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Local officials react to Trump’s ‘infuriating’ comments at Conway rally

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Former president Donald Trump’s ‘Get out the Vote’ rally in Conway left some offended.

Trump made mocking comments towards presidential candidate, Nikki Haley’s husband.

Thousands of people packed inside Coastal Carolina University’s HTC Center Saturday.

President Trump’s rally started around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon and held around 3,000 people in the university’s basketball arena. Some students say they attended the event for the experience.

Coastal Carolina, junior student, Caleb Adkins said there were a lot of people in attendance.

“I got there around 7-7:30 in the morning,” Adkins said. “And the lines were already backed up to the fields right by the track.”

Trump made several comments during his campaign speech Saturday that mocked Haley’s husband, Michael Haley, who’s a member of the Army National Guard.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, who is a Nikki Haley supporter, said Trump’s comments prove he’s not supportive of our military.

“I think we all expected Trump to come to this area at some point,” Bethune said. “But I don’t think the rally helped him at all. Actually, I think it hurt him by some of the infuriating comments he made.”

“It’s just wrong to make those kinds of comments,” Bethune continued. “And it shows Donald Trump will do or say anything to try and get people riled up.”

Coastal Carolina University student, Adkins said this was his first presidential rally.

“I just wanted to see a part of history, you know,” Adkins said. “It’s not often that a prior president has come to your school, so I just wanted to go and see it in person.”

A Horry County Councilman, Michael Masciarelli, said he didn’t go the rally but was encouraged when he heard how many college students went.

“Seeing college age students, people in their twenties, early thirties attending the rally,” Masciarelli said. “Not saying they were there to support candidate Trump, but the fact that they took the time to go listen for themselves.”

Mayor Bethune said she believes Trump’s campaign tactics will not change.

Bethune said Trump will continue to cause drama, call people names, and focus on himself rather than what the country needs.

Early voting for the Republican Presidential Primaries opened Monday. The primary will be held on February 24th.

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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.

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