Donald Trump Jr. told crowds in San Juan County on Friday that his father will bring the change they need.
“I think we have an incredible opportunity to be able to tell D.C. we’re not going to take it anymore,” Trump Jr. told a packed crowd at Piñon Hills Community Church in Farmington, according to the Farmington Daily Times. He was speaking about his father, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“He believes in the American dream. He believes that still exists and he wants to unleash that for all Americans,” Trump Jr. was quoted as saying.
“The auditorium was filled to capacity with people standing along walls and inside the lobby, where they tried to catch a glimpse of Trump,” the Daily Times reported.
Later, in Shiprock, Trump Jr. “spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 people Friday at the Shiprock Chapter House” on the Navajo Nation, the Navajo Times reported.
“We’re trying to save the free world,” Trump Jr. was quoted as saying. “I meet so many Americans who are sick of government, sick of false promises, sick of regulations. It’s time to put America first.”
From the Navajo Times:
The goal, organizers said, was to convince Navajo Republicans — a minority within a minority — to vote according to their conscience, not registered party.
“The Navajo Nation is probably 85 percent Democrat,” said Gary Bernally, of Hogback. “For decades and decades, Democrats have run the show. Look at what we have: no jobs, no development. What do we have to show? Nothing.”
Bernally, who spoke ahead of Trump, challenged fellow voters to help end the status quo.
“As Diné, we have an obligation to our people,” he said. “Let’s get out and get things changed.”
The Farmington Daily Times reported a surprise turnout for Trump’s son:
The turnout of more than a 1,000 people in Farmington surprised Trump, which he joked about shortly after stepping on stage.
“You know it was me, not my dad, who was coming here, right,” Trump said.
There were protests. “Small crowds gathered outside both venues to protest against the candidate, including a group in Shiprock that repudiated the elder Trump in the Navajo language,” the Daily Times reported.
But protesters weren’t necessarily supporting Trump’s main opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“We’re out here to protest the Trump campaign,” 25-year-old Jordan Steele, of Teec Nos Pos, was quoted by the Navajo Times as saying. “He’s on our homeland, so we have the right to say he’s not welcome. His campaign doesn’t favor people of color. He doesn’t protect women or the LGBTQ group and his campaign is one of xenophobia.”
However, “We want to make it clear that we’re not supporting Hillary here,” Steele said. “…We’re just taking a stance against Trump.”
The Navajo Times also quoted U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., a member of the Cherokee Nation and one of two Natives in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mullin was with Trump Jr. at his rally in Shiprock, and said, “It’s time to break tradition. It’s time to start questioning whether the Democratic Party of today is the same as your father’s father’s party.”
“Donald Trump may not understand all the Indian issues, but he’s smart enough to surround himself with people to get the answers,” Mullin was quoted as saying. “He has an open ear and he’s willing to listen to wise counsel.”
Following the rallies, New Mexico GOP spokesman Tucker Keene said the “turnout and enthusiasm… were both fantastic and emblematic of the strength of Trump’s support in New Mexico.”
“The polls are tightening in our state because Donald Trump’s message is resonating with voters in every corner of New Mexico,” Keene said. “Hillary Clinton is taking New Mexico’s voters for granted, and this sixth visit from the Trump campaign shows that only Republicans are working to earn the support of New Mexican voters.”