GRAY — Donald Trump Jr. visited with about 175 people Tuesday at a gun shop in Gray, where he affirmed that the Second Amendment right to bear arms would be protected if his father wins election to the White House.

During the stop at Howell’s Indoor Shooting Range and Gun Shop, Trump, 38, also reminded voters of one of his father’s rallying cries – that it was time to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., of career politicians like Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The younger Trump also spoke of his love of hunting and fishing. “Preserving that heritage, that great American tradition, is so vital,” Trump said, proclaiming that teaching children to hunt and fish and use firearms would help keep them out of trouble while building character qualities such as discipline and patience.

Trump Jr., who has five children of his own and goes by “Don,” didn’t take questions from local media, but did pose for photos with supporters such as Alan Wing and his wife, Eleanor Watson, of Parsonsfield.

Watson said she is an ardent supporter, but she believes Republican Donald Trump has an uphill fight on his hands.

“He’s running against the GOP establishment, the mainstream media, the Hollywood goofballs and Hillary at the very end,” Watson said. “That’s what he is fighting against.”

Eric Bleicken, 75, of Portland said he believes Trump will win, even as polls increasingly show the billionaire and reality television star continuing to trail Clinton.

Bleicken said Trump is leading what he described as “the second American Revolution.”

“What’s happening is America, away from the Beltway, away from the city, the major cities, (is) essentially rising up against the corruption, which is the power elite, the inside-the-Beltway – both the Democrat and the Republican establishment – as well as the media,” Bleicken said.

He said Trump is leading the charge because of his “commanding presence. He’s courageous, he’s the kind of leadership America has been screaming for for a very long time.”

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett had a different take on the candidate and on his son’s visit Tuesday.

“Donald Trump’s support in Maine is waning, largely due to his reprehensible remarks about women,” Bartlett said in a prepared statement. “His son’s visit should not distract from the fact that Trump has glorified sexual violence and repeatedly demeaned women. Mainers are known for their common decency, and as Hillary Clinton said in the last debate, we will ‘stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president.’ We expect a president who doesn’t brag about groping women without their consent. We expect a president who isn’t Donald Trump.”

Tuesday’s visit marked the sixth time Trump’s campaign has visited Maine, and the third time in a month. The candidate most recently visited Bangor on Oct. 15, his fourth trip to the state since he announced his candidacy in 2015. He has visited both Portland and Bangor twice and has sent his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, to Maine on his behalf.

Maine is one of only two states that can split its Electoral College votes, with the winner of each congressional district taking one vote and the remaining two going to the overall statewide winner. Trump leads Clinton in the polls in Maine’s more rural and northern 2nd Congressional District.

A Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram poll in September showed Trump leading in the district by 15 points, although more recent polling suggests that gap is narrowing.

Nationally, Clinton was leading Trump by 5.1 points, based on the average of the most recent national polls, according to the poll-tracking website Real Clear Politics.

Trump Jr. made several other stops Tuesday, including at his father’s Maine campaign headquarters of in Auburn, which it shares with the Androscoggin County Republican Party, and at Simones’ Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston.

 


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