Claudette Gagnon of Lewiston has her picture taken with Donald Trump Jr. at Rolly’s Diner in Auburn on Thursday morning. Gagnon is a Canadian citizen, but her “love” for Trump’s father, Donald Trump, has persuaded her to start the process of becoming a citizen of the United States. “I’m so anxious to become a citizen and it’s because President Trump has energized me,” Gagnon said. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — During a quick campaign stop at Rolly’s Diner, Donald Trump Jr. spoke to a crowd of enthusiastic Republicans who’d like to see his father reelected president.

“It’s awesome to be in the fight with you,” Trump told about 80 fans gathered outside the popular diner.

After a brief speech, Trump happily shook hands with many of the people who came to cheer him, hugging some of them, posing closely for selfies and generally showing little regard for the possibility of spreading COVID-19. He did not wear a face covering.

Trump said as he was leaving that he did not know when or if his father would make an appearance in Maine this fall.

“We’ve got very busy schedules,” he said, and he’s not sure where either of them is going.

During the 2016 race, Trump made a few of trips to Maine, including one to Lisbon shortly before the election. It helped him win an electoral vote in Maine’s rural 2nd Congressional District.

The president’s son said the GOP’s congressional candidate in the district, Dale Crafts, is needed in Washington.

Donald Trump Jr. waves as he leaves Rolly’s Diner in Auburn on Thursday morning. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

He said that without the House in Republican hands, Democrats will continue to pursue things like “a sham impeachment” and the “disproved” Russian collusion probe into the foreign power’s role in helping Trump win four ago in his race against Hillary Clinton.

“My dad didn’t need this job and Dale Crafts didn’t need” to run for the House held by first-term Democrat Jared Golden, Trump said.

Trump focused his ire Thursday on Democrats generally and Hunter Biden, son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, specifically. Trump made a number of unproven accusations against Hunter Biden, claiming if he’d done anything similar he would be talking to the crowd only after pumping quarters into a prison telephone.

He said Joe Biden has had decades to get something done in Washington and all he accomplished was that “he shipped the American Dream to China.”

Trump told backers in Auburn to work hard in the 40 days left in the campaign.

“I want fingers bleeding from calling your friends,” he joked.

The crowd broke into chants a few times during the rally, including “Fill That Seat,” a reference to the president’s plan to win Senate approval of a new Supreme Court justice as quickly as possible.

Crafts said he has “never seen such enthusiasm in my entire life” as he has among Trump’s supporters this year. He said people are anxious to get the economy moving “and making America greater than ever.”

He said voters don’t want to see “the lawlessness and steps toward socialism” that Democrats would deliver.

Republican state Senate contender Matt Leonard of Auburn said people are obviously engaged in the campaign.

For him, the rally was a chance “to get out and press the flesh and meet people.”


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