Trump greets supporters at Asheville Airport

Trump leaving Asheville Regional Airport
HAIL FROM THE CHIEF: President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he prepares to depart Asheville Regional Airport on Aug. 24. Photo by Cindy Kunst

“I felt really an obligation to come here today to say hello to the people of North Carolina,” President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters upon his arrival at the Asheville Regional Airport on Aug. 24.

Trump touched down in Marine One from Charlotte at about 2:53 p.m. From the airport, the president traveled via motorcade to Flavor 1st Growers and Packers on Banner Farm Road in Mills River.

“You know, we worked out a program where all of the food that was being wasted goes to people and helping people during the pandemic,” the president said of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box program, funded through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Flavor 1st partners with Baptists on Mission to pack some of the boxes for the program.

Trump then turned his attention to the coronavirus and other issues, as well as the Republican National Convention, which kicked off earlier in the day.

Vaccines against COVID-19, Trump said, “are going to be, I believe, announced very soon.” He also touted the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Aug. 23 emergency use authorization of convalescent plasma to treat the disease. “Hopefully you won’t need it, but we have it and remdesivir and so many others,” Trump said.

New COVID-19 cases, Trump asserted, are going down; according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seven-day rolling average of new cases in the U.S. has decreased from a peak of nearly 67,000 on July 24 to roughly 43,000 on Aug. 23, the latest day for which data is available. “But it’s going to be fading and it is starting to fade. Florida’s getting much better; California is getting much better,” he said, urging crowd members to “look at the tremendous success we’ve had compared to other places.”

The president touted his administration’s record before and during the pandemic. “As you know, prior to the plague coming in from China, we hit numbers the likes of which have never been seen. Our employment numbers. Every number. Stock market. Now you look at it today: The stock market is just about set to break the all-time record. … To me, that’s like a leading indicator. Everything’s following. The economy’s going to come back. Next year, we’re going to have one of the best years economically and in other ways that we’ve ever had before.”

Trump gave a shoutout to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, formerly the representative for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional district, which now stretches from the Asheville area west to the state line. “And he’s going to have a great young man take his place,” Trump said, referring to Republican candidate Madison Cawthorn.

“This has been a real love fest between North Carolina and Trump, right?” the president asked. The crowd responded with loud cheers and calls of “We love you.”

With additional reporting and photography by Cindy Kunst.


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22 thoughts on “Trump greets supporters at Asheville Airport

  1. Broadway Barney

    Just gotta love that re-election pitch; “Only I can fix what I have completely screwed up.”

    • G Man

      …because we are much better off with the group of lifelong politicians who haven’t fulfilled a single promise in 20, 30, or even 40+ years in public office.

      I reckon that pitch is still better than a platform summed up in 3 words – ‘orange man bad’.

      • James

        Fires still happen and people in hospitals still die. Should we fire the entire fire department and the entire medical community because clearly “professionals” can’t solve those problems?

        • G Man

          Um, I’m not sure why you’re asking me that question.

          Just for S&G I’ll go with no. We should not fire those people because they do solve problems every day. Firemen and firewomen put out fires. Medical workers provide health care services. What is the problem?

          My comment was in reference to a former VP with 40+ years of political experience and a list of accomplishments that could be counted on less than one finger. Alongside the life long Madame Speaker and Uncle Chuck and Mad Maxine and …. All these folks have decades of experience in federal government and have accomplished NOTHING, yet still get away with pointing their fingers at others because the dim bulbs still keep soaking it up.

          • James

            So you go with the guy who promised to fix the problems and instead caused more of them? I mean it couldn’t possibly be because problems are more difficult than amateurs think. Firefighters and medical staff don’t have to work with people trying to get between them and the fire or their patients screaming in their face about how elitist they are or trying to tell them about the latest theory they read on the Internet about how this fire or disease isn’t real, it is a conspiracy or a hoax. The dim bulbs are on your side of the Christmas tree.

          • luther blissett

            Nobody else has to guess which lies you tell yourself to justify the other things you believe.

            What you can do is define what counts as an accomplishment, over four years and over 40, and that’ll tell us what lies you tell yourself.

          • G Man

            If one needs to tell himself anything to justify beliefs then the understanding of a belief system has been lost. Justifying a belief would be backward. That’s how folks who parrot others and assume what they are told to believe do it. I can’t imagine saying to myself “OK self, here is what I believe, now let me try to figure out why.” A belief is something that should come from what you feel is right and thus already have justification for it.

