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Donald Trump Continues Penn State Shoutout Tradition With ‘Nittley, Nittany Lions’ Mention At Hershey Rally

Penn State received a presidential shoutout from Donald Trump Tuesday evening at a campaign rally in Hershey.

“It’s good to be back in the state that gave us the Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania steel, Hershey chocolate…I like Hershey chocolate,” he said.

“The Nittley Lions, you know, the Nittany Lions,” he continued with a quick recovery, slapping the side of the podium. “You know, they’re doing pretty well too.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has mentioned Penn State on the campaign trail, which seems to be a staple, or a strategy, of sorts in the speeches he delivers in Pennsylvania. After reminding a Pittsburgh crowd that he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, he said “I know a lot about Pennsylvania, and it’s great” in 2016.

“How’s Joe Paterno? When are we gonna bring that back? How about that whole deal,” he then asked, reading from a piece of paper. “And we do love Penn State, do we love Penn State? I mean, in all fairness,” he said as the crowd cheered.

Paterno had been dead for four years at the time of the rally. Officials later said that Trump was referring to the Joe Paterno statue, which was removed in 2012. Trump’s team reportedly referred to the statue as the “Penn State bronze statue that was melted down,” perhaps citing this April Fools post of ours from 2015.

Last year, Trump compared the noise levels of his rallies to those of Penn State and Ohio State football games.

The president also has a lengthy archive of Penn State-related tweets.

Trump’s sons, who attended boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, have also visited Happy Valley. Donald Trump Jr. visited Penn State for a Turning Point USA discussion on campus conservatism last Spring, while Eric Trump hosted a campaign event for his father downtown the day before the 2016 election.

Trump narrowly lost Centre County’s popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, but secured an important electoral victory by swinging Pennsylvania as a whole. He’s set to return to the state on Saturday for the Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field.

You can find Trump’s Hershey rally in its entirety here.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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