This article titled “Donald Trump rally in Chicago postponed due to ‘safety reasons’ – live” was written by Scott Bixby (now) and Tom McCarthy (earlier), for theguardian.com on Saturday 12th March 2016 01.47 UTC
Intermittent scuffles and fights are breaking out now between Trump supporters, protestors and police, so hopefully, someone nearby has had training from somewhere like Coast2Coast First Aid and Aquatics to ensure any serious injuries are dealt with promptly. Protestors have crowded the sidewalks and are overflowing into the streets, pushing at the barricades formed by police. Protestors formed a spontaneous human blockade of the parking garage where many rally-goers parked, creating a standoff between screaming Trump supporters in the multi-level garage and screaming protestors on the ground below. Even after everything that goes on with Trump, he still has his loyal supports who stand by him no matter what. With companies such as Super Cheap Signs, supporters of Trump will try and can get their message across by placing yard signs in their front gardens and spreading the word. Each to their own as they say.
Speaking to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, Donald Trump declared that “tremendous anger out there, on both sides” was behind the cancellation of tonight’s rally in Chicago.
“We had 25,000 people that tried to come in – supporters, all supporters,” Trump said. “After seeing what’s on the show, I just think that it was a very good decision – I don’t wanna see people hurt.”
“I don’t use hate speech,” Trump said in response to a question from Van Susteren about whether he bears any responsibility for the outbursts at his rallies. “There’s tremendous division in our country. I’ve seen it, I’m watching it, I’ve been witness to it, and something has to be done.”
But, Trump says, he’s not the one giving ammunition to his followers. “I represent a large group of people that have anger – they’re not angry people, but they have anger,” Trump said. “This is very economic; this has a lot to do with jobs.”
“They haven’t shut down the rally at all, because it’s on television now, and it’s being seen by a lot more people,” Trump said.
“No, I don’t get scared. I don’t get scared,” Trump said, after Van Susteren asked him if he was worried for his personal safety.
Protestor: “If he can’t even handle Chicago, what makes him think he could handle ISIS?”
Reporting live from the Chicago Pavillion at the University of Illinois, the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, Zach Stafford and Ciara McCarthy write that the scene of Donald Trump’s rally had been violent and chaotic even hours before its cancellation.
The atmosphere in the building was tense long before Trump was scheduled to arrive. Violent incidents have occurred at and around a number of Trump rallies recently, including one in downtown St Louis on Friday afternoon.
In Chicago, dozens of protesters, wearing shirts with slogans such as “Muslims united against Trump”, were kicked out.
Police walked up and down the arena stairs, holding sheaves of plastic handcuffs.
Attendees grabbed signs out of each other’s hands while cursing and exchanging vulgar gestures. At least one section of young people was cleared out by police long before the event began.
Finally, a half-hour after the event was scheduled to begin, the announcement came that Trump was not coming. The crowd immediately erupted.
College students shouted “We shut it down” while loyal supporters of the Republican frontrunner shouted “We want Trump”.
Donald Trump: “Whatever happened to freedom of speech?”
In a phone call with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, presidential candidate Donald Trump told the host that he had his rally in Chicago cancelled because “I don’t wanna see people hurt or worse,” but blamed the closure on anti-Trump protestors and told them to “get a job.”
“Look, it’s a two-way street,” Trump said of physical violence at his rallies. “Frankly when the other side… when they get tough, it ends up being the front-page story.”
Telling Matthews that “some of these protestors are very dangerous people,” Trump said that the reason protestors continue to come to his rallies is based on their economic concerns, rather than opposition to his platform.
“We shouldn’t be restricted from having a rally here because of ethnic makeup,” Trump said. “It shouldn’t matter.”
“We’re doing others, and up until this point we’ve had no problems,” Trump said, insisting that he will continue to host rallies for his candidacy, “but this is a little bit of a different circumstance, and it’s a little sad that you can’t have a rally in a major city in this country. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?”