            First and foremost, my definition of accomplishment, in this context, is to actually do the things that you promised to do while campaigning for votes.

            Trump promised us a booming economy and delivered it. People working is what we need, not government handouts that would crush those of us who actually work and pay taxes. The efforts to stifle that economy under the guise of “national pandemic emergency” fall right into the anti-American sentiment expressed by the DNC and many commenters here.

            Trump promised to get us out of restrictive and failing deals like the Paris accord and NAFTA and the TPP, which he did.

            Trump promised to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and he did, as well as securing a possible deal between UAE and Israel.

            Trump promised to appoint judges and a SCOTUS justice who actually like this country and will work to uphold the US Constitution rather than upending it, which he has done.

            Trump promised to eliminate the threat of ISIS. ISIS has largely disappeared from the nightly news and the Caliphate is in disarray.

            Trump enacted the First Step program, before CA and NY decided to open the door to their prisons and send everybody home. Trump had a plan for working some of these people back into a productive role in society, unlike the chaotic actions of our biggest blue states.

            I’ve watched No Malarkey Joe go back against almost every position he has ever had on anything. Most, I think, he just doesn’t remember. He seems to forget also that he was in the White House for 8 years and never managed to do any of the things he swears he will do now. I can’t wait to see an actual live debate between these 2, if Joe actually goes through with it.

            Trump, even with his childish faults, is at least a President who understands business and economics so he isn’t promising folks the moon to get votes, knowing there is no way to pay for ‘free everything’. Trump actually cares about the working people (ya know, deplorables) and looks out for us, no matter what color or sex we are. That is the thing that I think most drives the anti-America, never worked a day in their life, indoctrinating, academia elites the most crazy. They don’t believe in freedom or civil rights and can’t stand the thought of a population that can’t be controlled with handouts. Most of all they don’t want a country where they are not on the top tier or one where the people might have the means and desire to protect themselves from government tyranny.

            All you anti-Americans are out of the closet now and don’t even bother trying to disguise your disdain for this country. Nobody is keeping you here. There are plenty of countries around the world that seem to be closer to your grand view so why don’t you go there instead of trying to make the country “transform” to suit your warped desires?

          • luther blissett

            Wow, you just copy and paste the party talking points (many at best misleading or lies) from the convention speeches. For someone who seems to consider himself an independent thinker, the inability to think for oneself should be embarrassing. Just proves where you end up when you lie to yourself.

          • G Man

            I haven’t copied and pasted anything other than URL addresses to links.

            You, on the other hand, have provided absolutely nothing in response, not even a cut and paste response. ; just more personal attacks with no substance.

            If there is something you think is incorrect, point it out and dispute it, then support your point. That is how adults debate things.

          • luther blissett

            1. Your facts on the economy are wrong, as proved by my link below. Oh, and 30 million unemployed from a botched response to the pandemic seems relevant here. The stock markets are not the economy.
            2. USMCA is barely different than NAFTA. The US was never a signatory to TPP — you can’t “get out” of a deal you were never part of — though signing up would have strengthened its position w/r/t China. I’ll give you the Paris Accords even though it was a stupid decision.
            3. I’ll give you a retinue of unqualified federal judges who’ll be haunting us for decades to come, but not that they really care much about the Constitution.
            4. Did you really care that much about the location of the US Embassy in Israel? Were you spending much time thinking about it five years ago? Was it on the top 100 list of your political wishes. I very much doubt it.
            5. ISIS was already on the wane, the Syrian dictatorship did most of the work with Russian help, the US sold out the Kurds. (Again.)
            6. First Step hasn’t really proved anything yet.

            Your “President who understands business and economics” bankrupted a casino. His wealth is a sham. As Michael Cohen noted — backed by evidence from Palm Beach — he prices up his properties to get loans and prices them down so he doesn’t pay property tax. That’s fraud. His finances are a black hole — if he wanted to demonstrate his success we’d have seen his tax returns by now. He’s paid his own businesses millions in taxpayer dollars over the past three and a half years.

