Supporters of President Donald Trump waited in lengthy lines outside of Meadows Field Airport Wednesday morning to welcome the president to Bakersfield.
Excitement and pride were exhibited by many that sported their Trump gear and “Make America Great Again” hats.
“It means everything to us (that the president is visiting us),” said Diane Barnett. “We (Republicans) feel alone here in California, but we’re not.”
“I think it’s a great thing that we have our president visit our great town,” said Gurinder Singh Basra.
Trump addressed local farmers, oil workers and general supporters on issues concerning supplying and delivering water from Northern California to the southern San Joaquin Valley for agricultural purposes.
“I think it’s important to have the president come here to have face-to-face interactions with his constituents,” said Audri Ediger. “I think it’s important our farmers and workers are heard. When you’re in the farming industry in California it can be scary.”
James C. Morrison, who works in the oil industry, feels that Gov. Gavin Newsom is “trying to hurt” the oil business in Kern County. He said that it’s “time to push back” against the state’s regulations on oil.
“There’s a lot of new regulations the governor is going to put on the oil industry. I want (Trump) here in Kern County. We need Kern County to be an oil and gas sanctuary,” Morrison said.
“I think (water) is a great topic to be discussed here with our farmers. But what’s going to power the tractors for the farmers without gas and oil?”
Wednesday's rally took place on Boughton Drive just off of Airport Drive on the east side of the airport. Those who saw the president speak in the JACO Hanger at Meadows Field had to RSVP ahead of time and have their backgrounds checked, according to Mike Mazzie.
“I’m out of breath from the walk but it was worth it,” Mazzie said. “It means a lot for (Trump) to recognize us when he has so much going on in the world.”
Backing of the president extended beyond Meadows Field, as local residents lined the streets along Norris Road and Airport Drive with signs, flags and shirts showing support.
Fred and Linda Enyeart watched the wall-to-wall traffic from their driveway on Norris Road as they waited to catch a glimpse of Air Force One touching down.
"This makes me feel proud, happy and excited," Fred Enyeart said. "A lot of people like me are proud of our president."
"It feels good (Trump) is in town. I like seeing the extra support on days like today," Linda Enyeart said.
Fred Enyeart said the traffic he observed in Oildale was significantly higher than when President George W. Bush visited Bakersfield in 2004. He cited the behavior of Trump supporters as what made him so glad to get behind the president on Wednesday.
"I'm glad to see (the supporters) are all well-behaved," he said. "We don't want to show any ignorance."