There was a big crowd in Wildwood on Tuesday night, just not as big as President Donald Trump claimed at his rally.
“We have tens of thousands of people outside.” Trump told those inside the Wildwoods Convention Center.
“If anybody would like to give them your place, please let us know,” Trump said.
However, while authorities did not immediately provide a crowd size, NJ Advance Media reporters outside the convention center estimated several thousand watching a video screen at Fox Park and another few thousand at the video screen closer to the entrance.
Officials said previously that the convention center had room for 7,400 for the president’s rally.
Many who waited outside in the cold, including some who camped out overnight, made it inside, while others did not.
Jesse Konopka of Croydon, Pennsylvania, arrived at 7 a.m. Tuesday – more than 12 hoursbefore Trump began speaking – but never made it inside.
He said he would stick around to watch Trump on the video screen.
“I’m looking forward to seeing his speech. We might as well see him do the speech before we leave,” he said.
Nancy Nicholls of Cranford didn’t get in, despite arriving at 8 a.m.
She recounted a disorganized scene, with overflowing portable toilets and lots of trash.
“We got no information about things,” Nicholls said.
When Trump mentioned supporting the Second Amendment, there were lots of cheers from those outside. Trump’s mention of former Gov. Chris Christie, who was inside at the rally, drew a mix of cheers and jeers.
A woman yelled out, “traitor,” when Trump spoke of former President Barack Obama.
Linda Badie of West Wildwood arrived at noon and said she encountered a hectic scene. She said she saw a fist-fights, almost got knocked over at one point and that people were pushing past the line in an effort to get inside.
“It’s the worst organized thing in the world,” Badie said.
Henry Ciezkowski drove from his Baltimore home and arrived in Wildwood at 10 a.m., but did not make it inside. He said he seem half a dozen Trump rallies, and Tuesday was only the second time he got shut out.
“I didn’t expect this many people to be here,” said Ciezkowski, adding that he was going to leave, because of the cold, but was first going to buy some Trump gear.