            He’s been sending federal money to farmers to cover the loss of exports — handouts! — and he’s making US businesses pay tariffs on vital components and raw materials (e.g. specific grades of steel) that are simply not made in America nor are they likely to be made in America any time soon. He has directed contracts to cronies. He doesn’t give a f about working people. He cares about himself and he only cares about anyone else to the extent that they reflect his narcissism back his way.

            His approval ratings have never been above 45%, which is to be expected since he only got 46% of the vote in 2016. Now, you can lie to yourself that all polls are bunk, and you can lie to yourself that the only people who opposes him are “indoctrinating, academia elites”, and you can lie to yourself about that list of talking points, but you can’t make other people believe those lies.

          • G Man

            First, thank you for a real reply. I certainly do appreciate that.

            1. I think you forgot to post the link. I did not reference the stock market at all. In fact, I find it very odd that the market indexes could be so high at this moment in time. I’ve never believed that the stock market was a measure of anything other than possibly consumer confidence, but even that seems like a stretch. As far as my GDP numbers, I’m quite certain they are accurate. If you find a source that says otherwise, I will certainly have a look. I still consider this a campaign promise kept.

            2. The Paris accord was a loser for the US, just like funding the WHO and NATO, although Trump did get the European bloc to finally start chipping in a bit of the pizza money. USMCA is certainly different from NAFTA. That would be too long of a discussion for here. Still a promise kept.

            3. I’ll agree to disagree on interpretations of the Constitution. Still a promise kept.

            4. No, I do not personally stay awake at night worrying about things in the Middle East. But, it is still a promise kept and something many other Presidents have not been able to claim. Granted, it’s not a done deal yet.

            5. If ISIS (which I believe was basically created by/during the Obama-Biden administration) was truly on the wane, there would have been no reason for all our forces to be lingering in Syria for so long. So, why was it such an issue when Trump wanted to start bringing those kids home?

            6. As I alluded to earlier, First Step became somewhat insignificant when some of our lefty ‘leaders’ decided to just open the prison door and let everybody out. The point is that it was one of those things that Trump pushed for and made happen but got no credit for.

            I don’t care so much about Trump’s personal finances as I do what he does in office. If I were on the other side of things, I would definitely NOT want to bring up any discussions of business corruption or misuse of office when the Bidens are on the other side of that debate.

            It sounds like you are saying that farmers are not working people. Bloomberg much? I do not fall blindly in line behind DJT and think everything he does is right. I just think he gets WAY less credit than he deserves and I can see just by comparing what I see in the media to spoken words that Trump is less of a liar than Joe Biden and his handlers. Sure, it is sad that ‘less of a liar’ is the high bar, but there it is.

            Donald Trump is certainly not stupid, by any means. If he and his campaign needed to win a popular vote, that’s how they would have campaigned. It is a true democrat virtue to blame the rules of the game for their shortcomings.

  2. G Man

    Yes James, problems typically are more difficult than amateurs think. That’s exactly why it took a business man in the White House to turn our economy around and why Uncle Joe is aiming to trash it again with his platform of “free everything except people”. The problems we are facing today have vastly not been created in the past few years, with the exception of the pandemic. We all know where that came from, although most won’t admit it. We also know that the ones who really had the power to contain it are the governors of 2 states (mainly NY) and both were very slow to act, allowing the virus to be spread around the country.

      • G Man

        Your ad hominem is showing again.

        None of the items on your little quiz are related to my comments. Thanks for playing.

        • luther blissett

          They’re all relevant to “turn our economy around”, so that’s just another lie you’re telling yourself. It’s fine to lie to yourself, but you can’t make other people lie to themselves. All you can do is be dishonest and hope nobody notices. But somebody noticed those lies. Maybe stick to private Facebook groups for people who believe things that are not true.

          • G Man

            Your quiz is nothing more than an attempt by a liberal rag to present stats in a way to support a predetermined narrative and to poke a certain audience with a stick. There is no attempt there to be impartial and honestly factual.

            The GDP per capita is a true measure of how productive a population is by considering the total product divided by the number of people contributing to that product. Since you and the WaPo are still infatuated with comparisons to Obama, let’s look at the real numbers.

            When Obama was elected (2008) the GDP per capita was $48,283 and his last year in office (2016) the GDP per capita was $57,901. That represents a total gain of 19.9% over 8 years, which averages out to a 2.49% gain per year. That is growth indeed. There was only one year during that time in the negative. Slow growth is still growth.

