A raucous crowd of Republicans at a party in Rancho Cordova whooped and cheered through the first presidential debate Monday evening, reveling in Donald Trump’s combative attacks against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I think he did awesome. This is the greatest election I’ve ever been through,” enthused red-clad Republican consultant Chad Towe.
He was one of about 50 Republicans who squeezed into a conference room at the Rancho Cordova Casino Lodge.
Many were dressed like Towe in “make America great again” gear. Others had business suits. They choked down pizza and sipped beer and wine.
The River City Republicans have watched many debates there in an out-of-the-way corner. Monday’s debate was the first time that almost every other TV in the casino was tuned to politics, said Carl Burton, one of the party leaders.
“People haven’t been this excited since Reagan,” said Towe, who sells Trump gear.
For the most part, the crowd booed Clinton when she needled Trump about his silver spoon upbringing and his business history.
Many of them laughed and cheered when Trump interrupted her, whooping when he said his ability to avoid taxes “makes me smart.”
They also roared each time Trump said Clinton has had 30 years in government to make the country a better place.
At one point, someone yelled “Gennifer Flowers!”
George Goble, an accountant, groaned when Clinton suggested she’d raise taxes on the wealthy. “I get tired of hearing that,” he said.
Some political pros in the room acknowledged Clinton held her ground in parrying Trump’s jabs. They thought their candidate came out ahead.
“He scored more points,” said Tony Andrade.