This is one in a series of stories that are part of Swing County, Swing State, a collaborative project between lehighvalleylive.com and nj.com that explores Northampton County’s critical role in the upcoming presidential election.
“When I look out to this crowd, I see four more years of President Trump,” Kimberly Guilfoyle told a Lehigh Valley audience Thursday.
Guilfoyle, a former prosecutor and Fox News host, was in Palmer Township as part of a Women For Trump rally outside the American Legion Brown and Lynch Post No. 9, off Corriere Road.
The visit to the battleground state of Pennsylvania came 40 days before voters decide if Republican President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden will lead the country for the next four years.
Guilfoyle addressed a crowd of more than 100 women and men, most wearing red, white and blue and various Trump campaign hats, buttons and other apparel.
“We are seeing enthusiasm from all of these people across the country that love President Trump and they want to reward him with four more years because we love the U.S.A.!” Guilfoyle yelled to cheers.
Attendees had to register for Thursday’s event. A man in a Biden T-shirt and two women holding signs backing the former vice president and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, were kept at the edge of the property. There were some boos toward the trio, and a woman in the crowd yelled, “Come to the light, we’ll let you in.”
As Guilfoyle was speaking, a man hollered, “Say hello to the Biden people.”
After speaking a bit of Spanish, Guilfoyle said, “We will be winning this state.”
Two hours before Guilfoyle arrived, Dan Dwyer and his wife Nelda were wearing their Trump 2020 hats and sitting as close as they could get to the podium, surrounded by a sea of empty chairs.
Dan Dwyer said he has been to at least 10 rallies and plans to attend another on Saturday. The Macungie couple camped out for 29 hours in freezing temperatures for the rally in January in Wildwood, New Jersey.
“We love Donald Trump,” he said. At the rallies and events, “everybody is talking the same language. Everybody is supportive of Donald Trump and his policies, and what he’s doing for the country. Whereas the other side, they don’t even know their candidate. All they know is they hate Donald Trump and anything he stands for, and they’re against it.”
Dan Dwyer was wearing a T-shirt that said, “Hell yeah! I voted Trump and will do it again 2020,” while his wife’s said, “Jesus is my savior/Trump is my president.”
The Lehigh County man said he likes that Trump has brought back the economy and the president’s stance on immigration. “Build that wall, that’s his main theme right there,” he said of Trump.
Nelda Dwyer and her three sisters immigrated to America legally, while those that immigrate illegally “they roll out the red carpet for them. I don’t understand why they get everything free,” Dwyer said.
A new poll released Thursday by Franklin & Marshall College shows Biden with a 6-point advantage over Trump in Pennsylvania. Dwyer put little credence in polling, since polls shows Hillary Clinton winning in 2016.
“You see how that worked out,” he said.
Lisa Scheller, who is running against U.S. Rep. Susan Wild in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District covering the Lehigh Valley, was one of the speakers before Guilfoyle took the stage, and earned a standing ovation from the crowd. Scheller spoke of her experience as a local business owner and a former Lehigh County commissioner.
Wild and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “want to take our personal liberty, they want to take our freedom and they want to swap it out by legislating themselves a road to socialism,” Scheller said.
On her Twitter account, Guilfoyle first describes herself as a mother, sister, patriot and proud American.
But Thursday’s stop was part of her work as chief fundraiser of Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee, and a senior Trump campaign adviser.
She spoke on the first night of the Republican National Convention and estimated Thursday was her 27th visit to the Keystone State.
Guilfoyle is in a relationship with Trump’s oldest son, Don Jr., and the couple has made campaign stops together, including last month at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in North Whitehall Township.
Guilfoyle, in a dress the same color as the Women for Trump sign behind her, touched on numerous topics during her half-hour speech, from improving the economy and stopping child sex trafficking, to Trump brokering peace in the Middle East and putting “America First.”
She repeated a lot of Trump talking points, including that Biden, Harris and “the rest of the socialist/communists” want open borders, closed schools, closed churches, “dangerous amnesty” for people who immigrate illegally to the U.S, and “they want to suffocate our economy with a $4 trillion dollar tax hike.”
Guilfoyle also repeatedly referenced business and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, a sore spot in Pennsylvania politics.
“That’s thing with liberal privilege and liberal hypocrisy. It’s one set of rules and one set of rules for all the rest of us, the hardworking for folks. Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi, who wants business closed but only open for her for a (hair) blowout. I gotta tell ya, Nancy, you can have all the blowouts you want when we take the gavel out of your hand and take back the House!” she said. “The president wants to open back up America for business, and he’s doing so responsibly — responsibly — and doing a great job of it.”
At the end of her speech, before Guilfoyle could say the line she has become known for, a man stood up in the crowd and filmed himself yelling, “The best is yet to come!”
He did it again, filming himself with Guilfoyle in the background after she left the stage and was mobbed by people seeking pictures and autographs.
“Kim we love you!” one woman yelled, while another said, “She’s so pretty!”
The Swing County, Swing State project is being generously supported in part by a $25,000 grant from The John Farmer Memorial Journalism Fund. Read more about it here. And please consider supporting ambitious local news like this with a subscription to lehighvalleylive.com.
Sarah Cassi may be reached at [email protected].
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