Two rallies last week demonstrated the great divide here over the Presidency of the United States. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.
“Trump! Trump! Trump! USA! USA!”
More than one-hundred President Donald Trump supporters gathered at the Spirit of America Rally, Saturday. They waved American flags and many wore the Make America Great Again red cap. Former State Senator Sam Slom, the last Republican in the upper house who lost his seat in November, led the charge.
“Donald Trump is the right man for the job at this time. Are there things that we don’t like individually? I’m sure there are. I know there are with me. Are there things that are said that we wouldn’t say? You betcha. But he’s got tremendous focus and tremendous ability.”
Trump for Presidential Campaign Co-chair, Kimo Sutton, organized the rally. He says local Republicans played a pivotal role in the November election.
“They used most of our supporters to call to battleground states with hundreds of thousands of calls and 50,000 connects. That is huge.”
Adrienne King was a Trump delegate to Cleveland; was on the GOP Platform Committee; and attended the Presidential Inauguration.
“I expect him to actually fulfill his promise to the American people to make America great again. What he said about taxes and trade and regulations – getting the economy started – that’s always the most important thing that affects people.”
Hawai’i Republican Party State Chair, Fritz Rohlfing, says the Trump Administration is getting things done and the state will benefit from that work.
“I think the increase in defense spending in the budget that President Trump has put forward is gonna be good for Hawai’i and since we have a big component of our economy is our military I think that’s gonna be a good thing for us.”
Meanwhile, at the State Capitol, the Hawai’i Children’s Action Network rallied for Family Economic Security. Executive Director, Deborah Zysman, says countering the GOP plan to repeal or modify the Affordable Care Act is a top priority.
“If the Affordable Care Act goes away nationally it will be a huge loss in money to Hawai’i in things like Medicaid. Here in Hawai’i, we’re pushing for a measure to make sure that at least the insurance piece can kept so children can continue to keep their insurance.”
Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women executive director, Kathy Betts, says the Trump Administration has not addressed gender –based discrimination and a recent action against the Office of Civil Rights, OCR, is troubling.
“In the recent letter rescinding OCR’s guidance on Title IX, allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. We know that Title IX is under attack so we wanna ensure that Hawai’i remains a beacon of hope for diversity and hope for diverse families.”
Representative Nicole Lowen , a Democrat , says the Trump administration should be a global leader in environmental issues and climate change.
“The U-S needs to a large part of that and so to be looking at an administration that would be unwilling to engage in discussion with other nations about what we all need to do together about climate change is frightening. And I feel sorry for our next generation because they’re going to be dealing with the repercussions.”
The O’ahu Democratic Party Convention is April 22. The GOP State Convention, May 12th. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.