be in that fight by himself,” Trump Jr. said, as he praised Luna.

The congressional candidate spoke briefly before Trump Jr. took the stage and criticized the Democratic party for its focus on identity politics.

“They want America to stay divided," Luna said.

After making his remarks on Luna, Trump Jr. eased into his stand-up comedy style, taking shots at Hunter Biden, the mainstream media and social media companies.

Trump Jr. spent several minutes speaking on Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son. The New York Post published an article appearing to uncover emails that demonstrated a conflict of interest, but according to the BBC, other media outlets have not been able to verify the emails.

The crowd of hundreds of supporters chanted “Lock him up” in reference to the younger Biden.

Trump Jr. also criticized social media companies and the mainstream media, arguing they’re trying to promote a pro-Biden agenda.

“This is not an even playing field,” he said.

He wasn’t the only one in the crowd to take issue with large social media corporations. On Wednesday, Luna filed a Federal Election Commission complaint regarding Twitter’s refusal to verify her account.

Many rally attendees also agreed with Trump Jr.'s stances on the media.

Victoria Saccaro, 61, of St. Pete Beach said his remarks reflected many Trump supporter’s feelings that the president was not treated fairly by the press. She appreciated Trump Jr.'s comedic style at the rally.

“It’s definitely off the cuff and relaxed,” she said.

The president’s son mingled with the crowd after his speech, and gave signatures. Gail Messmer, 50, who came to the rally with her boyfriend Kurt Heidecke, 64, jumped up and down excitedly after telling her boyfriend she had secured a signature on her Trump sign from the president’s son.

“He’s a great speaker,” she told a Tampa Bay Times reporter.

The couple also took selfies with Luna.

“I can die now,” Heidecke joked. Messmer took Heidecke’s MAGA hat and also had Trump Jr. sign it.

The event drew attendees from many parts of the Tampa Bay area. Donna Hannigan, 67, and Lenore Funes, 69, came from Sarasota, having attended multiple campaign events this year.

“It’s just really refreshing,” said Funes, as she believes Trump is regularly portrayed negatively in the mainstream media.

The two can name a number of reasons they support the president: his economic stances, his decisions to withdraw from the Paris Accord and the World Health Organization and his foreign policies, among others.

“We want to see America stay America,” Hannigan said.

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