Evan Vucci / AP
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 | 2:24 p.m.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump put a Nevada spin on his traditional stump speech while rallying supporters today on the Las Vegas Strip, just nine days before Election Day.
Trump, speaking to a crowd of about 8,400 at the Venetian, promised to prioritize infrastructure development, such as the Interstate 11 project here in Nevada; lamented the increase in murders in Las Vegas in the past year; and said he would make the military purchase new fighter jets while mentioning Nellis Air Force Base.
He shared the stories of two Nevadans who were killed by immigrants in the country illegally to emphasize why the United States needs increased border security and more stringent immigration protocols. He said a 20-year-old “basketball star” was shot by an undocumented immigrant, paralyzing and eventually killing him, while a 17-year-old girl from Carson City was killed while out driving around looking for a job.
“A Trump administration will also secure and defend the borders of the United States," Trump said. “And yes, we will build a wall.”
He pointed to the murder rate in Las Vegas, up 27 percent over last year, to stress the importance of security here at home. He said that, as president, he will suspend Syrian refugee resettlement and will get Islamic terrorists “the hell out of our country.”
Trump promised to lower taxes on American businesses from 35 to 15 percent, cut taxes for middle-class families by hundreds of billions of dollars a year and invest in transportation infrastructure. He also said he would go into the “poorest communities” in the country and work on a national plan to alleviate poverty, noting the high poverty rates for black and Hispanic children.
“Real change is possible if we simply cut our ties with the failed politicians,” Trump said.
He reiterated his promise to “drain the swamp” of politicians in Washington, D.C., by implementing a number of reforms, from term limits to bans on elected officials becoming lobbyists for a certain number of years after leaving office.
“When we win on Nov. 8, we are going to Washington, D.C., and we are going to drain the swamp,” Trump said, the last three words in unison with the crowd.
Trump also addressed the recent revelations that the FBI is looking into additional emails from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that the agency obtained as part of a separate case.
“Her criminal action was willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful. Hillary set up an illegal server for the obvious purpose of shielding her criminal conduct from public disclosure and exposure,” Trump said. "She set up this illegal server knowing full well that her actions put our national security at risk and put the safety and security of your children at risk.”
But he also poked fun at himself over his mispronunciation of the state’s name during his last trip to Nevada. During a rally in Reno, Trump repeatedly referred to the state as “Ne-VAH-duh” and insisted that anyone who said it the other way was wrong.
“We’re going to win the state of Nevada. Nev-AD-uh. Nev-AD-uh, right?” Trump said at the beginning of the rally, emphasizing the correct pronunciation of the state’s name. “I don’t know if you know it, but everybody in New York says it the other way. I did that once, and I will never do it again.”
Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian spoke before Trump at the rally, reminding the crowd of the importance of early voting. But when the crowd started chanting, “Lock her up,” Tarkanian countered that they should instead “just vote her down,” saying that “that’s the worst thing she can have” happen.
The campaign also announced a get-out-the-vote effort at the beginning of the rally: Several speakers informed the crowd that there would be large, black buses waiting to take people from the valet site at the Venetian to an early voting site at the nearby Boulevard mall after the rally.
“You’re going to remember this day. You’re going to remember when you cast your vote,” Trump said during the rally. “The vote you cast was the most important vote you’ve ever cast because our country will start winning again.”
But after the rally, some Trump supporters looking for the early voting buses were confused about which valet they were supposed to go to, and other Trump supporters walking to the self-parking lot or waiting at the valet to pick up their own cars weren’t sure where the buses were either.
All in all, at least two 12-seater vans picked up Trump supporters in front of the Venetian and carted them to the early voting site. (It was not immediately clear whether there were any additional vans.)
One of the early voters, 50-year-old Eric Maypother, said he had planned on early voting today anyways but didn’t know that the campaign would have transportation available from the hotel until the rally. He also said he had difficulty finding the buses but eventually waited in front of the hotel until they showed up.
“Right from the beginning, Trump was my first choice,” said Maypother, packed in a van with six other early voters.