Bumping this up as the thread for all things Trump. Have at it, gang. There are reportedly hundreds of protesters gathered at Barton Coliseum. Some are reportedly giving out free hugs.
See below for a slideshow of photographs from our photographer Brian Chilson, who is on the scene.
Donald Trump will hold his rally this evening at the Barton Coliseum at 5 pm. I’ll liveblog in this space — keep refreshing this post for updates.
I predict that Trump will spend a lot of time trashing Ted Cruz. He’ll accuse him of fraud, stealing the Iowa caucuses. I also predict that Trump will complain about unfair treatment from the media and muse about buying Barton Coliseum and making it more classy.
Over/under on references to his daughter Ivanka: five. Over/under on insults directed at Marco Rubio: three.
Trump has been on a roll on his Twitter feed moaning about Cruz:
Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Cruz, for his part, says Trump is “losing it” and if he’s elected president he might “nuke Denmark.” Pretty sure that would be a feature, not a bug, for Trump’s base of supporters.
Rumors are circulating that Rick Santorum might endorse Trump soon. Heh.
Elicia Dover reports that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has a private meeting with Trump today to “welcome him to Arkansas.” (UPDATE: Although I wonder if they’re going to have to cancel given how late Trump is. Skype date?)
Trump may be late. His plane reportedly landed in Nashville at around 4:15. Unclear whether the plane had to refuel or stopped for some other reason.
— Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) February 3, 2016
Trump’s gonna be real late, y’all:
An estimated 6,000 people are stuck waiting on the D to arrive. The crowd is now chanting “we want Trump,” according to reporters on the scene.
— Fly Nashville (@Fly_Nashville) February 3, 2016
The weirdest hype man I’ve ever seen, some guy with a flat top, is now out on stage:
He says Trump is going to be very late. He’s now giving the single worst political speech I have ever heard. Can’t recap. It’s just a guy shouting. He looks like the understudy for a boy band formed by a mega-church in Tulsa. I think he’s giving the speech from “Any Given Sunday” or something, I don’t know. Now he’s leading cheerleader chants and saying “I can’t hear you, Little Rock!” Nobody can like this.
Radio personalities David Bazzel and Roger Scott are visible near the stage. And now a prayer.
Now some veterans lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The crowd chants “USA! USA!” And a schmaltzy rendition of the national anthem. The vibe at this event is deeply Atlantic City. They’re chanting for Trump again. This, honestly, does not seem like a crowd that you want to get restless.
And, of course…
Not sure what they did to get escorted out but I just saw a #Sanders supporter leave Barton Coliseum with police.
— Jordan Bontke (@JBontke_KATV) February 4, 2016
Trump is expected to land at 6:30 and speak at 7. I have to run, I think Lindsey Millar is going to take over liveblog duties. And take it away in comments!
Ooop. Lindsey here. Ramsey had plans and The Donald’s speech coincided with bedtime in my house, so I’ve only been watching in between bath, diapers and such, but turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, Trump is really tedious in a large dose. So many stories about big hotels he’s building. Also, a rambling tale about how Dr. Bart Barlogie saved some of his friends’ lives. And we’re going to win, win, win, win, win, win, win. “If I win folks, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas!”
More later from Benji Hardy and David Koon, who will be on the scene. For those not making the Trump trek, there’s a livestream that will broadcast the event (see above or link here).