LYNDEN — Donald Trump spent a second day in the Northwest Saturday, telling supporters he will win Washington state in November and decrying manufacturing job losses as protesters gathered outside both venues.
Authorities said “a small number of arrests” were made after people blocked a road in northwest Washington trying to keep Trump from speaking at his second event.
The likely GOP nominee’s motorcade used a different route into the Northwest Washington Fair &Event Center in Lynden, south of the Canadian border. Whatcom Unified Emergency Management announced the arrests on Twitter but did not immediately provide an exact number.
In Lynden protesters shouted, “Love Trumps hate!” as thousands of people streamed into the venue. Authorities started limiting access as it reached capacity.
At Trump’s first event of the day in Spokane the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told people he would return to the Northwest during the campaign “because we are going to take the state of Washington.”
The last Republican to win Washington, a reliably blue state in presidential elections, was Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Trump asked security to remove a protester as he spoke at the Spokane Convention Center.
Another protester, 30-year-old Blaine Dan McLay, wore a “Stop Trump” hat. McLay said Trump’s ideas make no sense and he’s “xenophobic, misogynistic and racist.”
But there were far more Trump backers gathering in downtown Spokane.
Mike Fagen, a Spokane city councilman, said he likes Trump because the New York businessman rattled the establishment.
“He’s our best possibility of getting the GOP straightened out,” Fagan said. “He is a breath of fresh air.”
Mike Leach, Washington State University’s football coach, spoke to supporters at the convention center before Trump’s speech and gave his endorsement.
Leach, who noted he was speaking for himself and not WSU, said: “It’s time for Mr. Trump to assist us together in our country … making America great again.”
In Lynden, Maria de Jesus Lozano, 63, speaking Spanish, said through a translator that she drove from Tacoma to protest Trump’s visit because Trump is a racist and his policies would hurt minorities.
“He’s talked really badly about immigrants,” she told the translator, Margaret Diddams, 25. “But immigrants are keeping this country alive, so it’s a disrespect to immigrants like me.”
But supporters said they liked what they heard from the candidate.
Mike Scholten, 29, said Trump isn’t a politician, and he appreciated that Trump paid for part of his campaign because it doesn’t make him beholden to outside interests.
Trump’s likely spot at the top of the GOP ticket has caused a rift in the state Republican party in the run-up to the May 24 Washington presidential primary. On Thursday, GOP Senate candidate Chris Vance said he wouldn’t vote for Trump.
Republican Sen. Don Benton, Trump’s state campaign chairman, says opposition to Trump comes from the GOP establishment pushing back against a candidate who won’t serve special interests.
On Friday night, Trump greeted thousands of supporters in Eugene, Oregon. Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the event. Eugene police said the demonstrations ended peacefully and there were no arrests.