Protestor Violet Ornelas, 28, on Donald Trump’s cancelled rally:
If he can’t even handle Chicago, what makes him think he could handle Isis?
The Guardian’s Ciara McCarthy reports that the arena has been emptied at the site of the now-abandoned Donald Trump rally in Chicago:
The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs reports that the crowd in the Chicago Pavillion is now shouting “fuck Trump!”
Trump campaign: “Please go in peace”
The Donald Trump campaign has released a statement about the cancellation of tonight’s planned rally in downtown Chicago, calling the postponement a measure “for the safety” of its attendees and urging protestors and supporters alike to “please go in peace.”
“Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date,” the statement reads. “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
Chicago Donald Trump rally postponed due to “safety reasons”
A rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago for presidential candidate Donald Trump has been postponed at the last minute for “safety reasons,” an unprecedented move from the Trump campaign after the tone of its rhetoric has drawn increased scrutiny.
The scene inside the Chicago Pavillion, where the event was to be held, is chaotic, with opponents of the controversial Republican frontrunner mounting the stage and supporters of Trump getting in physical fights on the floor of the venue.
Broadcasting live from the press area of the venue, CNN’s Jim Acosta declared on air “This is supposed to be American democracy, but what we have instead is total chaos.”
The University Village area of Chicago has been frozen by anti-Donald Trump protestors outside of the University of Illinois branch in the city.
The Guardian’s Lois Beckett reports from the scene at a Donald Trump rally in St. Louis earlier today, where violence broke out between protestors and Trump supporters:
One of those supporters, Rudy Kelsey, 50, walked away from the conversation when one protester shouted that black people cannot be racist.
“I learned that black people still feel very discriminated against,” he said. “I told them them racism work both ways, and they said black people cannot be racist, and I said the dialogue’s over when you say that.”
Kelsey told the Guardian he had been discriminated against as a white man, because he was raised Amish.
“My ancestors fled Europe because of persecution,” he said. “My ancestors had their heads chopped off. They were burned at the stake and drowned.”
Growing up, he said, “we drove a horse and buggy instead of a car. We were Amish guys. We were the butt of every joke. My dad, he always raised us to be the best people that we could possibly be. Today I’m a successful self-made millionaire.”
Kelsey said he thought anyone could have that kind of success, “regardless of who you are or what your background is, but they obviously disagree with me very strongly out here. They say it’s still about color.”
While he was wearing a signed Trump hat, however, Kelsey said: “I’m not even sure I’m going to vote for him.” He said he had come to the rally out of curiosity; either way he was “absolutely” going to vote Republican.
Ohio judge: 17-year-olds can vote in Tuesday’s primary
In a potential victory for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, an Ohio judge has ruled that 17-year-old Ohioans can vote in the Buckeye State’s upcoming primary election.
Ohio already allows all 17-year-olds to vote in congressional, legislative and mayoral primaries – as long as they will be 18 on Election Day – but the question of whether they can vote in a presidential primary had been unanswered. Nine Ohio teenagers filed a lawsuit over the interpretation of the law by Ohio’s secretary of state, which they claimed was an act of disenfranchisement.
“Plaintiffs are entitled to a judgment that the secretary abused his discretion,” judge Richard Frye of Franklin County said in his ruling, referring to Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted, a Republican who has vowed to appeal the ruling.
“This last minute legislating from the bench on election law has to stop,” Husted said in a statement. “Our system cannot give one county court the power to change 30 years of election law for the entire state of Ohio, 23 days into early voting and only four days before an election.”
“We will appeal this decision because if there is a close election on Tuesday we need clarity from the Supreme Court to make sure that ineligible voters don’t determine the outcome of an election. No matter the outcome of these disputes, I want 17-year-olds to know that they are eligible to vote on certain races and they should exercise that right,” Husted added.
The ruling, if ultimately successful, is a coup for the Sanders campaign, which enjoys high polling numbers among young voters. In nearby Iowa, Sanders won caucus voters under the age of 30 by a ratio of six to one – 84% to 14% – over competitor Hillary Clinton.
