Trump vows to 'build that wall,' take tough stance on immigration during 'Thank You' tour stop

Posted at 10:31 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 11:17:59-05

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati got a first look Thursday night at what President-elect Donald Trump has planned for the country once he takes office.

Speaking to a boisterous crowd of thousands at U.S. Bank Arena, Trump echoed many of the statements he made for nearly 18 months on the campaign trail but also carved out time in his 52-minute speech to relish his unexpected win on Nov. 8. Trump picked Cincinnati as his first stop on a post-election ‘Thank You’ tour of swing states that backed him in the race. 

Watch Trump's full speech in the video player below.


Many of the policy changes he announced he’ll work on Thursday sounded familiar; he reiterated plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, repeal President Barack Obama’s signature federal health care law and bring back manufacturing jobs.

One campaign promise to appoint a special federal prosecutor to investigate Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was noticeably missing from the victory speech, especially against the crowd’s rallying cries to “Lock her up!”  

Here are six of the biggest promises and themes Trump played up while in Cincinnati, for his first public appearance since clinching the White House last month.


It was clear Trump gets this year’s election – and his candidacy – was a divisive experience for many.

Amid concerns that his campaign has helped to bolster racist and xenophobic movements, he emphasized that he would be an “inclusive” president. In the same sentence he pushed for inclusion, he also seemed to reference the immigration policy that have led some to accuse him of harboring anti-immigration sentiments.

“We’re going to seek a truly inclusive society, where we support each other, love each other and look out for each other,” Trump said. “That means the people coming into this country have to be people that have the potential to love us, not to hate us.”

Trump also pushed the unity message with vows to play nice with Democrats while in office. While he acknowledged Democrats – who have lost control of the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – don’t have much say in what he or the Republicans do, he said the American people are sick of the two parties being at legislative war.

“I’ve spoken to the Democrats, and I’ve said to them: ‘Look, we can’t go on with this gridlock,’” Trump said. “It’s gone on for so many years. It’s gone for so many years, we can’t get together. You know what? It’s time.”

A focus on nationalism

While Trump talked unity he also laid out his hopes for the country to become more patriotic and distance itself from helping other countries around the world.

He touched on everything from his belief that flag burning should be banned in the U.S. to making international trade deals less favorable for foreign countries and more lucrative for America.

Much of Trump’s Thursday talk was laced with a nationalist tone; he mentioned focusing on American workers, pledging allegiance to the flag and decried a “global citizenship.”

“We pledge allegiance to one flag and that flag is the American flag,” Trump said, igniting chants of “USA” throughout the audience. “From now on, it’s going to be America first, America first.”


It was the attention-grabbing headline that launched his bid for the White House – and Trump gave no hint that he plans to waver on his tough immigration stance when he officially takes office in January.

Several times Trump, and the Republican politicians that lined up to speak before him, talked about a new wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

“We will construct a great wall,” Trump said as hundreds erupted with chants of “build that wall” across the arena.

He and other supporters also routinely talked about tightening immigration restrictions – linking lax rules to recent terrorist attacks. At one point, Trump chastised “very, very stupid politicians” for “stupidly” allowing refugee immigrants to enter the country.

Those who spoke before Trump also pointed to the recent Ohio State knife attack, inspired by the Islamic militant group called ISIS and carried out by a Somalian refugee, as proof that Trump’s call for a stricter stance on immigrants.

“It’s OK for us to recognize that it’s not radical Presbyterians that are killing people at Ohio State,” Ohio Senate President Keith Faber said before Trump took the stage.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel also told the audience major cities in Ohio would have to become safe havens – or sanctuary cities – for immigrants “over his dead body.”

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Fresh off an earlier stop in Indianapolis, where Trump announced a deal chock-full of tax incentives to keep 1,100 manufacturing jobs in the city, the president-elected vowed to make similar deals across the country.

Keeping jobs – and punishing companies who relocate those jobs outside the U.S. – was an often-repeated campaign mantra. Trump made good on the promise – announcing the agreement he struck with manufacturing company, Carrier, to stop jobs from heading to Mexico. 

“What happened in Indiana, we’re going to do that all over the country,” Trump said of the deal. “Today we made history, and now the real work begins.”

But Trump focused less this time around on punishing businesses that go overseas and more on loosening the tax code and regulations, signaling a shift in his position.

“Right now, we punish companies to do business in America – that’s why they’re leaving,” Trump said. “We’re going to reduce taxes. We’re going to reduce the regulations. If companies want to still leave the state of Ohio, or Pennsylvania, or Michigan – or how about North Carolina.”

Trump trailed off into a five-minute detour of his upset win in North Carolina. He never came back to what might happen to companies that leave the U.S. under his rule.


Trump made it clear – at least twice: he still plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

He didn’t, however, divulge many details on what exactly he plans to replace it with. Still, it’s likely a goal he can easily achieve, with the help of a Republican-backed Congress that has been eager to strike Obama’s signature achievement form law.

“We are repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Trump said.

Child care

Paid maternity leave and government assistance to pay for child care aren’t often considered staple policy pieces of the Republican Party. But, it was making both child care more affordable and paid maternity leave more accessible was on the unexpected issues Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, made a top priority on the campaign trail.

Trump again broached the issue – twice – Thursday, vowing to introduce legislation that would make child care “accessible to all.”

“We’re going to make sure that no one is penalized for the decision to have a family.

While on the topic of child care – he also talked about his desire to support women in the work place, especially those seeking to launch their own business. Later in his speech, he also boasted about the strong female support he received on Election Day.

“I hate to tell you, men, generally speaking they’re better than you are,” Trump said. “If I said it the other way around, I’d be in big trouble.”