Donald Trump campaigns in Chicago

ByEric Horng and Laura Podesta WLS logo
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Trump campaigns in Illinois and Wisconsin
Donald Trump was in the Chicago area Wednesday to raise money Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Donald Trump was in the Chicago area Wednesday to raise money and meet with the Polish American Congress Wednesday morning.

Trump's final appearance of the day was in the Milwaukee suburbs where he was met by hundreds of supporters in a crucial conservative voting district.

Waukesha County is known for its conservatism and high voter turnout, and broke heavily for Ted Cruz over Trump in the primary.

The 40-minute speech was heavy on law and order. Trump repeated his now-familiar reference to Chicago's soaring murder rate, describing the city as "war torn" and saying current leaders have failed minority communities.

"I will fix it. Vote for me. I will fix it," Trump told the crowd.

Protesters followed the nominee and his motorcade from event to event, challenging Trump supporters along the way. The two sides often shouted at each other outside.

Trump began his day by meeting with invited members of the city's Polish-American community, who told ABC7 Eyewitness News he vowed, if elected, to push for Polish citizens to be allowed to visit the U.S. without a visa. It's a pet cause of the Polish-American community.

The Polish American Congress released a statement saying, in part, "Although unfamiliar with the issue of inclusion of Poland into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, Trump expressed concern that Poland is not a member of the Program. Trump said, 'I promise that within weeks of my Administration being sworn into office, I will see to the approval of Poland in the Visa Waiver Program.'"

Trump also told the crowd, "I'll be the greatest president for jobs that God has ever created!"

Polish community leaders spoke out against Trump's visit and meeting Wednesday, blasting him for his disregard for NATO allies, his close association with Russian president Vladimir Putin and his mistreatment of undocumented Polish workers during the construction of Trump Tower in New York City.

"Donald Trump has no regard for the Polish community. When Donald Trump built his tower in New York, he ruthlessly exploited his undocumented Polish immigrant workforce and was sued for it in 1983. Donald Trump has already harmed the Polish community and if elected, would continue that tradition," said Breandan Magee, a local immigration activist.

"What I expect, the only thing I expect from him today, here, is an apology for his anti-immigrant rhetoric and explanations on what he means why dismantling NATO and his bizarre affinity for Vladimir Putin," Conrad Nowak, the former chairman of Polish American Association, said.

Trump then traveled to southwest suburban Bolingbrook for a private fundraising luncheon, with tickets that started at $1,000 and went as high as $250,000 for VIP tickets.

Roughly 100 people were awaiting Trump's arrival at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, and demonstrators had harsh words for the town's longtime mayor for inviting Trump in the first place.

"We are probably the most diverse community in the state of Illinois and it's a slap in the face for him to invite someone here who spent so much time dividing our country," said resident Charlotte Droogan.

"I thoroughly oppose his policies, his ideas, his behavior, I would really like to see the country vote for a different president," Sue Robles said.

"I am a patriot, I'm a tax paying, middle class, independent woman and mother and I feel insulted by Mr. Trump's parasitic behavior on people like me," Susan Parsons said.

"I told a couple of people, hey, they said, 'I've been supporting you for 30 years.' I said, 'Well, if that's going to change that, I'm sorry.' But I, too, am entitled to an opinion," said Mayor Roger Claar.

After the fundraiser, Trump attended an event at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.. Trump's daughter Ivanka is also in Illinois today, attending a series of fundraisers downstate and in Chicago. Former Bears coach Mike Ditka and Cubs co-owner Todd Rickets among those expected to attend tonight's Chicago event.

Someone wrote obscenities along with Trump's name early Wednesday morning on the front door of the building where his first event took place, near North Cicero and West Peterson avenues in Chicago's Sauganash neighborhood. The graffiti was washed off before 7 a.m. The Secret Service and Chicago police secured the building.

This comes as Trump's campaign raised a reported $90 million last month. That was a $10 million increase from what he raised in July, but trails Hillary Clinton, who raised $143 million in August.

Hillary Clinton will be in Chicago Thursday for a fundraising event geared toward lawyers. She appeared with Sen. Bernie Sanders at an event in New Hampshire to help push a plan for free college tuition. Clinton said her plan would pay for schooling for children whose parents make less than $125,000 a year.

Clinton also received two conservative endorsements, one from former Virginia Republican Senator John Warner, and the other from the editorial board of the Arizona Republic who endorsed a Democrat for the first time in their 126-year history.

Both candidates are expected to talk about violence in Chicago and the climbing murder rates. Trump has talked about wanting to implement stop-and-frisk policies in Chicago, which was ruled by a federal judge to be unconstitutional in New York.