Decision 2024

Former President Trump holds rally at Temple University in North Philly

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick joined former President Donald Trump at his Philadelphia rally

NBC Universal, Inc.

Former President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at Temple University in North Philadelphia Saturday night.

The event took place at the Liacouras Center.

During the rally, Trump weighed in on a wide range of topics, including immigration, the economy and crime. He told the crowd he would take steps to crack down on violent crime in Philadelphia if he was reelected as president.

"Few communities have suffered more under the Biden regime than Philadelphia," he said. "We are going to liberate our once great cities and make Philadelphia better and more beautiful than ever before."

Dozens of protesters, including Temple University students, also gathered outside the Liacouras Center during the rally. Several of the students told NBC10 they were upset the former president was allowed on their campus.

"I think this is kind of a big punch in the gut to a lot of students that have completely opposite viewpoints and a lot of people here now and as we've just been walking around we have people harassing us, asking us for pictures," Sasha Fay, a senior at Temple, told NBC10.

Members of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) -- who endorsed President Joe Biden -- also protested Trump's appearance.

"We are a union town. We're about the little guy," Malik Staten, a LIUNA member, told NBC10. "We're about everyone having the opportunity to make a sustainable wage. And Trump is the exact opposite."

President Biden's campaign also hosted an event in North Philly in response to former President Trump's rally on Saturday.

"Donald Trump famously said ‘bad things happen’ in Philly. Donald Trump is the bad thing. We ended his presidency a few years ago — he doesn’t accept that — but we’re going to make sure he never gets back to the White House," State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta said during the rally.

In addition to Kenyatta, state Senator Sharif Street and Philly Councilmember Jeffrey Young also spoke with voters about how the Biden Administration has more positively impacted Black and brown communities.

“We’re also going to talk about President Biden’s record," Street said. "He’s put money into our community — [hundreds of millions] in Philadelphia alone. Joe Biden has been delivering for us and standing with Black folks, and on the other hand, Donald Trump has spent his whole life denigrating us."

Dave McCormick attends Trump rally

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick also spoke at Saturday's event.

McCormick was endorsed by the former president earlier this year, after Trump backed Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Republican primary for Senate in 2022. 

It was the first time McCormick attended a Trump rally.

McCormick is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat. In his remarks on Saturday, McCormick is expected to tie Casey to President Joe Biden, saying that he “votes for Biden’s agenda 98% of the time,” the spokesperson said.

On the eve of the event, Sen. Casey responded to McCormick's expected remarks.

“He’s a bag man for billionaires,” Casey said.

Casey also told NBC10 that Pennsylvanians got an independent senator "in more ways than one" when they voted for him.

"They also got a lot that I've delivered," Casey said. "Go to our website. Go to the map on our website. There are more than 1600 examples across the state. How I've delivered for the people of the state."

Philly residents react to Trump's visit

Philadelphia is a heavily Democratic city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 7 to 1. While President Biden easily defeated Trump in Philly during the 2020 election, Trump increased his number of votes and percentage in the city between 2016 and 2020.

Christopher Nicholas, a Republican consultant and author of the Pennsylvania Political Digest Newsletter, told NBC10 he believes Saturday's rally was part of the Trump campaign's efforts to gain more Black voters.

"His share of Black voters and Hispanic voters, especially Black and Hispanic men, is definitely on the increase," Nicholas said.

Ian Callaghan, a student who is set to start classes at Temple University, told NBC10 on Friday he didn't mind Trump holding a rally in Philadelphia despite not being a supporter.

“I don’t like him but I don’t mind, you know? It’s America. You can do what you want to do," he said. "It’s going to be who can get their base more energized. And it’s looking like, to me, Trump is doing that more. And it scares me. But it’s also like, we survived four years of it. I don’t really care anymore, you know? If he wins he wins.”

Supporters have turned out for former President Donald Trump's rally on Temple University's Campus on Saturday. NBC10 political reporter Lauren Mayk reports from the rally as NBC10's Karen Hua spoke with protesters outside. 

Callaghan said he plans to vote in the presidential election in November but remains undecided on who he'll vote for.

“I don’t know who I’m voting for yet. Not Trump. Maybe not Biden because I don’t like him either," Callaghan said. "But I also don’t want it to be 2016 where everybody just throws their votes away and then Trump gets elected when they went and voted for Jill Stein.”

Meanwhile, Nancy Fisk, a Northeast Philadelphia native and parent of a Temple University student, told NBC10 on Friday she planned to attend the rally and believed it would help Trump win over more voters in the city.

“Just showing his face and being here and not in like a closed off area where nobody can go," she said. "This whole place is going to be crazy."

In response to the rally, Democrats put posters and kiosks around Temple's campus highlighting the Biden administration's efforts to forgive student loan debt.

A Trump campaign spokesperson also sent NBC10 a statement on where those who attend the rally are expected to be coming from.

“Voters from across Pennsylvania are coming out in support of President Donald J. Trump, as well as supporters from New Jersey, New York, and other blue states," the spokesperson wrote. "President Trump is all-in on restoring American cities to greatness, and that starts with showing up, just like he is doing in Philadelphia for the men and women weak Joe Biden has long taken for granted.”

Contact Us