Donald Trump attends a Bucks County fundraiser and a rally in Lehigh County in battleground Pennsylvania

Anthony R. Wood, Aliya Schneider and Jesse Bunch, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

It was unclear whether Fitzpatrick, a self-described moderate Republican who represents the area and has a history of dodging questions about Trump, attended the fundraiser. Fitzpatrick has not yet said whether he will endorse Trump this year.

The pro-Biden caravan that circled his office was organized by Indivisible Bucks County, a local chapter of a national progressive group. The group aimed “to push back against the hateful MAGA rhetoric,” said organizer Kierstyn Zolfo.

After the fundraiser, Trump headed to Lehigh County for a rally at the Schnecksville Fire Hall in North Whitehall Township.

Bill Bachenberg, a millionaire Trump donor who lives outside of Allentown and was involved in trying to overturn the 2020 election, evidently helped organize the event. According to the Lehigh Valley News, Bachenberg’s popular clay target shooting center rented out the fire hall for Trump’s rally.

The county’s GOP chair told the Lehigh Valley News that organizers are expecting more than 6,000 people at the outdoor rally off Route 309.

While Democrats hold about a 60-40 edge in registrants in the county, the Lehigh Valley is considered a swing region. It’s also home to a large population of Latino voters, a group that Trump and Biden are courting.

The rally crowd swelled in advance of Trump’s arrival, as stiff winds blew through a sea of MAGA flags and thin blue line flags hoisted from pickup trucks and flag poles.

“He’s the best one to do the job — he just did everything right,” said Tina Hafer, who traveled from Reading to attend. “In my lifetime, there’s been no president as good as him. The economy, the border, everything.”

Said Republican Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who addressed the crowd: “Every election that goes by that we don’t get Republicans in office, our state and our country get closer and closer to being lost.”


Paula Ireton brushed aside concerns over the former president’s impending hush-money criminal trial and other legal issues. “I believe they’re all politically motivated to keep him off the ballot, or put him in jail, strip his money and businesses, it’s all political,” she said.

Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania also came as his comments on abortion are in the spotlight — and as Democrats seek to seize on the issue.

Trump has expressed myriad views on abortion in the past, from saying in 2016 that women seeking abortions should be punished— a statement he later backtracked on— to suggesting last month that he would support a national abortion ban around 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Trump said in the last week that he doesn’t support a national ban and that the decision should be left to the states.

He also said Arizona’s law that criminalizes almost all abortions goes too far, but defended the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“Trump poses an existential threat to abortion rights in Pennsylvania,” U.S. Rep Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said in a statement Saturday.

Citing Trump’s comments on abortion and his efforts “to overturn the last election and destroy our democracy,” Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro said in a statement that “ Donald Trump’s record and agenda are too dangerous and extreme for Pennsylvania.”

©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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