The mayor of Miami Beach, one of the US cities most vulnerable to sea level rise, has criticized Marco Rubio after the presidential hopeful said that it’s not possible to “change the weather” or the rising oceans through government regulation.
Asked if he accepted the reality of human-induced climate change, Rubio said: “If the climate is changing, one of the reasons is because the climate has always been changing.”
Philip Levine, mayor of neighboring Miami Beach, said Rubio was “100% using the language of a climate change denier” and has overlooked the escalating problem of sea level increases for south Florida.
“Unfortunately, Senator Rubio went to his usual talking points, fed to him by his donors in the sugar and energy industry,” said Levine. “According to him, America shouldn’t be a leader in the greatest challenge of our generation. If he were around during World War II, he’d want us to sit on the sidelines and leave Britain to its fate.”
The Guardian’s Ciara McCarthy has video of protestors being bodily removed from the location of Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Chicago.
Four young Muslim men were forcibly escorted from the UIC arena where Donald Trump is preparing to speak at 6 p.m. The men were wearing T-shirts that said “Muslims United Against Trump” under their sweatshirts. Authorities approached and asked them to lift up their outerwear, which the men did after authorities insisted. The men were escorted from the arena to cheers and chants of “USA! USA!” from the nearby crowd.
The men had previously waited in line to enter the arena wearing the handmade shirts before they said Secret Service agents asked them to get out of line and leave the area. The men returned to the line wearing sweatshirts over their t-shirts and were allowed to enter the arena.
Jorge Castañeda, a former Mexican foreign minister, has released an English campaign advertisement slamming Donald Trump for his rhetoric against Mexico. Castañeda originally made the call for prominent Mexicans to take a stand against Trump several months ago, but after a Spanish campaign video went viral on social media in the past several days he re-recorded the missive in English, adding on his own message: “I am not a rapist.”
Barack Obama has narrowed his list of potential supreme court nominees to three people, according to Reuters:
Sri Srinivasan is is a US circuit judge of the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia who was confirmed to his seat by a vote in the US senate of 97–0 in 2013. Merrick Garland is the chief judge of the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who was confirmed by the senate in 1997. Paul Watford is a US circuit judge for the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit; he was confirmed in 2012 in a 61–34 vote.
The Guardian’s Sam Levin has more on Hillary Clinton’s swift about-face after lauding the Reagan administration’s response to the Aids crisis:
“It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/Aids back in the 1980s,” the Democratic frontrunner told MSNBC in an interview at the funeral, which was held at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.
Clinton continued: “Because of both president and Mrs Reagan, in particular Mrs Reagan, we started a national conversation when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it, and that, too, is something that I really appreciate. With her very effective, low-key advocacy … it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say: ‘Hey, we have to do something about this too.’”
Her comments in the interview flew in the face of how many longtime gay rights activists view the Reagans – as a couple who deliberately turned a blind eye to the Aids crisis, with devastating and deadly consequences.
Live: Bernie Sanders speaks in Toledo, Ohio:
Between Nancy Reagan’s death and her funeral, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence reached out in their own wimpled way to share their pain, their anger and, occasionally, their sympathy.
The activists, in trademark Catholic drag, spent the Aids crisis fighting on behalf of infected friends and lovers – and for dying men they would never know. As much of the nation mourned the former first lady’s passing this week, their email anguish underscored the Reagan administration’s darker legacy.
Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004, was president for nearly five years before he said the word “Aids” in public, nearly seven years before he gave a speech on a health crisis that would go on to kill more than 650,000 Americans and stigmatize even more.
In recent months, published reports have revealed an administration that laughed at the scourge and its victims and a first lady who turned her back on Rock Hudson, a close friend, when he reached out to the White House for help as he was dying from an Aids-related illness.
“If there is a hell both Ronny and Nancy are Roasting,” wrote one Sister.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has apologized for comments earlier today in which she implied that the Reagan White House “started a national conversation” during the Aids crisis.
“While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS,” the former secretary of state wrote. “For that, I’m sorry.”