            When Trump was elected (2016) the GDP per capita was $57,901 and in 2019 the GDP per capita was $65,111. That represents a total gain of 12.4% over 3 years, which averages out to a 4.15% gain per year. That is much better growth than 2.49% per year. In fact, that is a 67% increase in rate of GDP per capita growth.

            Your chosen screen name says it all. You use a name that is literally used worldwide by groups intending to spread misinformation and perpetrate hoaxes. Your arguments (I use the term loosely) are full of personal attacks and buzzwords with a few links to some cute little talking points but none of it has any substance. You ask a lot of questions and make quips. How about answering some of my questions and addressing the full body of my comments rather than cherry picking a point here and there to “answer” with an empty talking point?

            For the record, I am not now nor have I ever been a user or account holder on Facebook so congrats on another swing and miss.

          • luther blissett

            “When Obama was elected (2008) the GDP per capita was $48,283”

            Now remind us what happened in the middle of 2008 when George W Bush was president. Remind us which party fought tooth and nail to limit the economic response from the moment Obama took office in order to cripple his presidency. As ‘The Onion’ joked at the time: “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

            The most impactful economic measure for actual working-class people under the current administration was the $600/week emergency unemployment insurance: that is, paying people who were laid off and furloughed the equivalent of $15/hr for a 40-hour week. Think about what that means, and think very hard about how you define “working people.” (Some farmers are working people. Other farmers are really just property developers. The people who harvest the crops are working people.)

            I mean, I get it. People hate to admit to themselves that they’ve been conned. That’s why the best con artists are so successful. And the best con artist in America is president.

          • G Man

            I assume you’re referring to the financial recession, which would have likely lowered the GDP number for that year, giving Obama a better starting point for the basis of my comparison.

            I’ll concede your point about farmers.

            We have all been conned about things throughout our lives and the trend continues. Sometimes we realize it later and sometimes we don’t. There is a much larger con being perpetrated right now than anything DJT has done, or even the Obamas or the Clintons or the Bush family. If you want to make some comparisons to the past, take a look at Spain in the late 1930s and compare events to current USA.

  3. hvmunculus

    At least he’s helping to destroy America. I never much liked the place. Far worse would be to have someone fix the nation, the tell me I had to love and believe in it. Mentally, at least it’s hard to take him seriously.

  4. Jim

    The president will come here again after the election. Joe Briben will still be in his basement.

  5. luther blissett

    “If you want to make some comparisons to the past, take a look at Spain in the late 1930s and compare events to current USA.”

    That’s an interesting comparison. I mean, a legitimately interesting one. You know how Franco’s political opponents were killed and buried in unmarked graves, and how his political prisoners built the grotesque Valle de los Caídos under forced labor and if they died while doing so, they were buried in unmarked graves, and that it took nearly 40 years after the restoration of democracy for Franco to be dug up and shipped out from that fascist monument and for the families of those who were disappeared under Franco to receive government support to track down the remains of their loved ones?

    I mean, you can either take the Reagan line that the American volunteers in the International Brigades were “premature anti-fascists” or you can see them as working people who understood what it meant for fascism to win. (It meant Guernica then, and Auschwitz later.) I was once at a Spanish Civil War museum exhibit and struck up a conversation with an old lady who, I learned, had served as a volunteer nurse for members of the International Brigades when they were shipped home wounded. She knew in 1937 that the skies were darkening. I told her that what she did then would be remembered by future generations.

    I’ve read ‘Homage to Catalonia.’ I’ve read lots of things. I know that the anti-fascist forces in Spain were a mess of leftists who — like leftists do — kinda hated each other more than they did the fascists. But I also know the fascists won and Spain was an actual dictatorship for 40 years. Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still dead, and that’s a good thing.

    I was going to say how it must be exhausting to wake up every morning and convince yourself that the president is responsible for the economy when it is good and not responsible for the economy when it goes off a cliff. That it must be exhausting to pretend that a serial bankrupt is good at business and dismiss the idea we should know how his businesses are run. But I was wrong to think that.

    It would be far worse, far more of a drain, to admit that you had been cheated. That your support had opened the door for people whose beliefs you find abhorrent. That your vote in 2020 might be a vote not for conservatives but for people who’ll drive five hours to shoot down liberals. That you are not really representative of the people your president loves the most, the ones who kill the people you’re supposed to hate. If you tolerate this, you children may be next.

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