Why 12,500 people waited (and waited) near Pittsburgh for Trump

“People do not love America.”

Sarah Anne Hughes / The Incline
Sarah Anne Hughes

With less than 48 hours to go until Election Day, thousands of people lined up outside an airport hangar near Pittsburgh to see the man they hope will be their next president: Donald Trump.

And they waited.

And waited.

The scene was like a greatest hits compilation of the campaign.

Small “Girls for Trump” practiced their cheers, while some in line chanted “Lock her up!” or laughed as a vendor promoted buttons that read “Trump that bitch.” A young boy in line wore a homemade “Tween deplorable for Trump” shirt as vendors tried to sell ones that said “Adorable deplorable.”

Near the front of the line, a woman asked why she supports Trump said, “There are many reasons. Where do we start?”

The woman who said she is from Canonsburg began with the Supreme Court justices. As many as four may be nominated by the next president. “For our children, for our grandchildren,” she said. “I’m old … I got one foot in the grave.”

Her other reasons: “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” as well as the oil industry. “Bring back drilling.”

By 8 p.m. — the time Trump was scheduled to begin speaking — the line had looped around a complex of several buildings.

“This is insane,” a woman near the back of the line said. “Good insane, though.”

According to the Trump campaign, an estimated 9,000 people were inside the airport hangar while 3,500 remained outside in line.

Trump eventually took the stage at 10:15 p.m.

“We’re bringing steel back to Pennsylvania,” Trump said. “We’re putting our steel workers and our miners back to work.”

“This is a great crowd,” he later said.

By 10:45, he wrapped his speech by saying “God bless you,” as the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” played.

(Next on his Sunday night schedule: Leesburg, Va., where he was supposed to start at 9:30 p.m.)

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, appeared at Heinz Field on Friday with a contingent of famous Pittsburghers. The Democrat is scheduled to return to the city on Monday.

Wearing “Trump That Bitch” buttons, Dawn and Tracy from the North Hills area offered years of Democrat policy and corruption as reasons for voting for Trump.

“People do not love America,” Dawn said.

Tracy added that she supports Trump because of “closing the border” and “Obamacare” premiums.

“I have a $500 deductible now that I didn’t have a year ago,” Dawn said.

(During his speech, Trump asked for the crowd’s vote so he could “repeal and replace” Obamacare.)

“I like him, because he tells it like it is,” Tracy said. “He doesn’t sugarcoat anything.”

Sarah Anne Hughes / The Incline

A man in an American flag suit who said he lives in the area of the airport said he’s “tired of people selling the country out.”

“We want our country back,” said a woman who identified herself as a former Air Force reservist.

“I think he’s going to do a heck of a lot more for the veterans,” added Michelle, who also identified herself as a veteran. She continued, “If I had a computer, a server or anything like that right now, you know where I’d be?

“We’d be in Leavenworth,” she said, referencing the military prison.

Others in the line let their signs do the talking, like a woman holding one that read “This woman is voting for Donald Trump.” She said the candidate would “hold on to American values.”

“I’ll leave it at that.”

Sarah Anne Hughes / The Incline