Palm Beach Post - March 21, 2019
PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive Friday for a meeting with Caribbean leaders and a potential drop-in at a Palm Beach County Republican Party fundraising dinner on the Mar-a-Lago property.
Also heading toward Palm Beach is Michigan resident Rob Cortis, the driver of a 60-foot “Trump Unity Bridge”display that has been making a U.S. tour and was featured in 2017 on Fox News. The vehicle, which was in Savannah, Ga., on Thursday getting a new tire, would be the latest example of the oversized reactions — pro and con — that Trump has generated in Palm Beach County.
Trump foes paraded a 20-foot “Baby Trump” balloon at a September demonstration in West Palm Beach to protest the president’s response to Hurricane Maria on the one-year anniversary of the deadly storm’s landfall in Puerto Rico. And Claude Taylor of the anti-Trump Mad Dog PAC cruised by Mar-a-Lago on the Intracoastal Waterway in December with a boat displaying a 14-foot inflatable “Trump Rat.” The president wasn’t in town for either demonstration.
Cortis said he originally created his Trump Unity Bridge, a trailer towed by a GMC Yukon SUV, during the 2016 campaign. He began his latest tour on March 12, leaving Michigan and heading east to New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, then going south through Washington, D.C., Virginia and the Carolinas before stopping in Savannah to replace a flat tire.
Cortis periodically interrupted his phone conversation with The Palm Beach Post to speak on a microphone to people who had gathered to look at his vehicle and trailer.
“We’re encouraging Americans to share positive messages, putting together support and educating people that want to know about the benefits of what building a wall will do to help America,” said Cortis, who said about 40 or 50 people were checking out the Trump Unity Bridge at that moment.
A woman could be heard telling Cortis she is from Cincinnati.
Asked about the response he’s received around the U.S., Cortis said, “I’d say 90 percent positive, 10 percent looking at me with a thumbs down and maybe half a percent become unhinged.”
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