Donald Trump Jr., right, paid a visit to Harrison Township  Sept. 14 as part of a “Make America Great Again” event. The president’s son was joined by Kid Rock and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Donald Trump Jr., right, paid a visit to Harrison Township Sept. 14 as part of a “Make America Great Again” event. The president’s son was joined by Kid Rock and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Trump campaign visits Macomb County

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published September 14, 2020

 Hundreds of people showed up to a “Make America Great Again” rally in Harrison Township, some along the Clinton River and others in the parking lot of Bumpers Landing.

Hundreds of people showed up to a “Make America Great Again” rally in Harrison Township, some along the Clinton River and others in the parking lot of Bumpers Landing.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Less than a week after his father visited mid-Michigan for a campaign rally, Donald Trump Jr. paid a stop to Harrison Township.

The evening of Sept. 14, President Donald Trump’s son was in Macomb County for a “Make America Great Again” event. The gathering took place at Bumpers Landing Boat Club in Harrison Township.

A stage was set up on a barge on the Clinton River, outside of the sports bar.

Hundreds of people showed up to the event — some lined up along the river and, others, in the parking lot.

Paul Shamo, who owns Bumpers, said it came together very quickly for the business to host the event.

“It was a last-minute thing, and they asked if they could use my place as a venue, and I said yes,” he said.

Shamo said the country’s election process, regardless of what party one is affiliated with, is important.

“To celebrate our democracy and the election process is pretty awesome,” he said. “To have the event go off like it did was pretty cool. I don’t think Macomb County is going to see another event that was this big and went off so well. I had no idea it would turn out this well.”

Rick Rheeder owns J M Collision in Clinton Township and attended the event with his family.

“It was awesome,” he said. “It’s exactly what this township needed to get everyone to see each other. I believe our waterfront is underutilized, as far as venues to go to, and we like to support Bumpers.”

Rheeder added that Shamo has done a wonderful job of making that area a showcase.

“The crowd was unbelievably calm,” he said. “Everyone was excited to be there. It was a great night that was well worth the time and effort.”

Rheeder said he has a customer who works for Homeland Security who mentioned that, along the Clinton River, there were zero problems, with everyone having a good time.

“Every kind of person you could imagine was there and was having a good time,” he said.

Resident Bobby Riley lives near Bumpers and walked to the event from his home.

“I wanted to see Kid Rock and Don Jr.,” he said. “I found out about it Sunday and thought, ‘No way. They’re actually going to be there.’”

Riley has attended several Trump rallies and said the Harrison Township visit ranks near the top.

“Everyone was so happy to be there,” he said. “You didn’t see anyone fighting with each other. There were no concerts this year, so this one was like a mini-concert, which got people excited.”

Harrison Township Supervisor Ken Verkest, a Republican, said the event put a spotlight on a local business.

“It’s a neat location and a popular spot in the township,” he said. “I think it casts the township in a positive light.”

Verkest also said that having an event like this, amid a pandemic, it’s not a reflection of Harrison Township or any political party.

Joining Trump Jr. were Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lisa McClain and Macomb County-born Kid Rock. Guilfoyle is a Trump advisor who worked at Fox News from 2006-2018. McClain is running for the Republican nomination in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District.

Trump Jr. spoke for about 20 minutes, opening his remarks by referring to the platform Democrats are running on as “scary.”

“This is not your grandparents Democrat party anymore,” Trump Jr. said.

Speaking of his father, the younger Trump said he made promises when campaigning in 2016 and has kept them.

Trump Jr. also spent some time on the attack against his father’s opponent for president, Joe Biden.

“He says he’s going to fix things for Michigan, but he destroyed Michigan,” Trump Jr. said. “His policies created that. The only job Biden ever made was for people in China.”

In a response after the event, Ed Bruley, chair of the Macomb County Democratic Committee, said that “it’s the Democratic party that unites most Americans and the resolve to overcome this pandemic in a healthy way.”

Bruley said the committee is disappointed that the Trump campaign has potentially jeopardized the health of American citizens by holding the event.

“We’re living in a pandemic and need to protect people’s health and safety first and foremost,” Bruley said.

Following the speeches at the event, Kid Rock entertained the crowd, playing a handful of songs including “Born Free” and “All Summer Long.”

Prior to performing, Rock encouraged those in attendance to vote.

“You have friends, co-workers and family who haven’t voted in a long time,” he said. “You need to talk to them and tell them why it’s so important to go out and vote.”

Rock also noted that he wants to see everybody do well in America.

“I don’t believe you make the poor rich by making the rich poor,” he said. “I guess I’ll stick to my day job.”

Trump Jr.’s appearance came less than one week after the president spoke in Saginaw County and Biden visited UAW Region 1 Headquarters in Warren. Trump was last in Macomb County in January, when he made remarks at Dana Inc. in Warren.

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