Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump visited The Factory in Franklin on Saturday.
I, unabashedly a Trump supporter, was one of the 2,000 ticket holders promised to get inside the venue; however, things didn't go according to plan. My mother and I were told at the door the venue was at capacity and they could not let anyone else in, according to the fire marshal.
My question remains: Why issue 2,000 tickets if you don't plan to let 2,000 people in? I'm not calling out The Factory in Franklin, it is a lovely venue. However, I surmise things would have gone differently if the rally had been held in Wilson County.
We stood in the rain with the masses to see Donald Trump.
After his hour-long speech, which touched on immigration, Second Amendment rights and even ISIS, Trump ventured outside. He spoke to the crowd, shook hands and made it clear that he is not just another politician.
"We have something special going on. We are going to turn our country around. We are going to make it so great," he said.
Supporters greeted Trump more like a rock star than a billionaire-turned-politician. One man in front of me called out, "Mr. Trump, you are my hero!"
Another fellow asked a security guard, "Can you tell Mr. Trump to come this way?" To which the guard laughed, then responded: "I can't tell him anything. He is his own man."
Folks in the crowd said they appreciated his blunt, unscripted nature and that he is financing his own campaign - in addition to his political views.
"America doesn't need another politician. We need a businessman," said Art Baerlin, who attended the event with Rita Montesi.
Montesi said it was their second time seeing Trump in Middle Tennessee. "This is my second rally in the history of my life. The first was when he came to Rocketown. We are tickled that there are so many supporters here. It says there is still hope for America," she said.
Realtor Keith Washington handed Trump his business card when he passed. Washington said Trump took the time to study the card, obviously admiring the gutsy move.
Washington added, "I'd stand in the rain, sleet and snow to see a great president."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.