Just how many people attended a rally for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is open to a bit of debate, with estimates ranging from anywhere from 6,000 to about 9,000 people at JetSmart Aviation Services on Scottsville Road in Chili on Sunday.
But what was obvious was that the vast majority of those attending are true believers. From the opening speakers for the event, including Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, to the main act itself, the crowd often broke into chants, that sometimes just included yelling "Trump, Trump" over and over again.
Trump, still the GOP front runner, but perhaps losing a bit of steam since his recent primary loss in Wisconsin to Ted Cruz, was confident as ever, not spending a lot of time talking about the Texas Senator except to again label him 'lyin' Cruz.'
Much of Trump's nearly hour-long appearance was spent sounding his now-familiar themes: build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and make Mexico pay; the U.S. got a raw deal with the Iran negotiations, and current trade policies need to be turned around.
On that last point, Trump pointed to the hundreds of jobs that left Sentry Safe after the company was sold last year, some of them going to Mexico. Trump doesn't like NAFTA and also thinks the White House has done a poor job of protecting American interests in these trade negotiations.
Trump talking about the manufacturing jobs lost in Rochester over the last couple of decades, and called Rochester a "special place" and says if elected, his administration would "make it better."
The candidate also chastised the media on a number of occasions, drawing cheers or boos every time he did it, saying that the press is dishonest, and expressing doubts that the media would even show just how large Sunday's rally was. He also spent time criticizing major newspapers including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post.
On foreign policy, Trump also said the U.S. has to be tougher in demanding payment and other concessions when helping various countries including Japan, saying, "Why are we the dummies all the time."
Trump also told the crowd inside the large hangar that his campaign is a movement of love and not hate.
Although the crowd was exuberant in showing its support for Trump, and there was a handful of protesters in the venue who were led away by police, there were no major incidents at the event. There were protests outside the hangar on Scottsville Road, with the Trump opponents on one side of the road and supporters on the other, with police in-between keeping an eye on things.
A number of Trump enthusiasts were turned away from being able to hop on the shuttle buses to the event when the crowds grew too large. There were estimates that more than 18,000 sent in RSVP's requesting tickets
(Videography by Martin Kaufman)