In a series of recent campaign stops in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida, Donald Trump has taken up an old style campaign strategy, as he’s promising to create new jobs in key regions by funneling money and resources to specific road projects and local military bases in areas that will play a pivotal role in the November elections.
Trump has long pledged to spend $1 trillion on public-private partnerships for infrastructure – new roads, bridges, sewer systems and more, arguing it’s long overdue.
But now he’s getting specific.
“Projects that will be funded include repairing the Herbert Hoover dike in Lake Okeechobee, which is affecting everyone in Florida,” Trump said Monday night in Tampa.
“You look at our bridges, you look our tunnels, our roads and our highways,” Trump said in Tampa, “we’re in bad shape.”
Trump in the past few days has worked into his stump speech a number of very detailed promises – like that Florida dike – to bring extra government spending to key states.
“We are going to start with the Navy, right here in Virginia Beach, as part of our plan to create a 350 ship fleet,” Trump said on Saturday in Virginia, as he name checked Naval Air Station Oceana and the Little Creek amphibious base, vowing that they will “get a lot busier” if Trump is elected.
“Norfolk Naval Shipyard is too – watch – they’re going to get very busy folks, get ready.”
On Sunday and Monday in Florida, it was the same message from Trump.
“This defense buildup will be supported by ships in Mayport,” Trump said, referring to the big naval base in Jacksonville, as Trump also vowed to direct extra assets there, and to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, along with MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa.
In a stop in St. Augustine on Monday afternoon, Trump even singled out a local road project in northeast Florida for attention, saying it would benefit from his proposal to boost infrastructure spending.
“This means help for projects like the First Coast Expressway – do you like the First Coast Expressway?” Trump said.
On Friday, Trump used a speech in Pennsylvania to also tout his support for large amounts of new infrastructure spending.
“This means help for projects like the Pennsylvania Turnpike as well as the Pennsylvania portion of the Appalachian Highway System – it needs help, it’s not in good shape,” Trump said.
Trump also made a more general pledge to help the Keystone State “replace bridges in the Commonwealth that have been deemed structurally deficient.”
In that same speech, Trump took an extra step, opening the door to possibly re-establishing a naval shipyard in Philadelphia.
“We need a 350 ship Navy,” Trump said. “This will be the largest effort at rebuilding our military since Ronald Reagan.”
“The Philadelphia Navy Yard is a perfect example,” Trump said referring to the former U.S. military base that’s been turned into a business development center, after it was closed down by a special military commission in the 1990’s.
“I will instruct my Secretary of the Navy to study locations like Philadelphia,” Trump said, as he vowed to include several key states in his military buildup.
“We’ll establish centers of excellence in places like Philadelphia, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Hampton Roads, Virginia, to produce the master craftsmen we need to rebuild our fleet,” as Trump rang the bell on three swing states that could benefit from a U.S. Navy buildup.
“We will rebuild our Navy and we will do it with American steel, made right here in Pennsylvania,” Trump said to cheers.
While Republicans in the Congress would probably back the idea of increased defense spending, there is currently a prohibition on what some might describe as “pork barrel spending” for specific items, known as earmarks.