Hillary Clinton: The Reagans “started a national conversation” on Aids
Former secretary of state and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s comments on the morning of former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral have incensed Aids advocates who claim that the candidate is rewriting history.
In an interview this morning on MSNBC, Clinton claimed that Reagan, along with her husband, fostered a national dialogue about the rise of the Aids epidemic.
“Because of both president and Mrs. Reagan – in particular Mrs. Reagan – we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it,” Clinton said. “And that, too, is something that I really appreciate, with her very effective, low-key advocacy, but it penetrated the public conscience, and people began to say, ‘Hey, we have to do something about this, too.’”
The Reagan administration’s legacy on the Aids crisis was, in fact, much more complicated than Clinton described. Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, was president for nearly seven years before he gave a speech on the health crisis – a speech in which he called for a now-rescinded ban on HIV-positive people entering the United States.
The former first lady herself has been lambasted in recent years as documents have come forth showing that she turned her back on Rock Hudson, a close friend, when he reached out to the White House for help as he was dying from an Aids-related illness.
On numerous occasions, the epidemic was even seen as a source of humor in the Reagan White House. At the centenary rededication of the Statue of Liberty, the Reagans, seated, next to French president François Mitterand and his wife Danielle, were watching the evening’s entertainment, Bob Hope, give a series of one-liners. In the middle of his set, Hope quipped, “I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has Aids, but she doesn’t know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Fairy.” As television cameras panned the audience for a reaction shot, the Mitterands looked appalled. The Reagans, however, were laughing.
“This is shameful, idiotic, false – and heartbreaking. There is nothing else to say about it,” Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America, told the Guardian’s Martin Pengelly.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which has endorsed Clinton, tweeted “While I respect her advocacy on issues like stem cell & Parkinson’s research, Nancy Reagan was, sadly, no hero in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
More than three hours before the Republican frontrunner’s rally in Chicago, tension between Donald Trump’s supporters and protestors outside of the University of Illinois in the Windy City has already erupted into slur-laden screaming matches.
In the above video, a black protestor screams “fuck you!” at a crowd of would-be attendees of Trump’s rally, after which a volley of insults – “fuck off!” and the N-word – is heard in response.
The group’s apparent ringleader confronted the woman holding the camera and unleashed a diatribe against Islam and Trump’s detractors.
Hey! Fuck Islam, Allah is a whore, Jesus is the most high god, and you bitches are done! So fuck you!
St. Louis erupts in violent protests ahead of Donald Trump rally
Would-be attendees of a rally for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri, didn’t even make it inside the venue before clashes between the controversial candidate’s supporters and detractors became violent.
At least a dozen protestors have been arrested or detained, according to the Riverfront Times, as a seemingly endless line of Trump supporters – or the simply curious – come into conflict with a growing number of protestors outside the venue.
Video: Trump insults Carson – a selection
Why the Carson endorsement could matter
Though Ben Carson was repeatedly mocked by the media – incidents like his confused debate entrance made it all too easy – the retired neurosurgeon did have the support of many Republicans, writes Guardian US data editor Mona Chalabi:
Just before he dropped out of the race, polling averages put Carson at 9% – slightly ahead of John Kasich and less than 10 percentage points behind Marco Rubio. So does Carson’s endorsement of Donald Trump count for more than the seven other politicians who have already done the same?
You might not recognize everyone on Trump’s list of political endorsements. Here are the names so far:
- Representative Scott DesJarlais
- Representative Tom Marino
- Senator Jeff Sessions
- Governor Paul R LePage
- Governor Chris Christie
- Representative Duncan D Hunter
- Representative Chris Collins
From March to December last year, Carson was consistently showing positive net favorability in polls – hardly surprising given that he was in second place in the Republican race, behind Trump. But public appearances haven’t been great for Carson’s public image. For today’s endorsement to continue to carry weight, it might be best for Trump if this is the last thing Carson says for a while.
