Trump supporters rally outside DNC

A supporter for President Donald Trump carries a Trump flag during a small rally this afternoon at the Democratic National Convention in Wilmington. (For the State News/Butch Comegys)

WILMINGTON — They were just as passionately anti-Biden as staunchly pro-Trump.

Before the final session of the Democratic National Convention geared up tonight, Republican supporters showed equal disdain for presidential nominee Joe Biden and loyalty to current commander in chief Donald Trump.

While 100 or so Republicans initially gathered for a 5 p.m. rally near the Chase Center, many more arrived steadily as a march began with signs and chants, flags and hats.

“Say no to Joe” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Creepy Joe has got to go” were among the oft-chanted refrains.

At least 11 trucks with video screens on the sides rolled through the scene with anti-Biden slogans, broadcasting some of his past quotes. At one point, an airplane passed overhead with a flapping sign that read, “Joe Biden is losing it — vote Trump 2020.”

Smyrna resident Nick Miles, the 23-year-old Delaware Young Republicans vice chair, stood next to the Chase Center around 3 p.m., carrying a sign saying, “Joe Biden doesn’t work for you.”

Mr. Miles, who is of mixed race, said: “Joe Biden is a racist, I believe. Joe Biden says if you don’t vote for me, then you ain’t Black. That’s what he believes.”

The drive to “hold the Democratic party accountable for allowing a candidate like Joe Biden to even run for president” inspired Mr. Miles to turn out in Wilmington, he said.

Also, “Joe Biden gives his speech tonight, and we wanted to come out and let people know that people around today know Joe Biden is not the guy to vote for on Nov. 3, and Donald Trump is the man we should be voting for.”

Also nearby was Sam Hyde, 19, of Georgetown, who was already basking in the scene.

“I’ve never been to something as big as this before, so I’m really enjoying being out here and sort of getting into it with people a little bit, some back and forth,” he said.

“That’s the fun part.”

Carrying an “America First!” sign, there was no doubt who Mr. Hyde was supporting for president.

“Joe Biden stands against everything I support,” he said. “Really, if I could sum up my beliefs in two words, it would be ‘America first.’

“I believe in putting America first economically. I believe in putting America first in defending our people over the people of other countries. I believe we need to handle our problems here at home before worrying about things going on in other nations.”

Dover resident Sam Chick, Delaware Young Republicans chair, said the gathering was to “show the rest of the country that we here in Delaware who know Joe best know he is not the president this country needs.”

“He is a lifelong career politician. He has been part of the problem for four decades, and we are sick and tired of this guy,” he said. “It’s time for him to go off into retirement in Rehoboth and just get out of politics. We’re tired of him in Delaware.”

Pointing to her arm, Dover’s Donill Winn said she had goosebumps connected with being among GOP members pushing in the same direction.

“We’re all people of the same-mindedness. We’re patriots. We love our country,” she said. “We can’t support a candidate who is not supporting our police.

“Our country is a shambles, and it’s just going to get worse if Biden is elected. I’m a patriot, I love my country, and I love people who love my country, their country.”

Holding a large flag supporting the president, Phil Santoro said he hadn’t expected to walk into the Democratic National Convention. He arrived from Hockessin after hearing about a Delaware right-to-life gathering.

“We canceled cable a few weeks ago, and I haven’t listened to local news forever,” he said. “Then, you see all the press, and it’s exciting. I thought Joe was talking from his basement but I guess he’s not.”

Mr. Santoro expected nothing more than a peaceful rally by Republicans.

“This is what America is supposed to be all about,” he said. “If we all do this peacefully, then we would wind up in a better place. I’ve been watching this for a number of years now, and I’ve never seen a violent Trump rally or group of people, so it’s kind of interesting that they’re the ones supposed to have the guns, and they seem pretty respectful of trying to send a good message.”

For Greenville’s Rock Peters, today was an opportunity to pay respect to who he considered a much-maligned president given unfair treatment by the Democrats.

“There’s so much hate out (there) for President Trump. There’s so much disinformation,” he said. “When you listen to the Democrats speak, they make the most outlandish, slanderous claims. They’ll say anything.

“I’m here to show it’s not a one-way street in Delaware, which is a blue state, and to show there are plenty of Christian conservatives in this country, and that we stand for the red, white and blue.”

On Wednesday in Dover, while announcing a lawsuit aiming to stop mail-in voting, Delaware Republican Party Committee Chairwoman Jane Brady said that “unfortunately, (the convention has) been pretty boring.

“This remote stuff and the prerecorded speeches (have) not been well-received by the public.”

According to Ms. Brady, “I actually think the more the public knows about where the Democrats stand on issues like immigration and the economy and the Green New Deal and government intrusion into individual lives, the move toward collectivism versus individualism, the move against capitalism, I think the more that people hear about where the Democrats stand on those issues, the more likely they are to vote for Donald Trump, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that people aren’t watching the Democrat convention.”

Regarding the national attention placed on Delaware, Ms. Brady maintained that “the biggest change in Wilmington from before is that the media is there.

“There are a few Biden supporters that are on there once in a while, and I know some Trump supporters have gone up during the time the convention is being aired, hoping to get some other perspective in the media, but the real effect on Delaware has been just the media presence.”

This evening, Rob Arlett, chairman of the Delaware State Trump-Pence 2020 Reelection Campaign released a statement that read: “We’re putting Joe Biden on notice in his backyard to remind him that even Delawareans want nothing to do with his radical agenda. While we stand united behind President Trump and Vice President Pence, the Democrats’ idea of unity and civility is on display in Portland (Oregon) and major cities across the country where violence and destruction continues to ensue.”

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