WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Out of the crowd of thousands, “Baby Trump” rose above the masses.
“Hey, look at that guy,” said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump when he spied his mini-me in the audience. “Bring him over here.”
With that, Jessica Tirpak carried her 2-year-old son, who she calls “Baby Trump,” over to meet “The Donald.”
Trump carried Hunter “Baby Trump” Tirpak to the stage to the roar of the more than 9,000 supporters gathered at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Trump gave Hunter a kiss and asked, “Do you want to go back to mommy or stay with Donald Trump?”
Hunter responded, “Trump,” and the crowd erupted with its loudest ovation of the night.
Hunter was dressed in the signature Donald Trump attire — dark blue suit, white shirt, red tie and his blonde hair was coiffed a la the billionaire’s famed look.
Jessica Tirpak, of Tuscarora, said she wanted to present a positive image for the Trump campaign.
“We like that Donald Trump is not a politician,” Tirpak said. “We wanted to show some positiveness. There’s been way too much negativity in the campaign.”
Tirpak said she decided to dress her son like the GOP presidential candidate and she dubbed Hunter “Baby Trump.” She said it’s all in fun, but she hopes Trump can win the White House.
“That’s why we’re here,” she said. “And maybe Baby Trump can help people feel good about voting for Donald Trump.”
Three people thought “Baby Trump” was a smash hit and they wanted to get their picture with him.
U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, along with state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township, fussed over “Baby Trump” and posed for several pictures with the young boy.
The three legislators took time to talk about the race and why they support Trump.
Barletta said he won’t defend Trump’s comments about women, noting that they were made 12 years ago.
“However, actions speak louder than words,” he said. “And I’m not ready to throw the keys to the country to Hillary Clinton, whose actions speak much louder than words.”
Barletta said Clinton favors open trade and open borders, “everything most Americans are against.”
Looking around the arena as Trump supporters filed in, Barletta said the GOP candidate draws huge crowds everywhere he goes.
“Hillary Clinton can’t fill a 2,000 seat auditorium,” Barletta said.
Marino said polls showing Clinton leading are not an accurate reflection of the race.
“The polls have been off all along,” Marino said. “People are tired of the status quo. It’s time for change and Donald Trump is that change.”
Toohil said she endorsed Trump on Sunday because she feels he speaks to the real issues facing the country.
“It would be wrong for the country to endure eight more years of a Democratic president,” Toohil said. “We need a change now.”
Mark Laverdi of Pittston was leaving the arena satisfied with what he heard inside.
“I’m a Republican and that was one of the best campaign speeches I have ever heard,” Laverdi said. “I believe everything he says. Hillary Clinton lies. If Trump doesn’t win, this country is in a lot of trouble.”
Mary Wisniewski and Ruth Sorber, both of Hanover Township, said Trump’s speech was “wonderful and very inspiring.” Sorber said Trump will get the U.S. economy going forward again.
“He will be fair to small businesses and ease all the regulations,” Sorber said. “Trump will make it so people can be more self-reliant.”