Read the full piece here:
Team Kasich issues a second, still edgy response to the backing of team Rubio in Ohio:
Video: Obama jokes about Ted Cruz’s (former) Canadian citizenship at state dinner
Rubio continues, saying a vote for either of his non-Trump rivals in Florida is in fact a vote for Trump:
Don’t sell yourself short?
The Real Clear Politics polling averages of Ohio have Trump up just 2.5 points on Kasich and the governor climbing fast. Rubio is way down in fourth place with single-digit support.
To which we’re tempted to reply, in the voice of Bernie Sanders: Mi-chi-gan! Mi-chi-gan!
Police: battery investigation of Trump aide ‘ongoing’
Rubio stops short of telling Ohio supporters to vote Kasich.
He also, incidentally, stops short of backing a two-state solution for Israel/Palestine:
Trump camp: ‘statement regarding Breitbart reporter’
The Trump campaign has released a new statement denying that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski manhandled reporter Michelle Fields.
It’s unclear who’s speaking in the statement.
The statement links to a story on Breitbart, Fields’ employer, that questions whether it was Lewandowski who laid hands on her.
The statement says there’s no evidence of the incident despite audio and video recordings and witness statements.
The statement backs down from yesterday’s suggestion by the Trump camp that Fields was a craven attention seeker making up a story for attention. Today’s statement appears to leave room for the possibility that Fields was grabbed and hurt, and it does not engage in the attacks on Fields’ character that characterized the campaign’s response yesterday.
It just calls Fields’ claim that it was Lewandowski who hurt her “entirely false.”
Rubio muses on his political future… and lunch:
Kasich camp on Rubio support: ‘we were going to win without help’
Kasich nets a big homestate coach endorsement. At the debate last night Kasich referred to “my beloved Buckeyes.”
The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui is at a Rubio news conference in Florida. On whether his supporters should back Kasich in Ohio: Rubio says it’s up to them.
If the field in Ohio – which has 66 Republican delegates to give to the first-place winner and only the winner of its Tuesday primary – were to narrow, Trump’s prospects would narrow as well, polling indicates.
The sitting governor might dominate Trump in a two-way race, for example.
Here’s a video snippet from the Trump event Tuesday that could support Michelle Fields’ version of events.
This is compelling food for thought. But Ted Cruz has just held a rally in Orlando. Not quite “out of FL.”
This is fun.
Rubio camp asks Ohioans to vote for Kasich
Ohio and Florida, which vote on Tuesday, are both winner-take-all states. John Kasich might beat Trump in Ohio. Marco Rubio might beat Trump in Florida. But Marco Rubio very probably does not stand a chance of winning Ohio. And the same is true of Kasich in Florida.
But what if the two pooled their supporters in their respective home states in an attempt to gang up on Trump?
The Rubio team appears to have made a move to do just that:
National Review endorses Cruz
The failure of the National Review, the historically significant showcase for conservative thought, to sway … anyone?… with its special January issue Against Trump may call into question the practical value of its presidential endorsement.
In any case, that’s now been awarded to Texas senator Ted Cruz.
“Ted’s the only one with a plausible path to stopping Trump,” National Review editor Rich Lowry told Politico, “either by getting a majority himself or denying Trump a majority and finishing close behind and getting it to convention.”
Here’s the January cover with a link to the argument:
Reporter files complaint against Trump aide
Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields has filed a criminal complaint against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in Jupiter, Florida, where she says Lewandowski hurt her at a Trump event Tuesday.
Trump and Lewandowski denied the incident happened. Lewandowski called Fields “totally delusional” and Trump said “she made it up, I think that’s what happened.”
Rubio wins Hawaii delegate
Reports that Florida senator Marco Rubio won no delegates in voting Tuesday, including reports in this blog, were wrong.
Last night Hawaii completed its count of 2,000 provisional ballots and determined that Rubio had come away with a single delegate from the state, the AP reports. He beat the skunk.
There were 150 delegates at stake on Tuesday, in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi.
Next stop: Florida.
MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee is outside a Trump rally in St Louis, where protesters have faced off with supporters.
