Florida Keys

A 36-foot-long Trump bridge arrived in Key West — and locals paid attention

A Michigan man’s creation, the Trump Unity Bridge, made its way through Key West over the weekend.
A Michigan man’s creation, the Trump Unity Bridge, made its way through Key West over the weekend.

You don’t see this every day on Duval Street.

A Michigan man who has been taking his “Trumpmobile,” a pickup hauling a 36-foot-long, 13-foot-tall footbridge on a trailer dubbed the “Trump Unity Bridge,” arrived in Key West over the weekend, blaring songs such as Lee Greenwood’s “I Love the U.S.A,” Neil Diamond’s “America” and Jimmy Buffett’s Key West mantra, “Margaritaville,” as he tooled around the island.

“I was really impressed, proud and honored,” Rob Cortis, 55, a Detroit native who calls Livonia, Mich., home, said of his weekend Key West tour. “Key West was all beautiful. A couple of people invited us into their homes. We had some negative gestures.”

Cortis and his pro-Trump creation drew plenty of attention in liberal Key West, whose 10 precincts all went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election as the rest of the county was claimed by President Donald Trump. People took to Facebook to denounce the Trumpmobile’s arrival. One woman was equally offended that he was blaring Jimmy Buffett.

Cortis, who of course voted for Trump in 2016, says his Trumpmobile and Unity Bridge are about bringing people together. He isn’t looking for a fight, he said.

“We want to get everybody on the same page,” he said of his effort, which has already logged some 100,000 miles and hit 30 states and is reliant upon donations via his GoFundMe page.

The Trumpmobile was vandalized in Virginia. In another city, two women hurled eggs at it from an apartment looming above.

“But they kept missing,” Cortis said, laughing and finding a positive even over an egg attack. “Trump’s about making the economy better because now they’ve got to buy more eggs.”

Cortis said he has met the president. In 2001, during a Las Vegas trip, Cortis lost a gold bracelet. It was Trump who found it and treated him to dinner, Cortis reported.

“He was very kind and generous,” Cortis said.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen