Don’t expect many questions at Trump’s Portland “town hall”

Good morning from Gardiner on the eve of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s third trip to Maine. Tomorrow, he’ll be at Merrill Auditorium for what the Maine Republican Party has termed a “town hall style rally.”

It begs a question: What on earth is that?

In politics, there are town hall-style meetings, where you can expect to ask a candidate a question, and there are rallies, where like-minded people listen to speakers.

Trump has been heavily and famously reliant on the latter, including in the New Hampshire primaries, where he bucked convention by mostly eschewing the small events that mark the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, though he did some question-and-answer sessions in Elks lodges and Lions clubs.

But his appearance in Portland comes as he’s shifting a bit from straight-up rallies to allow some audience questions — but not many. On Tuesday, he spoke for 45 minutes in Ohio before allowing three questions, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

And they were softballs, folks:

  • How will Trump repeal Obamacare? He said he’ll indeed repeal the “disaster” of a law.
  • Someone asked about overburdensome regulations on small businesses. Trump said, “We’re going to cut down the regulations.”
  • How to stop the heroin crisis? Trump will “build a wall” across the U.S.-Mexico border)

That was it. Given that, we should expect Trump’s campaign to leave little to chance tomorrow in the liberal stronghold of Portland. — Michael Shepherd

More Trump: No-shows, protests and Maine chances

  • Which Republicans are showing up?: Gov. Paul LePage, a Trump endorser, has said he’ll be at Trump’s rally. But according to the Sun Journal, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is visiting her stepdaughter in Idaho and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of the 2nd District didn’t respond to questions on his attendance. Neither has endorsed Trump.
  • Who’s protesting Trump’s appearance?: Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign has enlisted Maine businesses for a press conference “denouncing Donald Trump’s business practices and economic vision for America” in Portland at 2 p.m. today. Participating are Adam Lee of Lee Auto Malls and Ben Waxman of American Roots, among others. The progressive Maine People’s Alliance is organizing a “peaceful protest” tomorrow.
  • Want to hear me talk more about Trump?: I joined “The Maine Show,” a podcast hosted by Bangor City Councilor Ben Sprague, to talk about Trump’s chances in Maine and his impact on down-ballot races. Listen here. — Michael Shepherd

Quick hits

Reading list

Best of Maine’s Craigslist

  • No, I don’t know: Maine’s newest biggest most beautiful adult park ever!” is To Tranquility in Whitefield. The nude campground’s owners urge you to “bring your naked butt here to get some sun take a swim well you know.”
  • What he believes in is regularity: “Do you believe in destiny?” a woman asks a man “buying prune juice and wearing converse” at the Hannaford on Broadway in Bangor.
  • What you’d say if you were a creepo: “I am a professional and not ur typical Craigslist creepo!!” says a greater Portland man whose marital “spark is gone” and may be an aspiring adulterer. — Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.