Republican President-elect Donald Trump was in Grand Rapids Dec. 9 for his first appearance in Michigan since winning the presidency. His last Michigan stop was the night before the election, where he held a last-minute rally in Grand Rapids with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
The Michigan stop was part of his nationwide “thank you tour” to rally supporters in advance of his Jan. 20 inauguration. Trump appeared at the DeltaPlex Arena on 2500 Turner Ave NW.
Visit MLive for coverage of Trump’s visit or watch the video of his rally speech here.
These “Thank You” rallies have thus far been more about appeasing Trump’s own supporters than about reaching out to the entire nation and to those who did not vote for him, according to Heavy.com. Trump’s tone has softened slightly since prior to the election, but he is still firing up his fans with promises to build a wall along the southern border and completely put an end to illegal immigration.
Because Trump has been avoiding the press almost entirely since the election, these rallies have also become his platform through which he can spread his message to the world and respond to criticism. During a rally on Thursday, Trump defended his decision to appoint so many billionaires to his cabinet.
“I want people that made a fortune because now they are negotiating with you, okay?” Trump said. “It’s no different than a great baseball player or a great golfer.”