Vowing to repeal “catastrophic” Obamacare and bringing manufacturing jobs back to America under his presidency, Republican nominee Donald Trump has said he is not a politician and is fighting the election to pay back the country that has “been so good to me”.
Addressing a campaign event here in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania just a week before the elections that focused on the issue of healthcare, Trump described Obamacare as a “catastrophe” which if not repealed would destroy US healthcare.
“When we win on November 8th, and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. I will ask Congress to convene a special session,” Trump said in his nearly 20-minute speech to the gathering .
“Obamacare is a catastrophe. The President said if you like your plan you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor – which may go down as one of the great political lies of the century. Even the skeptical Democrats believed him and approved the legislation. No one even read the 2,700-page bill,” he said as the audience cheered him and booed Obama’s healthcare plan.
Trump, who was joined by his running mate Mike Pence and former presidential contender Ben Carson, said it is time for a “new leadership”.The controversial billionaire said he is running for the President’s post to give back to the country.
“I’ve led a great life – and I truly love our country. So now, I want to give back to the country that has been so good to me. And that is why I’m doing this,” he told the cheering crowd.
“I am not a politician. My only special interest is you, the American people. The guiding rule of the Political Class in Washington DC is that they are looking out only for themselves. They will say anything, and do anything, to cling to their power and prestige at your expense,” he said, adding that Americans are “tired” of being told to defer their dreams to another day, which in politicians’ words means “another decade”.
Trump slammed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for wanting to expand Obamacare and make it even more expensive.”She wants to put the government totally in charge of healthcare in America. If we don’t repeal and replace Obamacare, we will destroy American health care forever – it’s one of the single most important reasons why we must win on November 8th,” he said as the crowd shouted “Trump, Trump” and “Make America Great Again”.
He also vowed to bring manufacturing jobs back to the country, saying states like Pennsylvania lost almost 40 per cent of manufacturing jobs since NAFTA, a deal signed by former president Bill Clinton and supported by his wife Hillary, came into place.
“The City of Philadelphia has lost more than 1 in 3 of its manufacturing jobs since China joined the World Trade Organisation – another Bill and Hillary-backed deal,” he said, adding that a Trump Administration will renegotiate NAFTA, and “stand up” to foreign product dumping, currency manipulation and unfair subsidy behaviour.
“We are going to bring manufacturing and jobs, lots of jobs, back to Pennsylvania. We are going to open modern mines, and take care of our great miners. We will be producing clean coal, oil, natural gas and shale energy.
“We’re also bringing back our steelworkers, whose jobs have been stolen by the dumping of steel all over this state and country by China, and other countries. Nobody has been treated worse than these workers, but that will change on January 20th of next year,” Trump said.He said in order to accomplish these goals, America must cut its ties with the “small, bitter and petty politics of the past”.
“We must declare our independence from a failed establishment that has squandered $6 trillion on foreign wars in the Middle East that never end and that we never win and that have made us less safe. They’ve left our borders wide open at home, and shipped our jobs and wealth to other countries,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, women and immigrants voiced strong support for the 70-year-old reality TV star at the rally, rejecting the Republican Presidential nominee’s ‘portrayal’ as racist and anti-immigrant and saying his policies will boost American trade and stop illegal immigration in the country.
Women made up a majority of the crowd at the rally, cheering Trump, who has faced severe backlash from various quarters over his treatment of women.Among those at the rally was a group of immigrants from China, who stood out at the event with their T-shirts with the words ‘Chinese-Americans Love Trump’.
Nick Xu, among the Chinese-American supporters at the rally, said he had been campaigning for Trump for several months now and strongly rejected his portrayal by the media as racist and anti-immigrant.
“The media has distorted the truth by portraying Trump as a racist and against immigrants. That is not true. He is not a racist and he is in favour of legal immigration, he only wants to stop illegal immigration, which is common sense,” Nick told PTI after the rally.
A New Jersey resident, Nick said his friends from countries like China, India, Pakistan, Mexico and Russia support Trump because he wants to stop illegal immigration.
“There has to be a strong immigration policy. If people want to come into the US they should be able to come in legally. The US should be able to control who comes in,” he said, adding Trump’s economic policies also “make sense” as they seek to ensure global trade is balanced and not skewed.
Citing the example of how Chinese goods are very cheap in America but the same goods cost a lot in China itself, he said “the trade system is just skewed and unbalanced” and Trump’s policies will help ensure a balanced trade regime that creates jobs in the US as well as abroad.