Student debt, 'Right to Try': What suburbanites heard from Trump at $4M fundraiser

  • Trump supporter Joe Loris of Berwyn flies a Trump flag while riding his bike near protesters gathered across the Chicago River from the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago while President Trump attends a fundraiser there Monday.

    Trump supporter Joe Loris of Berwyn flies a Trump flag while riding his bike near protesters gathered across the Chicago River from the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago while President Trump attends a fundraiser there Monday. AP Photo/Paul Beaty

 
 
Updated 10/28/2019 9:40 PM

It's either vote for me or for a bunch of "lunatics," a freewheeling President Donald Trump told an audience at an exclusive fundraiser luncheon Monday.

The president delivered a stream-of-consciousness speech that pumped up GOP guests, got laughs at the expense of Democrats but also contained unexpected policy reveals, Palatine Township Republican committeeman Aaron Del Mar said.

 

Tickets for the event at the Trump Tower in Chicago started at $2,800 and attracted a crowd of about 250, Del Mar estimated. Among them: members of the Ricketts family who own the Chicago Cubs; sandwich magnate Jimmy John Liautaud; downstate Illinois Republican Congressmen Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood; and Trump's son, Eric.

"He talked for about an hour, so everyone got their money's worth," said Del Mar, who was about 25 feet from the president.

One policy statement concerned student debt, Del Mar said. Noting some of his Democratic rivals have promised to forgive billions in college loans, Trump said, "We have to do something about that," and promised an announcement soon. "He was priming the pump," Del Mar surmised.

Trump also talked about "Right to Try" legislation, which he signed into law in 2018 allowing people with terminal illnesses to access certain experimental drugs.

Other topics included Trump's desire to make a trade deal with China, and the House Democrats' impeachment inquiries into whether he pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, which the president characterized as a "giant witch hunt."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider of Bartlett called the lunch "a great event … . (There is) great enthusiasm for the president in Illinois."

Below Trump Tower on Wacker Drive, a crowd gathered to protest the event, among them Lisle's Jax West, a Democrat.

"It's important we show Trump, he's not welcome," she said. "I want everybody represented that can be, suburbs, city, all colors, all genders, all religions … (saying) we don't recognize you -- you are not our president."

The fundraiser generated more than $4 million, party officials said.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.