AUGUSTA — More than 100 people braved frigid conditions and a subzero wind chill Saturday afternoon to march to and rally at the State House to show their support for President Donald Trump.

The March 4 Trump event was organized as a rally to unite Americans by showing support for our president, according to a news release about the event.

“I just wanted to demonstrate in a physical sense that I support our president and what he stands for,” said John Watkins, of Cundy’s Harbor. “(I like) his total honesty and his pragmatism. I think he sees the country facing some problems and he’s going to do his best to solve them.”

The crowd was filled with men and women both young and old waving American flags, carrying “Trump-Pence” campaign signs and homemade signs offering allegiance to the current administration. There were renditions of “God Bless America” and Trump campaign favorite “God Bless the USA” and a prayer before Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, addressed the crowd, saying the country’s problems have been caused by Washington, D.C., elites.

Dan McNulty, of Farmingdale, said he is a veteran and supports Trump because of his views on the economy and how he’ll help veterans. McNulty said he thinks we need to do better for not only the people of Maine but for everyone in the country.

Maria Gott said she came from Bar Harbor because she thinks Trump is fighting for the people and is a lot more honest than the Obama administration. She said Trump has a love for this country and is not going to be benefiting financially from being president; she then said she thought former President Barack Obama had his own agenda, which didn’t include love for the country.

“I think (Trump) is going to make the country safer, and he is going to create more jobs because he is a good businessman,” Gott said.

Obama and the Democrats, Gott said, are using secret tactics behind the scenes to bring the president down anytime he looks good. She said there’s a lot of talk about Russia, but she “hasn’t seen any proof that Donald Trump has had anything to do with the Russians.”

In his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, for which many political commentators credited Trump with a more statesmanlike tone, the president spoke about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act — known informally as Obamacare — and talked about saving jobs at several factories across the country and advancing a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Brad Littlefield, one of the Augusta rally’s organizers, said he was pleased with the direction and tone of Trump’s speech.

“I think he had a great speech on Tuesday, and I thought he was very focused,” Littlefield said. “I thought he had a good message and laid out his agenda that hadn’t been heard before.”

Also on Tuesday, Trump said the time for trivial fights was over, a possible allusion to some of the bickering between parties in public and on social media. On Saturday morning, however, Trump sent several tweets accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, then tweeted about Arnold Schwarzenegger, “The Apprentice” TV show and its “bad (pathetic) ratings.”

Gott and Littlefield said they don’t have a problem with Trump’s use of social media. Gott said he’s not speaking behind people’s backs, but instead he’s speaking truthfully and honestly, unlike the previous administration. Littlefield thinks Twitter is a useful platform.

“I don’t really care (about Twitter),” Littlefield said. “It’s a good way for him to communicate with the American people directly, and I think people who support him like that, and his detractors don’t.”

Watkins said Trump uses social media as a tool more than just to criticize people who disagree with him.

“I think he’s a master strategist, and as long as he keeps people like the press guessing, then he sets the agenda, not the establishment,” he said.

Littlefield said there were 157 signed up for the event, and an unofficial count showed around 150 people in attendance.

Before marching to the State House from Shaw’s supermarket on Western Avenue, organizers collected canned goods that will be delivered to local food banks this week. It was originally scheduled to be a three-hour event, but with a feels-like temperature expected to be around 10 below zero in the early afternoon, organizers shortened it. The rally at the State House started around 12:30 p.m. and ended at 1 p.m.

Watkins said no matter what detractors or naysayers think, as long as Trump can create an atmosphere that enables businesses to start hiring again, the country knows no bounds.

“His strength is his infectious can-do spirit,” he said.

Last month, Trump opponents held a Not My President’s Day rally at the State House.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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