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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Thousands Turnout for Trump Rally in Billings

Thousands filled the seats at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark for a Trump Rally in Billings.
Jackie Yamanaka
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Thousands filled the seats at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark for a Trump Rally in Billings.

Thousands filled the seats at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark for a Trump Rally in Billings.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka
/
Thousands filled the seats at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark for a Trump Rally in Billings.

  Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump flew into Montana on the news he has sewn up the GOP nomination.

The New York businessman says he wanted to campaign in Montana, in part because his son is a regular visitor to go hunting. He used that news to affirm his support of gun rights.

“We’re going to protect your2ndAmendment 100%,” he said.

Then he launched into the first of his attacks on Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“As you know Crooked Hillary Clinton wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the2ndamendment,” Trump said. “That’s not going to happen. So just remember that.”

Other familiar issues Trump spoke about from the campaign trail include criticism of NAFTA, the refugee crisis, and illegal immigration.

“So we’re going to build a wall,” Trump said. “It’s going to be a big wall. It’s going to be a beautiful wall.”

He said that southern U.S. border with Mexico is also allowing illegal drugs like meth to reach Billings.

The crowd raises an American Flag as Trump speaks on familiar themes, including Making America Great Again.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka
/
The crowd raises an American Flag as Trump speaks on familiar themes, including Making America Great Again.

  “According to the Department of Justice methamphetamine seizures have increased along the southwest border, surprise, that’s a pretty sad number,” Trump said. “So it’s coming in through the border and as far up as you are this stuff is pouring in.”

Before Trump took the stage atRimrockAuto Arena atMetraPark, he held a brief fundraiser. There was a meet and greet and a separate roundtable discussion with the biggest donors.

State Senator EdButtrey, R-Great Falls, attended the fundraiser. Like Trump,Buttreyhas been the target

Senator Ed Buttrey (R), SD 11
Credit Montana Legislative Services
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Senator Ed Buttrey (R), SD 11

of conservative Republicans. During the 2015 Legislative session, for example, Buttrey was attacked for spearheading Montana’s version of Medicaid Expansion. Besides being an issue opposed by conservative Republicans, a key backer was the Democratic governor Steve Bullock.

Buttrey said what the Trump phenomenon has shown is people are tired of the party establishment.

“And I think what the Republican Party needs to get back to, which we’re seeing in Donald Trump is, ‘Hey, let’s move the ball forward. Let’s come up with some solutions,’”Buttreysaid. “You know being Republican or being conservative doesn’t mean that you’re in lock step with everybody else. It means we’re thinking creative ways to take the country forward.”

Buttrey said he didn’t start out as a Trump supporter, but now that the New York businessman is the GOP Presidential nominee he will back Trump. Buttrey is one of Montana’s national delegates to this summer’s Republican National Convention.

The Trump campaign left Billings for events in California. Both states hold their primaries June 7, 2016.

Copyright 2016 Yellowstone Public Radio

Jackie Yamanaka
Jackie Yamanaka has been news director at YPR since 1986. From her home base in Billings, Jackie covers a wide range of issues across Montana and Wyoming. During the Montana Legislative session, she re-locates to the state Capitol in Helena where she has another office.
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