Heat, literal and figurative, highlights Trump rally

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Heated rhetoric was heard in an overheated gym Saturday when Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump spoke at a rally at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Several people inside the Pitt Center were stretchered out, overcome by heat as air conditioning battled to cool a crowd estimated between 4,000 and 5,000.

Visiting an overwhelmingly blue state that has not voted Republican since it backed George H.W. Bush in 1988, Trump promised to campaign hard.

“I’m making a big play for Connecticut. Normally the party wouldn’t make a play,” Trump said.

“I love Connecticut,” he added. “I have lived in Connecticut. I have so many friends in Connecticut.”

Criticizing the economic policies of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Trump emphasized the exit from Connecticut of GE, a neighbor of Sacred Heart.
According to the Associated Press, Trump also criticized the media, and his supporters followed suit. AP reported that Trump was most unfavorable to The New York Times, saying, maybe we’ll start thinking about taking their press credentials away.”

The HAN Network was not allowed into the venue, its application filed Thursday for credentials listed as “pending.”

The following clip is from today’s Coffee Break, the HAN Network’s weekday news show, airing at 11 a.m.:

Outside the venue, Trump opponents protested before and during the rally. Some engaged in debates with Trump supporters, many chanted “Love Trumps hate,” the theme cited in an email sent about urging protesters to show their support for Clinton — and opposition to Trump — outside the Pitt Center.

A few men, holding a banner that read “Diversity = White Genocide” also caused a stir among anti-Trump protesters and those outside the rally.  

“We know that this transcends party, this transcends Democrat-Republican, blue-red, Donald Trump represents a threat to our national security and our way of life,” Steven Sheinbert, chairman of Fairfield Democratic Town Committee, told the group outside.

— Bryan Haeffele contributed to this story.

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