Bartlett, Strimling Host Press Conference on Trump Visit to Maine

PORTLAND, Maine – At a press conference held today outside Portland City Hall, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett and Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling were joined by veterans and Democratic legislators in calling out Donald Trump for his disastrous economic plan and unacceptable remarks about members of the military and their families.

Speakers at the press conference, held shortly before Trump’s rally, included Bartlett, Strimling, Maine State Sen. Anne Haskell, Maine State Rep. Jared Golden, and Vietnam veteran Tom McClain of Kennebunkport.

Maine State Reps. Scott Hamann, Matt Moonen, Mark Dion, and Kim Monaghan stood in support of the speakers.

“We’re here today because Donald Trump’s values are not Maine values,” said Bartlett. “Specifically, we’re here to draw attention to his devastating economic plan that would cost the U.S. nearly 3.5 million jobs, to the fact he manufactures his clothing line overseas, and to the unthinkable remarks he made about the family of a fallen U.S. soldier. It’s also noteworthy that Congressman Bruce Poliquin has remained silent on whether he supports Donald Trump, and he has failed to condemn Donald Trump’s attacks on military families.”

Strimling said, “Donald Trump does not believe in the first line of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of our U.S. Constitution, and that person cannot be elected President of the United States.” He added that Trump’s divisive rhetoric will “create an economic divide even wider between the richest and the poorest. We do not have values in this city that espouse bigotry, that push hate. Our values in this city are: ‘Love Trumps Hate.’”

“Trump called our military a disaster and said that we used to win with our military but that ‘now we never win,’” said Golden, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he served as a U.S. Marine Corps infantryman from 2002 to 2006. “He claims that he knows how to defeat ISIS, insulting the men and woman that have put boots on the ground and are taking the fight to them even as we speak. They’ve been fighting the war on terrorism for fifteen years now, and you, Donald Trump, have sat on the sidelines.”

“You cannot believe the anger I felt when Donald Trump called Sen. John McCain a loser because he was a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese after being shot down in his fighter plane,” said McClain, a veteran of the Air Force who flew 205 combat missions in Vietnam. “Trump said he liked ‘winners.’ My flight instructor and two close friends were killed flying missions in Vietnam. They came home in caskets. What would Trump call them?”

“As a Gold Star daughter, I was grateful to see all the heartfelt support for our veterans and their families today,” said State Sen. Anne Haskell, who wore her Gold Star pin at the event. Her father died in the Philippines during World War II.

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