San Diego Democrats Slam Trump, Make Banners Before Friday's Rally
Local Democrats on Thursday slammed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump one day before he holds a rally at the San Diego Convention Center.
In a conference call with local media, Rep. Scott Peters described the businessman as "dangerous" and "out of touch" with hardworking families.
Peters also accused Trump, who today reached the number of delegates necessary for the GOP nomination, of rooting for the recession-era housing slump so he could make a profit, opposing the minimum wage, lacking in foreign policy experience and relying on "misinformed ideas" about other countries.
"He is dangerous, he is divisive, and he is a demagogue while Californians are tolerant and inclusive," Peters said. "We don't think it's fine to call Mexican immigrants 'rapists' and 'drug dealers,' and we don't think it's fine to ban an entire religion from entering our country."
Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher criticized Trump's statements regarding veterans, and San Diego County Democratic Party Chairwoman Francine Busby said he would be "a disaster" for women and seniors.
Trump's opponents also threw banner-making parties around the county on Thursday, including one at the San Diego County Democratic Party office.
At that event, 52-year-old San Diego resident Martina Pappas sketched Trump in a straitjacket, with a border fence around his body. "Because if we do need a wall, we need it around him," she explained.
Pappas said she's against Trump because of his negative comments about Mexicans.
“For him to try to come and insult, you don’t go to the presidency insulting, degrading people," she said.
Speaking in North Dakota, Trump announced his "America First" energy plan in which he said "American energy dominance will be declared a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States."
He said his plan would remove bureaucracy from energy innovation, and wean the country off energy imports.
Trump's visit to San Diego is the first of his candidacy and is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m.
Numerous opposition groups, from organized labor to immigration advocates, plan to demonstrate outside the convention center. Protests turned violent Tuesday in Albuquerque, leading to concerns about security in San Diego.
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman vowed that law enforcement will tolerate no violence, disruptive behavior or unlawful acts at the Trump event.
"For anyone who comes to disrupt, to do illegal activities, we will take swift and decisive action to make sure we have a peaceful event," Zimmerman told news crews Wednesday.
The department plans to have a "significant presence" of uniformed and plainclothes officers at Friday's bayside gathering and has coordinated with state, local and federal agencies to promptly put a stop to any combative or destructive protesters or counter-protesters, the chief said.
The city has designated demonstration zones — one for Trump supporters and another for those who oppose the 69-year-old billionaire real estate magnate's presidential bid — on the northwest and southeast sides of the Harbor Drive center and will strictly enforce attendees' comportment while ensuring their constitutional free-speech rights, Zimmerman told reporters.
"And we are well prepared to respond," she said.
Seven adults and one juvenile were arrested outside a Trump rally Wednesday in Anaheim after some protesters hurled bottles at police and others tried to climb over a barrier. Police said that prompted officers to declare an unlawful assembly and begin attempts to disperse the crowd.