Close to the finish line: A battle for every vote
Boy kicked out of Trump rally meets Obama the next dayA disabled boy from Florida was kicked out of a Donald Trump rally for protesting against him and being supporter of Hillary Clinton. The next day, his dream came true when he met US President Barack Obama.
JJ Holmes, a twelve-year-old boy from Florida with cerebral palsy, wanted to attend a Trump rally, not because he is a Trump supporter but rather because he wanted to protest against the Republican candidate. "I wanted to go because Donald J. Trump made fun of disabled people," JJ said in a video statement to The Washington Post on Monday.
This past Saturday, the boy’s mom, Alison Holmes, allowed him to attend. JJ and his mother woke up at 3 a.m. and drove two hours until they arrived in Tampa. JJ began playing recordings of himself chanting against Trump in favor of Clinton using his vocalization device.
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"Dump Trump" and "Trump mocks the disabled” were among some of JJ’s chants. "It wasn't that loud," his mother said, adding, "Trump was laughing about how his supporters drown out JJ. So my daughters and I started chanting." It was at this point that his mother says the crowd became unruly.
At this point, it was reported that Trump then made a remark from the stage, realizing something was going on in the crowd. "Oh, we have a Hillary Clinton person. Are they paying that person $1,500?" Trump said, according to Fox News. "Get him out, please. Get him out."
The crowd became rowdier and according to his mother, Trump supporters nearby began pushing JJ’s wheelchair, yelling obscenities at her and her family until they were escorted from the arena.
As JJ and his mother were leaving the rally, they ran into Valentina Pereda, the Florida press secretary for the Clinton campaign. Pereda heard what happened and that JJ’s dream was to meet Obama.
Pereda decided to help try to make his dream come true. She did not know if she could get him and Obama together but she wanted to see how close she could get. Obama was speaking at a Democratic event in Kissimmee, Florida in support of Clinton and Pereda escorted the boy and his family there.
After Obama’s speech, a friend of Pereda’s contacted her and told her to have JJ wait in the VIP area by the rope line so he can meet the President.
JJ said on Monday that meeting the President was the highlight of his weekend. When his mother asked whether or not he now was happy that he attended the Trump rally, JJ shouted “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”
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