Trump pledges to unite country on ‘thank you’ tour, crowd chants ‘lock her up’

Posted at 9:15 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 21:15:46-05

CINCINNATI — Donald Trump Thursday boasted Thursday about shattering Hillary Clinton’s “blue wall” and ribbed his critics and the media and upper echelons in the Republican Party as he kicked off his thank you tour.

The President elect-vowed to bring the country together at a raucous rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, and even reached for unusually lofty rhetoric telling it was not time for America to downsize its dreams.

But, back on the campaign trail even though the election is over, on the first stop on a pre-inauguration tour of battleground states, Trump couldn’t resist a chance to slam his critics and to spike the football over his upset victory.

“The bottom line is we won,” Trump said.

Trump reeled off a highlight reel of moments on election night, describing how he had seen how state after state, including Democratic bastions like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania vote for him, and mocked media analysts who said he couldn’t break Hillary Clinton’s blue wall.

“We didn’t break it, we shattered it!”

Trump repeatedly crowed about how well he had done in the election, slammed the “dishonest” media, drawing angry jeers from the crowd and jabbed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who refused to support him. “Hey, in the great state of Ohio, we didn’t have the upper echelon of politician either did we?”

“I will say this, it was very nice, your governor, John Kasich, called me after the election, he said congratulations, that was amazing.”

Trump’s call for unity came as his supporters called for his former opponent Hillary Clinton to be put in jail.

“We are not going to be divided for long, I have always brought people together, I know you find that hard to believe,” Trump told the crowd that filled one side of a hockey arena, most of one end and with a large throng on the floor.

Trump said he would use his speech to lay out an action plan to make America great again, but couldn’t resist basking in the glow of his upset victory.

“We did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary didn’t we?” Trump said, as the crowd uniformly and loudly chanted “Lock her Up! Lock Her Up!”

Trump has said since the election that he will not pursue an investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server. He won Ohio by nearly nine percentage points over Clinton.

The tour begins as Trump puts together his Cabinet, after naming nominees to head the Treasury, Commerce and Transportation departments, part of the huge task of standing up his administration before the inauguration in January.

Trump even made news on that front confirming his pick for secretary of defense and joked with the crowd about keeping it a secret.

“We are going to appoint (retired Marine Gen. James) “Mad Dog” Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we’re not announcing it until Monday so don’t tell anybody,” Trump said at his rally, adding later, “They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have and it’s about time.”

The President-elect’s strength in the industrial Midwest, rooted in his populist themes and harsh criticism of global trade agreements, was crucial to his surprise victory over Clinton. Not only did he win Ohio, a genuine swing state that President Barack Obama won twice, he also won Democratic-leaning states Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that the Clinton team had billed as a blue wall that would deliver the White House to the Democrats for a third consecutive term.

Trump’s event will be watched to see if he employs the kind of free-wheeling, off-prompter rhetoric that helped him win the presidency or whether the responsibility of his impending duties tempers his wildest tendencies. Trump’s boisterous rallies became a regular occurrence throughout the primary season and general election campaign, at were the site of heated confrontations between supporters and protesters.

The President-elect will arrive in Ohio from Indiana where he highlighted the deal he made with Carrier, a heating and air conditioner firm to save 1,000 jobs that had been set to move to Mexico — fulfilling a campaign promise.