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Ivanka Trump visits Lee County; stumps for her father’s re-election

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Oct 21, 2020

President Donald Trump sent his top ambassador to Lee County Wednesday as daughter Ivanka Trump spoke in front of a crowd of several hundred Trump supporters at Top Rocker Field in Fort Myers.

The event, five days after the president’s visit at a private function in Fort Myers, drew an enthusiastic response from Trump loyalists with the visit more subdued than the bare-knuckle attacks from the president last week against his challenger, former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr.

This time, there also were no noticeable protests in the vicinity of Thunder Road, off Daniels Parkway and Intercom Drive near a collection of auto dealerships and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Center. There were no confrontations in the street between political factions as were seen on Friday in downtown Fort Myers.

Ms. Trump, a polished speaker, said her father “built the greatest economy in American history and now is leading the greatest American comeback.”

Known as an advisor to the president as well as a successful businesswoman who was a longtime participant on the family’s show “The Apprentice,” Ms. Trump paid tribute to late Cape Coral native and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Eggers and to his family, who were in the audience on Friday.

“We are profoundly honored to be joined by Daniel’s family,” Ms. Trump said. The crowd chanted “USA” at the mentioning of Eggers.

Eggers, a Green Beret killed in Afghanistan in 2004, was honored by the president in a Memorial Day service this year at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Ms. Trump touted her father’s foreign policy, including attacks on terrorists. By “advancing peace through strength,” Ms. Trump said, “our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are coming home.” Trump said 2,000 servicemembers returned home last month.

Ms. Trump vowed that if her father is re-elected for another four years, every student in the country will have their choice of schools. Under the president, Ms. Trump said, the U.S. has become a net exporter of gas and oil. She touted the president’s signing of the “Great American Outdoors Act,” which she said will help restore the nation’s parks.

The president’s daughter also touted a program she initiated to get fresh produce from the nation’s farms to the needy during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the few references in her speech to the issue.

“The Republican party is the party of safe reopening,” she said.

She also pledged that her father would always protect Social Security, Medicare and patients with pre-existing conditions.

“Whether you agree with him or not, you always know where he stands,” she said of her father. “I recognize that my father’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered but see, some people love him. This crowd loves him.”

Her most strident remarks concerned “the swamp,” as she referred to politics in Washington D.C. She said that Trump has done “more for Florida in 46 months than Joe Biden did in 47 years.”

“You like the fact that when my father makes a promise, he keeps it. In less than four years, President Trump has rebuilt the United States military, secured America’s borders, defeated the ISIS caliphate, fostered peace in the Middle East, delivered historic tax and regulatory cuts, fixed our broken trade deals and brought jobs back to America and back to Florida.”

As the crowd steadily gathered over a course of more than two hours on the greenery of the field in a scene reminiscent from a concert or county fair, popular music mostly from the 1980s selected by the Trump team was played, along with older songs by James Brown, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.

A couple of supporters in “Women for Trump” shirts jumped up and down and danced as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” featured prominently in “Rocky III,” played on the speaker.

Florida Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, who addressed the crowd ahead of Trump, said the upcoming 2020 election “was not the most important election of our lifetime.” He said the most important election was in 2016, when Donald Trump was first elected president.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Trump said “Washington has not changed Donald Trump. Donald Trump has changed Washington and he is not done yet. America doesn’t need another empty vessel who will do whatever the media and the fringe of his party demands. Now, more than ever, America needs a warrior in The White House.”