If there is one place where President Trump actually thrives, it’s arenas. While speaking to a crowd of 40,000 people at the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, Trump turned on his all too familiar campaign style theatrics…and the kids loved it.
Though he opened the speech by saying he wouldn’t talk about politics, Trump quickly delved into basically nothing but politics. Trump predictably bashed the media, Democrats, fake news, and ambiguously called for loyalty the night before senators vote on an embattled healthcare bill.
“Boy Scout values are American values and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans,” Trump told the crowd. “As the scout law says, a scout is trustworthy, loyal. We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.”
It’s quite clear that Trump is prodding Republicans who have criticized their party’s healthcare bill. Later in the speech, Trump joked that he would fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who joined him on stage, if the Senate was unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act following Tuesday’s vote (although he could have very well been serious).
“Hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us,” Trump said. “He better get them. Otherwise I’ll say ‘Tom, you’re fired.’”
Energy Secretary Rick Perry watched and laughed like a fraternity brother egging on a keg stand as Trump called out West Virginia Senator Shelly Moore Capito who has expressed concern about the legislation.
And no Trump arena speech is complete without skewering former President Obama…and, again, the crowd loved it. “By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree,” Trump questioned to a chorus of boos. “The answer is no.”
Obama has met with the Boy Scouts, but that didn’t stop them from chanting “We love Trump.” And guess what? Obama was a Boy Scout.
Trump even shared a characteristically Trump tidbit with the Scouts — or what might be better described as “locker room banter.” Basically, Trump told a bunch of Boy Scouts that his friend bought a yacht and had lots of sex on it.
“He sold his company for a tremendous amount of money and he went out and bought a big yacht,” Trump told the audience. “He had a very interesting life...I won’t go anymore than that because you’re Boy Scouts so I’m not going to tell you what he did.”
The kids were audibly dismayed when Trump did not elaborate. “Ahh, you’re Boy Scouts,” he added. “But you know life.”
So apparently 40,000 Boy Scouts were totally unperturbed by Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” banter. Fantastic news.
The Boy Scouts had to defend themselves after Trump’s remarks turned wildly political. “The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate, or philosophy,” a statement read. “The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”
The Boy Scouts’ reaction to the speech certainly suggests otherwise.