Here’s our report at recent violence at Trump rallies:
And here’s Guardian columnist Lucia Graves’ comment piece:
Carson said he was supporting Trump to stop the Republican party from being torn “irreparably” asunder. But what if the party sunders itself anyway, in an attempt to block candidate Trump at the national convention in July?
“For the first time since the invention of social media and 24-hour cable news, a major party may decide its presidential nominee on the convention floor,” writes Guardian politics reporter Ben Jacobs.
But what exactly is a contested convention?
In the dark ages of American politics, the elaborate politicking of a presidential primary was once condensed into a political convention. For decades, instead of a long public process during which candidates traipsed from Iowa to New Hampshire and onwards across the country for series of primaries and caucuses, presidential nominees were chosen in overheated convention halls and the smoke-filled rooms in adjacent hotels.
However, as more states instituted primaries to select their delegates, a process that accelerated greatly in the 1970s, the conventions receded in importance. The last political convention to go to more than one ballot was the Democrats’ in 1952, when they nominated Adlai Stevenson. […]
The problems come in several forms. The first is that since conventions have been long thought to be vestigial parts of American politics, candidates’ campaigns are not fully prepared for the delegate chase – a full scale 50-state scramble. Campaigns have to take care to not just make the ballot in every state but to fill their slates of delegates with names and ensure that those delegates pledged to them are actual supporters and not what veteran Republican strategist John Yob calls “supporters in name only”, or Sinos.
Read the full piece here.
This seems important. Hey it’s Friday
Here’s a summary of the nice things Ben Carson said about Donald Trump just then:
- “He’s very cerebral.”
- “He is actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”
- “There’s a lot more alignment, philosophically and spiritually, than I ever thought there was.”
- He’s “malleable.”
- He’s “a much more reasonable person than comes across.”
Trump agreed with Carson explicitly about many of his, Trump’s, qualities:
- “I’m a big thinker.”
- “I’m a very deep thinker. I know what’s happening, OK?”
Breitbart stands with its reporter against Trump. The company at first seemed reluctant to register criticism against Trump but then suspended a reporter who gave voice to skepticism over the incident.
“Trump’s suggestion that Fields made up the incident Tuesday evening contradicts the evidence,” Breitbart says.
Carson: Trump is ‘malleable’
Carson is asked whether the “two Donald Trumps” should concern voters.
“There’s a different persona. Some people have gotten the impression that Donald Trump is a person who is not malleable,” Carson says – a person who can’t take in new information and make wise decisions.
“He’s much more cerebral than that, and a much more reasonable person than comes across.”
Carson blames the media for creating a fake Trump. Does this exculpate the media from the charge of being played by Mr Trump?
Trump thanks the crowd and invites them to coffee and drinks outside.
Carson on Trump decision: ‘I prayed about it a lot’
Carson is back. He says if party operatives succeeded at stopping Trump, it would “fracture the party irreparably and it would hand the election to the Democrats.
“It’s not about me, it’s not about Mr Trump,” Carson says. It’s about America.
Carson is asked about Ted Cruz, accused of spreading a rumor that Carson had dropped out in advance of the Iowa caucuses. Did that play a role in this morning’s decision? Carson doesn’t answer directly.
“I feel that Mr Trump is willing to do what needs to be done to break the stranglehold of special interest groups and the political class,” he says.
“I’ve completely forgiven him. That’s my duty as a Christian.”
Then Carson is asked what role God played in his decision to support Trump.
“I prayed about it a lot” and got a lot of signals of which way to go, Carson says.
These included people he hadn’t’ talked to in a long time calling him up and saying things like, “I had this dream about you and Donald Trump. It’s just amazing.”
Trump says Clinton lacks stamina to fix trade deals
Trump says Hillary Clinton does not have what it takes to fix US trade deals. “She has no business instinct. She doesn’t have the energy or the strength to get these deals made. You need strength and you need stamina.”
