‘Campus Clash’ Brings Trump Jr., Guilfoyle, And Kirk To Penn State
Hundreds of people packed into a Penn State lecture hall on Tuesday night to hear Donald Trump Jr. discuss his father’s presidency, the Mueller Report, campus conservativism and more.
Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were on hand to join Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk for the University Park stop on his “Campus Clash” tour. Guilfoyle is a former Fox News commentator and vice-chair of the America First Action pro-Trump superPAC. Kirk’s Turning Point USA is a nonprofit, youth-focused organization promoting conservative principles.
The Penn State visit is the only one on the tour to feature Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle.
At the start of the event, Michael Csencsits, president of the Turning Point USA Penn State chapter, said the organization has 1,300 chapters nationwide and “is the fastest growing conservative youth movement in the country.”
Early in the discussion, Trump Jr. said that his father has delivered on campaign promises, with a strong economy and low unemployment.
“This is a guy, my father, who’s actually created jobs, who’s actually had people’s livelihoods, their families well-being dependent on his success each and every day,” he said. “We gave a chance to a business guy and look at the results… He’s actually delivered.”
Kirk noted that in March Pennsylvania had its lowest unemployment rate on record at 3.9 percent and record high payrolls.
He also was critical of proposals among some Democrats to cancel student loan debt or provide tuition-free college, saying that it is the government that has pushed students into heavy loan debts. Instead, he said, colleges should be reducing the amount of time students spend paying tuition and that the importance of pursuing trades should be respected and emphasized.
Guilfoyle, meanwhile, said the economy under Trump will make it easier for students to succeed after college.
“Under this Trump economy… people like yourselves sitting here in this auditorium when you graduate you will actually get a job under this economy,” Guilfoyle said. “You will have a job and be able to pay back those loans and be part of the incredible economic metrics this president has been able to achieve. It’s record low unemployment for the person to your left, the person to your right. You will get a job.”
All three were also critical of the Mueller investigation, with Trump Jr. calling it “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
Though Mueller’s report said he found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interference efforts, the report did not come to a conclusive determination on obstruction by the president. Trump Jr., however, claimed there was no evidence of either.
“Obviously there’s no collusion, no obstruction,” he said. “Nothing that I haven’t been screaming for two years. Now that they didn’t the answer they want they’re going to relegislate it and try to do it a different way.”
He also said the investigation was successful for Democrats because it distracted from the president’s agenda and success.
Guilfoyle added that the administration was “fully transparent. They didn’t hold anything back.”
Trump Jr. also said that “we have to be able to move on from this,” and that Democrats need to start working with his father on issues such as health care, infrastructure and immigration.
“Let’s agree to work for Americans together for a change,” he said.
In addition to numerous references to the economy under Trump, the speakers also cited other areas including foreign policy and prison reform as successes of the administration.
Trump Jr. said the track record should make the president’s re-election a “no-brainer” but said the media, which he claimed is a “marketing wing of the DNC,” will make it more difficult.
“2020 should be the easiest re-elect in the history of the world,” he said. “On paper that’s accurate but it won’t be because we’re not even close to a level playing field.”
While the panelists were met with raucous applause, a few protestors were in attendance and eventually escorted out of the audience after heckling the speakers. Another person in attendance was escorted out during the Q&A portion after complaining that questions were being pre-screened by only being accepted through social media and trying to get in line to ask a question.
“They’re afraid of having someone challenge them,” Kirk said. “There are only a few conservative events on a campus in a semester and the liberals do whatever they can to ruin it for the hundreds of students who have waited in line.”
Audience members were asked early on to submit questions through Twitter and Instagram.
“We strongly encourage people who disagree with us to ask questions,” Csencsits said.
Kirk and Trump Jr. both said it is difficult to be an outspoken conservative in general and particularly on a college campus. Kirk said that some professors use their positions to “silence or indoctrinate” and that students who challenge them are risking their grades.
But for those who do speak out, he said, it’s not about changing a professor’s mind.
“You’re not going to try to convince your professor. You’re going to try to convince everyone else around you to listen,” he said.
Trump Jr. also said that one of his father’s greatest achievements “has been his willingness to push back on PC culture, to push back on the crap.”
He added that young people who express their views are the future of the GOP.
“Everyone in this room is leading the charge,” he said. “You’re going to be the future of the conservative movement. You are that next generation.”
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