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Trump's visit to Canfield's Fair Confuses, Delights and Angers

Waiting for Trump

Donald Trump’s last-minute visit to the Canfield Fair included a last minute change that left about 1,500 people who had been waiting to see him … seeing nothing. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports for Ohio Public Radio, many in the crowd still cheered him on.

“We’re going to bring jobs back to Ohio, we’re not going to make these horrible trade deals any more. We’ll bring our jobs back, thank you everybody, I love you, thank you.”

Donald Trump shouted those brief comments through a bullhorn at the Canfield Fair and the crowd cheered. But many others had been gathered near another gate for two hours. They’d been briefed on how to behave as the backdrop for an ABC Nightly News interview with the GOP candidate. The Secret Service arrived, the camera crew arrived and then, with no explanation to the crowd, they moved the interview up the midway and indoors.

While several people said they were disappointed, especially by the lack of explanation, most said that did nothing to change their minds about voting for Trump.

Building walls and labor tackles Trump
Trump’s visit to Ohio’s largest county fair was a truncated one. But his Labor Day presence was huge, from a mock wall being built at the Republican booth to a speech by national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

Walls and labor

The Canfield Fair already drew international attention this week after the Mahoning County Republicans hit on a fundraising idea: Building a wall… with people paying $5 to insert their own wooden “bricks.” Volunteer Mike Young says he’s heard nothing but support.

Sonny Nabb and MIke Young
Trump supporters Sonny Nabb and Mike Young beside the wall, a Mahoning County Republican Party fundraiser.

"These boards are about 5 foot by 8 foot and we’re on our third one. We ran out last night and Sonny here went home and I think 6 o’clock this morning cut out the blocks to make another one, there’s just been so much support for it.” 

Young says Republicans object to illegal immigration, not immigrants in general. He’s not sure what should be done with those already here, but says Trump will figure it out.

Richard Trumka
Trunka accuses Trump of always putting his own interests ahead of the nation's.

  A different picture of the GOP nominee was painted nearby, where union president Trumka portrayed Trump’s business history has one of overseas manufacturing and stiffing American workers.

“Donald Trump cares about one thing. Donald Trump. He’s built a business model that’s all about ripping people off instead of lifting them up.”

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.