Trump: ‘I think I’ll beat John Kasich’ in Ohio
“The Republican party lost its way,” Trump says. But he says he’s made something happen. “Call it a miracle,” call it what you will.
“We’re going to have Democrats for Trump,” he says. He says his friends in Hollywood are all voting for him but won’t admit it. They like his stances on crime and the border, Trump says. “They’re liberal people but they’re voting for Trump.”
Then Trump starts hammering Ohio governor John Kasich, a rival.
Whoever has the most delegates at the end of this trip should win… Ohio should be great to me… I think I’ll beat John Kasich. John Kasich has been an absentee governor. He lived in New Hampshire…
Trump says Ohio “got lucky” with of oil discoveries and implies the economic vigor of the state is an accident, not tied to good government.
Trump’s asked if he’ll ditch a planned debate on March 21 in Salt Lake City.
“I didn’t know there was a next debate,” Trump says.
What does Trump think about reports that senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is advising colleagues with vulnerable seats on how to run away from Trump?
“I’m sure that will change,” Trump says.
Trump: ‘I will get states that are unbelievable’
Trump says he would win Michigan in a general election and he might even win New York.
“With me, I add a lot of states that aren’t even in play for anybody else,” Trump says, mentioning the Rust Belt. “I will get states that are unbelievable, that are unthinkable for the Republican party.”
Trump: ‘we’ve had enough debates’
“I think we’ve had enough debates. I mean how many times do you have to give the same answer to the same question? Same questions, same people, same everything.
I don’t think there’s any reason for the debates. I know they’re getting very big ratings. And by the way the Democrats aren’t getting ratings at all.
Trump is asked about his call for the GOP to embrace his candidacy.
“The Republican party should come together and embrace these millions of people that are coming out and voting…. there’s something happening that’s really beautiful to see.”
Like seemingly every Trump appearance, this one has turned into a news conference. Trump said the debate last night was “elegant” and “dignified.”
He says he’d leave the door open on accepting contributions during a potential general election campaign.
Trump is asked again about the “two Donald Trumps.”
Q: Is the real Donald Trump your public persona or your private self?
A: It’s an interesting question. I don’t like to over-analyze myself. I try to be who I am… I try to give a straight answer more than a politically correct answer. I answer truthfully… like the question on Islam… there is a problem.
Trump said yesterday that “I think Islam hates us.”
“I want to answer questions honestly and forthrightly,” Trump says.
Q: Why are there two Donald Trumps? Is it a conscience thing?
A: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there’s one Donald Trump,” in direct contradiction of what he said 5 minutes ago.
“I am a thinker… I’m a very deep thinker. I know what’s happening, OK?”
Trump blames violence at his rallies on protesters. “We’ve had some violent people at protests. These are people that punch. These are violent people.”
“We’ve had a couple that were really violent… a guy who was swinging, was very loud and then started swinging at the audience. And you know what, the audience swung back.
“If you want to know the truth, the police were very very restrained.”
Trump on troop deployments: ‘It’s going to be up to the generals’
Islamic state question. Last night Trump said he would commit 20,000-30,000 troops to beat the perceived threat.
“They’re going to get back real soon. We have to get rid of Isis. It’s going to be up to the generals. The generals are going to play their own game.”
We’ve got to get the right general, Trump says.
Does he regret anything he said about Carson?
“It’s a funny thing,” Trump says. “I was thinking about that yesterday.” He talks about polling last fall. The “one person that just kept sneaking up on me, I couldn’t lose him, was DR Ben Carson,” Trump says.
“I couldn’t lose him, I couldn’t shake him… and I hit him hard. .. but he handled it with such dignity.”
The difference was that people voted for Trump.
Trump: ‘we’ve been contacted by many of the biggest people in Republican politics’
Trump is asked whether he is making outreach efforts to Capitol Hill.
“We have been called by the biggest people in politics, not only Republican politics.”
Trump says House speaker Paul Ryan “reached out”. “Terrific guy, I’ve always liked him, I’ve always respected him.”
