PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Donald Trump Jr. may not be on the ballot, but he knows how to chow down a Primanti’s sandwich.
“It was awesome. It was great to try it,” Trump told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Making the rounds, Trump spoke first to volunteers at Allegheny County Republican headquarters in Green Tree.
“It goes a long way to see all of you and what you’re doing for us,” Trump told the volunteers, “really trying to bring this country back on the right track, get rid of career politicians who’ve obviously gotten us nowhere.”
Trump then moved on to Southpointe where he was surprised that 500 people showed up to greet him.
“Thank you to Pennsylvania, wow,” he said. “When I see – oh, they’re behind in Pennsylvania — I say, oh I don’t know, guys. I don’t know. This kind of enthusiasm. This is me. I’m the son of a candidate.”
When Trump met KDKA’s Jon Delano, he said his dad would win here — in part because of energy issues.
“When you talk about the energy sector, when you talk about fracking — these are all things that Hillary Clinton wants to eliminate, probably because Saudi Arabia wrote a $25 million check to her foundation.”
“It’s just crazy. We have to take advantage of our natural resources, and Pennsylvania has so much of that.”
Given his father’s age of 70 and Clinton’s age of 68, medical issues have arisen.
Delano: “How much medical information is the American public entitled to about candidates running for president?”
Trump: “I think they’re entitled to quite a lot, right. This is an important issue.’
Both candidates have been criticized for not releasing full medical histories.
Trump says his dad is high energy.
Trump: “No one’s got a better work ethic. No one’s out there — the energy, that’s important.”
Delano: “That part’s demonstrable, but what about medical history, medical records?”
Trump: “I think it’s important. Listen, you have people talking about leading the free world, making decisions at all times of day. You have to be in the right state of mind. You have to be physically fit to be able to do that. It’s a brutal job. Look at Obama today versus eight years ago.”
The whole point of Donald Trump Jr.’s visit here was to open this southwestern Pennsylvania regional office, and already volunteers were lining up to help.
At age 38, Trump jokes that he’s not a politician.
“I’ve been in politics — how many weeks has it been since the Republican National Convention? I’m new at this,” he told the Southpointe crowd.
But he’s trying — eating at Primanti’s, shaking hands at Republican headquarters, and working a crowd of 500 that turned out to greet him at Southpointe.
“I want to thank you guys because you’re making it possible. It’s because of the enthusiasm you have, because you’re talking to your friends, because you’re getting them out to vote, that we’re going to win this, and we’re going to change the direction of this country.”
Like his father, Trump is convinced his dad will win big in this region because of Democrats.
“The common sense voter, the people who understand what is going on in this world, who want jobs, they’re going to cross party lines,” Trump told KDKA’s Jon Delano.
“They’ve been told union labor — the hard working men and women who built this country — the union bosses they’ve been in the pockets of the Democrats for decades, but the worker, that’s who we’re speaking to.”
Increasingly, Democrats have been losing white working men and women in presidential races, and Trump says that will continue with Hillary Clinton.
“She doesn’t understand the American worker,” he said. “My father has given those individuals opportunity. He’s actually created real jobs in his career. He’s given them chances.”
And despite his wealth, Trump says his father relates to working people.
“I’ve always called him the blue collar billionaire because that’s what he is. He is able to talk to those people. He’s not talking at them. He’s talking with them,” Trump said.
And in this region, Trump is making a special play for workers in both the manufacturing and energy sectors.
And from the reaction, it’s likely Trump thinks he’ll do better than most.
“It’s awesome to be here,” he said. “I can’t believe that there this many people. Thank you, Pennsylvania.”