Not everybody joined the Joe Biden love-in at the Chase Center on the Riverfront Thursday.
More than 100 people gathered on the Justison Street sidewalk behind the center to protest Biden and his candidacy.
Dubbed Delaware Rallies Against Biden, the protest was organized by the Delaware Young Republicans, the Delaware Republican Party and several Trump-related groups.
Rally-goers dressed in colorful Trump garb, many waving or carrying Trump and American flags. Some wore red, white and blue. Others wore cowboy hats and boots.
One woman wore a cutout of Biden draped around her neck, positioned to look like he was kissing her cheek and she didn’t like it. She gleefully posed for photos, but declined to be interviewed.
Many carried signs, some homemade and some not, that made fun of Biden’s gaffes: “If you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black,” one said.
Chants of “Hey hey ho hoo, creepy Joe has got to go!” rang throughout the crowd.
The crowd gathered first in a private parking lot by a fitness center. When it was asked to leave, members arrayed themselves along a nearby sidewalk.
The Chase Center itself has been turned into a compound, with its surrounding parking lots fenced and barricade.
Many different kinds of police officers and a Secret Service detail was present to ensure the rally stayed off Chase Center property.
Biden was said to be inside when the 5 p.m. rally started. He would give his acceptance speech for the Democratic National Convention a few hours later.
Every time one of the officers walked by, rally-goers clapped and chanted “Back the blue,” a reference to the Republican line that Biden is anti-law enforcement.
“We’re here to show Americans who Joe Biden is,” said Sam Chick of Dover, president of the Delaware Young Republicans.
“He is not the president that America needs,” Chick said. “He is a career politician. He’s been around for 40, almost 50 years, in politics. How can we expect him to clean up the mess when he created it?”
While many Democrats and others have referred to Biden as Delaware’s favorite son this week, Chick believes many Delawareans are tired of Biden and want him to return to retirement.
“The problems that young people must face today are things that Biden had a part in creating,” he said. “Manufacturing jobs that used to be so prevalent here, they’re all gone now. Democrat policies, like those espoused by Biden, are what caused it. He’s helped ship our jobs overseas.”
Welton Satchell, of Dover, candidate for 3rd District Levy Court in Kent County and chairman of the Kent County Young Republicans, doesn’t think Biden is what the country needs.
“The numbers don’t lie,” said Satchell, 35. “Trump has done a good job in the last four years. Unemployment has been down for African-Americans; jobs are coming back to this country.”
Satchell, whose campaign platform is to protect small businesses, says that Trump is best prepared to ensure a strong economic recovery. “He’s working for the American family.”
Robert Aiken III of Stanton expressed concerns that Biden would not be suited to pressure China on trade and national security concerns.
Aiken said that Trump was fighting China’s economic dominance and that Trump is better equipped than Biden.
“He is still in a Cold War mindset,” Aiken said. “China is the new threat, both militarily and economically.”
Former New Castle County GOP Chairman Chris Rowe said that Biden has failed to represent the interests of Delawareans.
“It’s not what he has done. It’s what he hasn’t done.” Rowe said. “I’m 62; Joe Biden has been in some elected office since I was in 8th grade. He’s spent 40 years lying to my family and me. Why should I trust him to be in the highest office in the land?”
“This Joe Biden is not the Joe Biden of the past,” said Rob Arlett, chairman of the Trump Victory Campaign for Delaware. “He may have once been considered a moderate, but now he is a far-left progressive.”
Rowe echoed that concern.
“No one expects Biden to serve out his full term. Not even Biden expects that,” Rowe said. “He’s just a Trojan Horse for more far-left extremism. He’ll push what the far left wants.”
“The American people deserve to know who Biden is,” Arlett said. “We hope they’ll make the right choice in November.”