State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Anti-establishment sentiment reigns at Pence event in York

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 29, 2016 11:11 PM

Pence's rally took place in a section of a warehouse on the grounds of the Penn Waste facility. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)

(York) -- Red hat-clad Donald Trump supporters packed into a cavernous Penn Waste warehouse in York Thursday for a rally featuring vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.

The waste company is owned by GOP state Senator Scott Wagner of York County and inside, the mood was strongly anti-establishment.

State GOP vice-chair Joyce Haas kicked off the event, addressing the crowd affectionately.

"You know what?" she asked the cheering crowd. "I love all of you adorable deplorables. You are fantastic."

That term "deplorables"--a phrase Hillary Clinton used to paint Trump supporters as racist, among other things--has been re-appropriated by the campaign as a badge of honor.

Its use set the tone for the York event.

Talking to Trump supporters, it's clear they feel they're part of something vital. Don Gross, a painter from the York area, said the whole thing feels like a countercultural movement.

"I'd get it tattooed on me! I surely would," he said. "I'd like to have a bumper sticker that said deplorable on it."

"I'd get one," chimed in a man sitting next to him.

Anti-media sentiment was also prominent. Ernest Romeo, a project manager from Dover, said he has a hard time trusting anyone in the public eye these days.

"Mainstream media is brutal," he said. "They don't tell the truth, they're worse than lying Hillary. They're deplorable, as far as I'm concerned."

But he said he does trust Donald Trump.

When Pence finally took the stage he played into that feeling, pledging to bring coal and manufacturing back to central Pennsylvania.

He also promised that above all, under a Trump presidency, life would be different.

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