With Election Day looming less than a week away, Donald Trump Jr., son of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, spoke at the Ohio Union about the importance of voting for his father.
Trump Jr.’s focus at the rally — held just after a Barack Obama rally at Capital University, where the president campaigned for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — was to argue that this was no ordinary election, and that it decided the future of not only the students present at the meeting, but their future children as well.
“You guys have an incredible opportunity. It’s one I haven’t seen in my lifetime. It’s one we probably won’t see again,” he said, going on to call Clinton “the most corrupt candidate in the history of the presidency.”
Another point Trump Jr. argued was that Americans have suffered from establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle. He said that the issues in Washington D.C. are not so much a result of one party or another, but rather by people who have been in Washington failing to commit to promises.
“For me, this has really been a humbling experience, to be able to go around the country, to be able to see people who’ve been affected by politicians,” Trump Jr. said. “And while there’s a lot of conservatives in the room, it’s really both sides who have failed us. It’s career politicians that maybe even got into government for the right reasons, but got sucked into the wormhole.”
Jake Vasilj, president of Ohio State’s chapter of College Democrats and a third-year in political science and history, denounced Trump Jr.’s visit in a statement issued through Clinton’s campaign.
“We need a President who understands the importance of working with our allies around the world to keep us safe — which is why Hillary Clinton is the only choice this election,” the statement reads. “The thought of Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear button is absolutely terrifying. His erratic behavior, which can be provoked by a simple comment, clearly shows that he does not have the temperament to be commander in chief.”
Cameron Hunt, a fourth-year in business logistics, said he felt Trump Jr.’s message was a successful in reaching many of the young conservatives in the crowd.
“He just really hit home the message that it’s more Donald Trump versus, not the Democrats, but more against the Washington corruption and the bureaucrats,” Hunt said. “I think that really drives home the message to his supporters.”
It didn’t take long before Trump Jr. began to discuss some of the policies his father has promised, citing the proposal to place term limits on members of Congress.
“Career politicians are the problem and that’s why I was so excited when my father started talking about, ‘Hey, we’re going to impose congressional term limits. To make people do what our Founding Fathers wanted,’ Trump Jr. said. “I don’t think (the Founding Fathers) could have ever imagined a political class like this.”
For many of the students in attendance, this was a critical time and place for Trump Jr. to campaign. Natalee Christman, a second-year in communication, said she believes that a campaign stop at Ohio State could really help Trump’s chances of success.
“I think it’s important right now because Ohio is such a battleground state, and he probably needs to win it to win the election,” Christman said.
This is a point shared by Stephen Perri, a fourth-year in political science, who added that it is helpful for the campaigns to make stops here, even as we get extremely close to Election Day.
“I thought the speech went really well, I thought it was really inspirational,” Perri said. “I think it’s important that he came here because Ohio is such a swing state, especially with young Republicans. A lot of us, especially at a big university, can sometimes be overtaken by a certain mindset and I think for him to come here and give us inspiration, especially in Ohio, I think that’s huge for him to be here at this certain time.”
Trump Jr. wrapped up his rally with the students by assuring them that his father is not running for president for himself, but doing it for the common man.
“I’ve said it to the media, I say, ‘Guys, my dad doesn’t need this job,’” Trump Jr. said. “He said the only thing that matters is that we fix America. We have to give it its chance. We have to do it for everyone, people of all ethnicities, all backgrounds. They deserve that chance.”
Nick Roll contributed to this article.
Update, 10:52 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Jake Vasilj.