Trump Supporters Celebrate His 78th Birthday, Set Aside Legal Woes
Trump Supporters Celebrate His 78th Birthday, Set Aside Legal Woes

By Janice Hisle

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Thousands of former President Donald Trump’s fans flocked here for a star-spangled celebration of Flag Day and his 78th birthday on June 14, just two weeks after his historic criminal convictions in New York.

“This is the biggest birthday party I’ve ever had, by far,” the former president told the crowd that had sung “Happy Birthday” to him at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Before his speech, rallygoers in patriotic attire told The Epoch Times they were putting his legal troubles aside and were enjoying the celebratory mood.

Former President Trump largely did the same. He gave little mention to the criminal charges he has faced, leading to his May 30 conviction on 34 charges in New York.

Instead, the presumed Republican presidential nominee contrasted his economic, immigration, and foreign policies with those of his presumed Nov. 5 election opponent, Democrat President Joe Biden.

Both former President Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that life for most Americans—and for many places in the world—was better during the Trump administration than it is now.

Former President Trump also urged the crowd to take an unusual step to encourage service workers to vote for him. “Every time you leave a tip for the next five months,” people should write, “vote for Trump because there’s no tax on tips,” on the receipt, he said.

The former president, who unveiled his no-taxes-on-tips plan at a Las Vegas rally last week, gestured to a photo of such a receipt displayed on large video screens. He noted someone had used this tactic to tout his proposed policy.

Mr. Rubio, a possible VP pick for the former president, brought the audience to its feet when he said: “There’s only one reason why someone like him would be in politics—because he loves our country and he wants to save it.”

Club 47 USA, the nation’s largest group of the former president’s fans, organized the rally and birthday celebration, complete with a large, multi-tiered birthday cake onstage.

Campaign staff brings to stage a cake for former President Donald J. Trump’s 78th birthday party event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 14, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

More than 5,000 people attended, club president Larry Snowden told The Epoch Times. The club is named after the 45th president’s aspiration to become the 47th president.

Howard Schaeffer of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, declared his support of “the 45th, soon to be 47th president,” saying: “I’m here to wish an amazing patriot, an amazing American, happy birthday. That’s why all of us are here—and the energy in this place is incredible.”

Asked about the former president’s legal woes, Mr. Schaeffer said, “I will be voting for ‘the felon.’ If anything, the conviction has solidified my vote even more.”

He said he knows some Democrats and Republicans who dislike the former president but are now willing to vote for him. “They’re infuriated” over the way the justice system has treated him, Mr. Schaeffer said.

Fritz Seide, 69, and his wife, Judith Seide, 67, natives of Haiti who now live in Wellington, Fla., attend former President Donald J. Trump’s birthday party event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 14, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Asked whether the former president’s conviction and potential prison sentence were clouding the celebration, Fritz Seide, 69, told The Epoch Times: “There is no cloud for me.”

He feels the laws have been unfairly applied against the former president by “a bunch of liberals” in the “corrupt” justice system of New York.

Mr. Seide blames President Biden’s policies for creating economic conditions that are hurting his small business. He works as an accountant and a realtor in Wellington, Florida.

He and his wife, Judith Seide, 67, are natives of Haiti who say they know of many other minorities who are planning to vote for the former president. “I love him,” Mrs. Seide said, adding that his policies were “good for the country.”

Her husband added that his first term as president “was very encouraging because he improved the economy.”

“He restored respect of America around the world. We got a better army with him, and of course, he made America great again,” Mr. Seide said. “And now everything is down.” Mr. Seide said he is working to get the former president reelected.

Liz Furey, 52, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, told The Epoch Times she felt compelled to come to the celebration for many reasons.

“I come from a military family and an immigrant family, and that flag is very important,” she said. “But our freedoms are being diminished every day, and President Trump is trying to stand up for those values.”

Ramona Uhlmeyer of the Villages, Fla., attends former President Donald J. Trump’s birthday party event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 14, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Hearing the former president speak in person “is always an exceptional experience,” said Ms. Furey, who has attended speeches of Donald Trump for years, starting in 2015, before he ran for president.

“You just never know what you’re in for,” she said. “But this time, I think it was especially important for us to be there to support him on his birthday and just give him that moral support.”

Ramona Uhlmeyer, a resident of The Villages, Florida, wore a baseball cap with “TRUMP” in rhinestone letters and a headband decorated with birthday candles.

She, too, expressed confidence in the former president despite his legal woes. “He’s gonna bring us back where we belong,” she said.


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