“Many other people at the top top level… we’ve been contacted by many of the biggest people in Republican politics. They’re really reaching out to us.”
Trump: ‘I’m a big thinker’
“Ben’s going to have a big, big, part,” Trump says. “Maybe Ben doesn’t know that yet. But he’s going to have a big part.”
Trump’s asked whether he agrees with Carson’s view that there are “two Donald Trumps.”
“I probably do agree. I think there are two Donald Trumps. There’s the public version… but it’s probably different than the personal Donald Trump.
“Somebody that is a thinker. I’m a big thinker.”
Trump now takes the lectern. He says he and Carson discussed education policy yesterday.
“It was so right on. It was so good. I said Ben, congratulations, you just have to get involved with us on education.”
He makes it sound like a job offer. “Ben is going to get very much involved in that, and he’s going to get involved in health care where he’s an expert.”
But Trump says there was no job offer. “He just wants to help.”
“It’s such an honor to have Ben. He’s a friend, he’s become a friend and I really appreciate the endorsement.”
They hug. Briefly.
Carson says a house divided against itself cannot stand and together the country will “ascend to a much higher pinnacle” than anyone expects.
Carson sees spiritual alignment with Trump
Carson’s speaking at a Trump event in Palm Beach. Trump is waiting in the wings. Carson’s standing behind a Trump-branded lectern in front of Trump’s usual backdrop of American flags.
“There’s a lot more alignment, philosophically and spiritually, than I ever thought there was,” Carson says of himself and Trump.
“I’m appealing to the media, as well. You’re part of America, too,” Carson advises. He says the job of the media should be not to divide or sow conflict, but to unite.
“Donald Trump talks a lot about making America great, but it’s not just talk – he means it,” Carson says.
Carson endorses Trump: he’s ‘very cerebral’
“I’ll tell you why. First of all, I’ve come to know Donald Trump … he is actually a very intelligent man who cares deeply about America.”
Carson says there are two Trumps. One you see onstage and a secret Trump backstage, who Carson says is “very cerebral”.
“Some people said he said terrible things about you … well first of all we buried the hatchet. … That happens in American politics.
“There’s a lot more alignment, philosophically and spiritually, than I ever thought there was,” Carson says.
Hello and welcome to our live-wire coverage of the 2016 race for the White House. Retired brain surgeon Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump this morning in an appearance in Florida, Trump announced from the debate stage last night.
Carson said on Thursday that it was important for the Republican party to get behind its nominee to ensure the defeat of the Democrats in November. Carson also said he believed that Trump was attracting new voters to the GOP.
But some longtime Carson supporters expressed disappointment that a leader they had valued for his even temperament and Christian values would now get behind a candidate not known for either.
“Let’s hope it is just a bad rumor, otherwise a lot of Dr Carson fans will be heartbroken,” said old Carson friend and former campaign organizer Terry Giles in a statement to the Guardian on Thursday evening. (Read the full statement here.)
Ever since the Carson endorsement plan was announced, those who care have busied themselves disinterring Trump’s greatest hits against Carson, including this one:
In other news, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, continued overnight to attack Michelle Fields, the reporter he is accused of physically assaulting this week. “You are totally delusional,” Lewandowski tweeted at Fields. “I never touched you.”
“Perhaps she made the story up,” Trump himself said after the debate last night. “I think that’s what happened.”
But the new audio recording that emerged overnight added to the evidence that Fields was not lying but instead was manhandled by Lewandowski. “That was insane,” Fields appears to say. “You should have felt how hard he grabbed me.”
“He literally almost threw you on the ground,” Washington Post reporter Ben Terris appears to reply.
Did you watch last night’s Republican debate in Miami? It was a staid affair, more reminiscent of action on the Senate floor (“I’d like to thank my colleague from Manhattan for that gracious speech and only would add these supporting points …”) than a Republican debate hall.
“If we nominate Donald Trump, Hillary wins,” Ted Cruz warned. Read all about it here:
There’s a lot more happening on the campaign trail – thanks for joining us. What’s on your political mind today?
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