LIMA — Air Force One touched down at 5:31 p.m. Sunday at Lima Allen County Airport, an hour later than scheduled.
President Donald Trump quickly exchanged greeting with U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman before heading to Pratt Industries in Wapakoneta, where he was to tour the plant with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The company is owned by Anthony Pratt, a billionaire Australian businessman who supported Trump in the 2016 election. A year after Trump’s victory, Pratt ran full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal touting his promise to invest $5 billion and create thousands of new jobs in the Midwest.
“It’s not every day the president comes to the 4th District in West Central Ohio so this is great for our part of the state and of course what’s happening at Pratt Industries is great as well,” said Jordan. “I mean, all of those jobs, couple hundred jobs coming in now, so this a big day for our part of the world. We’re glad the president’s here to talk about it.”
The president only stayed at the airport long enough to greet the two politicians before leaving by motorcade for Wapakoneta at 5:43 p.m. —two minutes after arrival.
Unlike his last visit to Allen County on March 20 when he visited the General Dynamics Land Systems Division, Trump did not come over and greet the crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the leader of the free world.
Connie and Kevin Mayer of Cridersville were grateful for the opportunity to see him again.
“We support him. We just love to see him,” said Connie Mayer. She says she appreciates his honesty. “He’s out to try and make America great again. I just love that he’s doing what he said he would do.”
Kevin Mayer agreed.
“I farm myself and like what he’s doing for trade and trying to help the farmers. I like his stand on abortion and I like his stand on immigration. Whatever he’s doing he’s doing for the betterment of the country. I really believe that,” he said.
Jim and Robin Woodruff of Lima we’re excited to see the president for the first time.
“I’m 56 years old and I’ve never met anyone important and this is an opportunity in my lifetime that I don’t want to pass up. I want to see Donald Trump in person and I’m really excited about that. It’s definitely worth my time,” said Jim Woodruff.
“From the presidents I’ve seen, it just seems like he’s on my side. It’s like that’s me talking up there. That’s how I feel,” he said.
Robin Woodruff said she came out “just to be supportive and to be able to see him. I don’t think that opportunity will happen that often.”
Hope and Ralph DeLong of Lima also came out to support the president.
“I like that he’s for the American people, not just for himself or to try to get rich. I feel like he is trying to make things better,” said Hope DeLong.
“I think he’s the greatest president in the history of the United States,” added Ralph DeLong.
He cited the president’s stance on the wall and immigration, the notion that he gives his salary back and it’s America first.
“I think he is going to drain the swamp and I think the Democrats are the worst evil I’ve ever seen in history and he (Trump) has taught me so much. I’ve never learned more, with his tweets and everything and now I know that there is fake news. Not all news is fake news, but there is fake news. I hope he wins in 2020,” said Ralph DeLong.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.