Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump stepped to the stage in Palm Beach, Florida, to declare victory on Super Tuesday, having won in seven of the eleven contested states.
A feel-good moment for sure … at least until the candidate took questions from the press, a strategy that for the most part fared well for him — sucking up airtime from other candidates and appearing unafraid to face hard questions.
Trump struck a conciliatory tone toward Ted Cruz, congratulating his rival on winning in his home state of Texas, followed briefly by more insults directed at Marco Rubio. The real estate tycoon then turned his focus to likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“‘Make America Great Again’ is going to be much better than ‘Make America Whole Again,'” he said in reference to a phrase Clinton has been repeating on the campaign trail.
Calling himself a “unifier,” Trump insisted that he is expanding the Republican Party.
“I’m a unifier,” he said. “Once we get all of this finished, I’m going after one person and that’s Hillary Clinton, on the assumption she’s allowed to run.”
“Our party is expanding and all you have to do is take a look at the primary states where I’ve won,” Trump added. “We’ve gone from one number to a much larger number. That hasn’t happened to the Republican Party in many, many decades. So I think we’re going to be more inclusive, more unified and a much bigger party and I think we’re going to win in November.”
Out of a total of 2,472 delegates, 1,237 are needed to win the GOP primary, and the current count stands at: Trump – 315; Cruz – 205; and Marco Rubio – 106.
The economy was also central in Trump’s speech, with the candidate talking about the trade deficit with China, saying he has “the greatest business leaders in the world on my team already” and will “redo those trade deals.” He also pointed to Mexico as being one of the countries “destroying us in terms of economic development.”
“We have to stop it, folks,” Trump said. “I know how to stop it. We’re going to create jobs like you’ve never seen. We’re going to lower taxes.”
After reiterating his case for why a businessman and master negotiator should be the next president, Trump gave a shout out to the military.
I’ll tell you what, it takes a lot of courage to run for president. I’ve never done this before. I’ve been a job producer and other things, but this is something I’ve never done. But when you look at the incompetence of the Iran deal where we give $150 billion and we get absolutely nothing . . . when you look at all of the problems our country has, and you look at our military, which is being rapidly depleted . . . we’re going to make them bigger, better and stronger than ever before and nobody, nobody, nobody is going to mess with us, folks, nobody.
Trump then took questions, with issues like his support for Planned Parenthood and the #NeverTrump movement being raised. While most of his answers were surprisingly not bombastic, his answer on “so-called conservatives'” problems with Planned Parenthood was cringeworthy. To hear what he said, click here.
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