Donald Trump was fuming during an event on August 1 in Columbus, Ohio, in which his campaign rented a 72,000 square foot hall only to be told the fire marshal would only allow in 1000 of his supporters.
Trump rented Exhibit Hall E with the corridor which is rated for 4140 in a banquet setting with 360 exhibitors allowed, according to a Wikpedia entry-
|Exhibit Hall E||235×298 with corridor and 208×298 without corridor||72,000 with corridor and 62,000 without corridor||30′||Unlimited||4140||360|
“We’ve had thousands of people outside. Thousands. They were turned away by – for political reasons – purely for political reasons.”
The Fire Marshal gave no reason for why he decided to close the doors, with over 5,000 waiting outside, turning them away. There were numerous photos of large empty spaces in the hall and no doubt it gave the impression that there was low attendance. Trump’s campaign focuses on celebrity appearances and is largely the vehicle which drive his Primary win.
This came after a similar incident in which Fire Marshal Brett Lacey in Colorado Springs turned away crowds from a Trump event. The difference was that in this case the actual occupancy ratings for the building are known. The Fire Marshal and the Firefighters Union, which is pro Democrat, excoriated Trump for his remarks, as did Colorado’s notoriously partisan Democrat governor. Lacey was recognized for bravery during the incident in 2015 when a planned parenthood site in Colorado Springs experienced a shooting and the national party press dutifully carried the line that due to this any of his actions, even if they may have been unfair to Trump, are above reproach and further evidence that Trump is unsuited to be President.
But, as noted, the Colorado Springs incident differs from Columbus, Ohio because in Ohio is it well known that the occupancy ratings of the building far exceeded the restrictions seemingly placed arbitrarily by the fire marshal. In Colorado Springs the pro Democrat Union was quick to capitalize on the imbroglio while the Fire Marshal himself noted that he was just doing his job and that this can be unpopular with people. None of the press, local or national tracked down any details about the building or corroborated the Fire Marshal’s claim.