Election 2017

Donald Trump stops in Philly for a surprise cheesesteak at Geno’s

GOP candidate who vowed to build a wall stops by shop with “Speak English” sign.

Via @kevcirilli on Twitter

Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to be in Philadelphia today.

At least, not as far as the public knew.

The GOP presidential candidate had a public schedule today that included a speech to members of the shale industry in Pittsburgh, and then a public rally in Delaware County. But en route to the rally, Trump made an unannounced stop in Philadelphia, stopping at an infamous cheesesteak spot and snarling traffic in Center City

Trump and his caravan rolled up to Geno’s Steaks at 9th and Passyunk at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday. And while his stop in Philadelphia was seemingly out-of-the-blue, his campaign’s choice to stop at Geno’s was, um, not so much of a surprise. The establishment, one of the two most famous in Philly, has gotten plenty of attention for its stance on immigration.

Twitter via @ke

The window at Geno’s near where people order features signs that look like they come straight out of Trump’s campaign material. The most infamous sign warns people that “This is America. When ordering, speak English.” At one point, a sign there read “Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Deportation.” Owner Geno Vento has said the “speak English” sign stays up because it was his father’s dying wish.

Trump is far from the only presidential candidate to choose Geno’s on visits to Philadelphia, though most have chosen Pat’s in recent years. Bill Clinton went to Geno’s in 1992. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stopped by last year (it didn’t work out so well for him). And, in recent years, it’s been more of trend to stay away from the cheesesteak joints altogether.

After his short — less than 10 minutes long — impromptu stop at Geno’s (and no, he didn’t eat there — the order was to go), Trump was whisked away to Center City where he headed to the swanky Ritz-Carlton for a fundraiser. There, he was met by dozens of Philadelphia police officers, a handful of protesters and backed-up, near-rush-hour traffic in Center City.

People gathering outside the Ritz-Carlton where Donald Trump appeared this afternoon.

People gathering outside the Ritz-Carlton where Donald Trump appeared this afternoon.

An officer on scene said Trump was expected to stay in the fundraiser until about 5:30 p.m. His public rally in Delaware County begins at 7 p.m. at Sun Center Studios, where M. Night Shyamalan shot the Will Smith movie ‘After Earth’.

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