Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait in line Oct. 1 for his “Save America” rally at the South Campus of Macomb Community College in Warren.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait in line Oct. 1 for his “Save America” rally at the South Campus of Macomb Community College in Warren.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

‘Save America’ rally brings together Donald Trump supporters

By: Maria Allard | Metro | Published October 4, 2022

 The Drum Messengers walked around the rally, playing music for the crowd.

The Drum Messengers walked around the rally, playing music for the crowd.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


WARREN — Debbie Branch, of White Pigeon, Michigan, is among those voters who believe fraud occurred in the last U.S. presidential election in November 2020.

“I believe the election was stolen because of the way (election workers) acted at Detroit’s TCF Center,” Branch, 65, said. “If they weren’t trying to hide something, they would not have covered the windows.”

Branch, who said she believes in implementing a voter ID system in the country, is not a fan of President Joe Biden.

“Biden is ruining America. He has messed up the economy. Opening the borders doesn’t help any,” she said. “It’s aggravating.”

Branch and her husband William Branch were among the Donald Trump supporters who attended the former president’s “Save America” rally Oct. 1 at the South Campus of Macomb Community College.

Trump was elected president in 2016, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton. Running for a second term, he lost to Biden in 2020.

Trump was in town to campaign for three Republican candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 general election: Tudor Dixon, for governor; Kristina Karamo, for secretary of state; and Matthew DePerno, for attorney general. People stood in line for hours for the opportunity to get inside the college’s Sports & Expo Center to hear speeches from Trump, Dixon, Karamo and DePerno.

“I’m here because I love Trump,” Waterford resident Kelli Peacock, 59, said. “This is my third rally. It gives me a feeling of unity. These are the best people, the nicest and the happiest.”

Like Branch, Peacock believes Trump won the 2020 presidential election over Biden and that the results were fraudulent.

“I’m hoping Trump will blow out a lot of information that proves voter fraud,” Peacock said. “It would have been nice to see (Senator) Mitch McConnell step up and (U.S. Representative) Liz Cheney shut her mouth.”

Peacock also described Trump as “a chess player” with his critics, including Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

Sue Hunt-Case, of St. Clair, and Julie Schick, of Clinton Township, came to the rally to support Dixon.

“We want her to oust Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer. We don’t think she’s doing a good job,” said Hunt-Case, primarily citing the governor’s lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think it’s the reason a lot of businesses went under.”

She’s also concerned about the country’s current state of inflation.

“Gas is high, food is high, utilities are high,” she said. “Everybody’s broke.”

Hunt-Case and Schick feel Dixon needs to get her message out more.

“I think she better get on the ball and get on TV,” Schick, 57, said.

“I don’t see any (campaign) signs, either,” Hunt-Case said.

“She wasn’t my first choice, but she’s a better choice than what we have,” Schick said. “The Democrats have been putting out negative ads on her. If she doesn’t come and address them, it’s going to be hard to win. Whitmer has a lot more money behind her. I haven’t seen as many ads for her as for Whitmer.”

Schick has attended several Trump rallies. She said before her first one, others warned her, “You’re going to get beat up.” However, the opposite happened.

“We had so much fun,” she said. “At every rally, we meet people.”

That was the case Oct. 1, when the pair met, for the first time, Trump supporter Jacqueline Beaty. The trio stood in line together discussing politics while waiting for the rally to begin. Beaty, 63, of Detroit, was a Democrat prior to attending her first Trump rally.

“I came as a skeptic. I love his policies. He has many of my Christian values. The abortion stand. The foreign policy,” Beaty said. “Trump wants the American people to be first. How Trump related to foreign leaders was more effective than the Democrats. They want the New World Order. What I want is God’s order.”

Under Trump, Beaty felt the country did not have to rely on foreign countries for resources.

“We have our own,” she said.

While Trump has not officially announced another presidential run, Beaty “has the feeling he’s going to run. He’s the American president for the people. They want to have hope. They want to hear what he has to say.”

Tim Brewer, 60, drove from Quincy, Michigan, to meet up at the rally with his daughter, Alyssa Redder, 34, of Waterford. A Trump backer from the beginning, Redder voted for him in 2016 and 2020.

“Being so young I think he really opened my eyes to a lot of things in politics about corruption,” she said. “He was quick to point out a lot of things in this country. That’s why he’s targeted so much.”

Brewer is the chair of the Branch County Republican Party, based in Coldwater, Michigan.

“We do door knocking and get out the message of the Republican Party,” Brewer said.

Election integrity is vital to Brewer.

“It’s something a lot of people are concerned about. We’d like more transparency and secure elections,” he said. “I don’t think the secretary of state is really making any significant changes from the 2020 election that will make me feel more comfortable.”

According to Brewer, during the last presidential election, Redder received mail-in applications at her home addressed to the previous owners, who had not lived there for three years.

“That gives a lot of opportunity for fraud,” he said.

While Brewer does not feel Republicans get a bad rap in general, he said “I don’t think they get a fair shake in the media.” He also has many friends who are Democrats.

“We can talk. You don’t have to attack people. I don’t want to alienate them. It’s important to be able to have conversations, even within your own party,” Brewer said. “I’m not going to compromise my beliefs, but I respect you.”

Many at the event showed their support for President No. 45, wearing Trump hats, shirts and scarves, or carrying American flags. Many vendors sold Trump merchandise, and many Michigan Republicans campaign volunteers were on site promoting their candidates.

For those who didn’t make it inside the complex, a Jumbotron was set up outside to view the political speeches. The Trump Unity Bridge was on campus with its driver, Rob Cortis, who pulls the patriotic float across the country in an effort to show unity.

Not everyone was pleased by the rally. Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes issued an online statement about Dixon’s visit.

“Tonight, Michiganders saw a schoolyard bully on stage — not a leader. Tudor Dixon hurled insults and rattled off a litany of grievances because she knows that her dangerous agenda to ban abortion and throw nurses in jail, dismantle public education, and slash funding for law enforcement is out-of-step,” Barnes stated. “Michigan families deserve a real leader who will work with anyone to get things done, and Tudor Dixon has shown time and again she will continue to divide and pit people against each other if it means she and Betsy DeVos gain political power.”

Also running for governor are: Libertarian Mary Buzuma, Donna Brandenburg of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, Green Party Candidate Kevin Hogan and Natural Law candidate Daryl M. Simpson.

Karamo is running against Democrat incumbent Jocelyn Benson, Libertarian Gregory Scott Stempfle, U.S. Taxpayers Party hopeful Christine C. Schwartz and Green Party candidate Larry James Hutchinson Jr.

DePerno’s opponents include Democrat incumbent Dana Nessel, Libertarian Joseph W. McHugh Jr. and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Gerald T. Van Sickle.