Republican presidential contender Donald Trump got an overflow crowd of rocking in Phoenix on Saturday, without walking back his controversial statements on illegal immigration.
He didn’t have to — the crowd was with him all the way.
Borrowing a phrase coined by Presiden Nixon in 1969, he told the throng of supporters at the Phoenix Convention Center — estimated to be at least 5,000 — that “the silent majority is back.”
Trump added that America is warming up to his thoughts on border security.
“The word is getting out that we have to stop illegal immigration,” he said. “We have a situation that is absolutely out of control.”
“We’re getting ripped,” the real estate tycoon said. “We’re getting taken apart piece by piece, slowly.”
Trump blamed many of the nation’s ills on career politicians.
“We have incompetent politicians and not just the president. Right here, in your own state, you have John McCain,” he said of Arizona’s Republican senator.
The crowd responded with a chorus of boos.
Trump eventually introduced Jamiel Shaw, whose son was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in 2008, one day after the alien was released from jail.
“Think about your child laying in the street dead,” Shaw said. “We were not designed for that.”
“When Trump came out aggressive like that, it showed he can weather the storm,” Shaw said. “We need someone who can weather the storm. He’s the only person talking about saving our country.”
Trump then hit other issues when he took over the dais again.
“We have to repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said. “We have got to take care of everybody. I love you, conservatives, but we have to.”
Trump also addressed Islamic State militants
“They [the terrorists] make Saddam Hussein look like choir boys,” he said in a criticism of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Trump arrived to the song, “Real American” by Rick Derringer, and left to “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.
Trump’s Phoenix speech followed an appearance at FreedomFest in Las Vegas earlier that afternoon.
Following Trump’s remarks on illegal immigrants — especially those from Mexico — when he announced his candidacy last month, a number of businesses have severed ties with Trump, including Macy’s, NASCAR, NBC and Univision.
The backlash has neither tempered Trump’s statements nor hurt his poll numbers. Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are virtually tied in the lead for the Republican presidential nomination according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released Saturday.
Watch the full hour-and-10-minute speech here.
The “silent majority” roars at the end.
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