In front of thousands of screaming fans and amid an LED techno light show, pyrotechnics, and the thudding notes of his own dedicated hip hop banger, 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse took the stage at Turning Point USA’s “AmericaFest” in Phoenix on Monday.
An attending reporter for left-wing activist group “AZ Right Wing Watch” described the scene in tones of awe:
The crowd for Rittenhouse was surreal. People near me came to AmFest just to see him, a teen by me couldn’t stop saying “based” once he was on stage. They asked if any of the women in the crowd wanted to go on a date with him & there were loud cheers. Someone had a “kiss me”sign.
Rittenhouse was participating in a panel called “Kenosha on Camera.” The panel was facilitated by TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and also featured Human Events reporter Jack Posobiec, BlazeTV reporter Elijah Schaffer, and journalist Drew Hernandez, who testified in Kyle’s trial.
Rittenhouse was nicely put-together in a dark blue suit and seemed cheerful and fairly at ease for such a high-profile appearance. (Clearly, he doesn’t suffer from anxiety issues like Xanax Lady.) He was also plainly an amateur at public speaking and made reference to his own inexperience, drawing cheers of support and applause from the audience.
Charlie Kirk started off the discussion by telling Kyle that “what you went through … the way you held it all together, you’re a, you’re a hero to millions, and it’s an honor to be able to have you, have you here,” eliciting incredulous laughter from his high-profile guest. Then Kirk asked, “So, Kyle, I guess the most obvious question is, how ya hanging in there?”
“I’m doing good, Charlie,” Rittenhouse replied. “Ready to go on the mountain and get some snowboarding in.”
Kirk turned to the audience and asked, “Is there anyone out there who wants to go snowboarding with Kyle?” Deafening cheers rang out from the crowd of teens and twenty-somethings.
The panelists expressed their disgust with the way Rittenhouse had been mistreated by the lying left. They were still astonished that the current president had slandered Kyle by calling him a “white supremacist” even as the teen faced charges.
“Listen, I’m going to say this publicly: Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t shoot black people,” said Hernandez. “We just have to say that, because the fake news media cartel is still saying that [he did], right now, to this hour. … People after the trial are calling me, calling my phone up after the testimony, saying, ‘I had no idea that this kid didn’t shoot a single black person.’ I’m like, ‘I know, because he’s not a crazy white supremacist active shooter that decided to show up to Kenosha to kill a bunch of black people and commit a hate crime.’” Hernandez also stated that “what happened with Kyle was a disgrace. Total defamation. Lies.”
Later in the panel, Kirk asked, “So, Kyle, you have any plans to sue some media companies soon?”
“I don’t know, Charlie,” teased Rittenhouse. “I don’t know, but some accountability’s coming. I’d be on the lookout. Accountability may be coming.”
Kirk then referenced conversations Rittenhouse has had with Nick Sandmann, saying Sandmann was someone who should know a thing or two about suing media companies. “My turn may be next,” replied Rittenhouse.
When asked how his ordeal had developed him as a person, Rittenhouse said, “It’s helped me grow a lot. It’s helped me mature.” He thanked his mentors and protectors. The entire panel talked at length about the trial. Then Kirk asked Rittenhouse, “Has faith played a role in this journey for you?”
“Absolutely,” affirmed Rittenhouse. “I believe God’s been with me every day through the trial and every day since August 25th. He’s helped me get through this. I pray to Him every single night. I pray for strength. I never prayed for an acquittal, I prayed for the strength to get through whatever happens to me.”