There were dozens and dozens of cameras capturing Trump. His speech—amplified by two dozen speakers—was so loud that it bounced back upon the crowd. And there were protests; United We Dream, an immigrant youth network, held signs and tried interrupting Trump to no avail, cheering, “Donald Trump has got to go! Hey hey! Ho ho!” When asked who they were, one self-described Trump supporter said they were “probably some f---ing student group who got extra-credit points by their Latin teacher to come out here.”
Before the rally, there was a line of Orthodox Jews chanting "Judaism yes. Zionism No" across the street. The Orthodox Union then directed speakers to them and began singing the Israeli national anthem.
Inside the Capitol, the House Republican leadership postponed a procedural vote advancing a resolution of disapproval. Outside, radio host Mark Levin said, “Barack Obama makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton.” Former GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin claimed that Obama didn’t carry a big stick but a selfie stick. A camouflage headband-strapped Phil Robertson said, “You know why I love Israel? They wrote the Bible, that’s why I love ‘em.”
Outside, staffers at the American Conservative Union wandered the lawn carrying a fake oversized check from the White House to Iran for $150 billion, the high-end estimate of sanctions relief awarded under the deal. Retired patent attorney Jim McDonald, 70, called his massive Trump sign (over 12 feet tall) a "chick magnet.” The boos for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner—extending for 15 seconds before Rep. Dave Brat, who beat former Majority Leader Eric Cantor last year, cut them off—were as loud as any against Hillary Clinton. And a guy wore a shirt that said, “I’d rather be waterboarding."
While it was loud, the rally and its participants can do little now to stop the president from following through with the deal, which sharply limits Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade. But even if they don’t win, rally participants said it was worth their time. “Don’t you want to listen to Ted Cruz and Trump? [Of] course,” said Ron Skow, a 72-year-old retired Marine who drove up with about a dozen others from North Carolina.
What was clear is that Iran-deal doomsayers outgunned the celebrators. Earlier in the day, Sen. Dick Durbin held a press conference on the first floor of the Capitol with Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Kerry and Moniz thanked Durbin, the head of the Senate Democrat whip effort, as well as the 42 Senate Democrats who have announced their support. Moniz praised the approximately 30 members who went to his office to better understand the deal’s technical intricacies; Kerry said the members "learned nuclear jargon and details about centrifuges and fissile material they probably never expected to learn.” They touted their endorsements from Colin Powell, secretary of State under George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, as well as top scientists such as eminent physicist Richard Garwin. There were maybe six cameras.