Pa. delegates: Trump is not a racist

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after his wife Melania spoke during the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

CLEVELAND (WHTM) – Gates are up, streets are blocked, and security is everywhere for the Republican National Convention.

Donald Trump is promising to put an even more substantial wall on the Mexican border. He’s also promising to make Americans safer in an increasingly frightening world.

Pennsylvania delegate Ash Khare, an immigrant from India, can’t wait.

“Let me put it this way: you have a home, you have a lock on the door. Where’s the lock on this country? Where’s the door?” Khare said. “People just keep coming in.”

But critics, and they’re here in Cleveland, hear the talk of walls and bans and insist Trump is anti-immigrant, anti-American, and even racist.

“Look up in the dictionary what racist is,” Congressman Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania) said. “I’ve never heard him make a racist statement.”

Many Trump delegates blame Democrats and, yes, that liberal media for pushing the racist angle.

“Let’s face it: until he went after Democrats, he was never considered a racist,” Trump delegate Matthew Jansen said. “Nobody can go into his history and call him a racist in any of his business dealings or relationships he’s had.”

The battle lines are clear. Some see a Trump-led GOP as angry, mean-spirited, and divisive, but not Dauphin County’s Maria Haste, whose father moved from Puerto Rico.

“I’ve always loved Donald Trump,” she said. “I love what he has to say and the way he says it, too. Some people don’t like it. I like his approach.”

“This country needs a kick in the butt, somebody like Donald Trump,” Khare said. “The next four years, strap on our seat belts, we’re gonna bring America back again.”

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