Trump in Springfield: Raps Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson — and Starbucks

SHARE Trump in Springfield: Raps Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson — and Starbucks

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to the crowd of supporters during a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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SPRINGFIELD — Donald Trump brought his take-no-prisoners Republican presidential campaign to the Illinois capital Monday night — taking potshots at Ben Carson and Hillary Clinton, suggesting a boycott of Starbucks and growling at the opposition.

“Get outta here!” Trump yelled at protesters.

A record 10,400 people filled the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield as Trump hoped to gain support in Illinois on the eve of another Republican debate, this one in Milwaukee.

And he didn’t disappoint fans who came looking for some pre-debate fireworks.

“People are getting away with murder,” Trump said. “You can say anything about anybody and their poll numbers go up. No matter what you do.

“If you try and hit your mother over the head with a hammer, your poll numbers go up.”

It was a jab at Carson, who has been Trump’s chief competition for GOP front-runner.  In recent days, Trump has been going after the soft-spoken neurosurgeon for episodes of violence in his youth, before Carson turned his life around.

Carson has written and spoken of once threatening his mother with a hammer during an argument when he was a teenager.

As for Clinton, Trump told the crowd he would “easily” beat her. He riled the crowd bashing Clinton.

“Can you imagine Hillary being president? Can you imagine?” he said to “No” chants.

He said the former secretary of state is running “to stay out of jail” for her personal email scandal.

“We’re going to look into that crime very, very seriously,” Trump said to cheers.

The billionaire reality TV star also took the opportunity to weigh in on the controversy of the day, suggesting a boycott of Starbucks.

Trump said when he is elected, “We’re all going to say Merry Christmas again.”

Starbucks has come under fire in social media for using solid red holiday cups. Critics say the coffee giant is part of the “war on Christmas” for not putting the words “Merry Christmas” on the cups.

Trump pledged big changes when it comes to foreign policy. He dubbed Syrian refugees “the greatest Trojan horse of all time.”

“These are people that don’t have papers. We have no idea why they’re coming. They may be ISIS. They probably are. You know the whole story of the Trojan horse,” Trump said. “It’s going to cost us billions of dollars.”

And he called China “the greatest thief in the history of the world.”

“They’ve taken our jobs. They’ve taken our money. They’ve taken our base. They’ve taken our spirit,” Trump said.

Trump started his hour-long speech with some lighter fare, talking about his “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig and touting the great ratings. He called Larry David screaming “You’re a racist” as a $5,000 dare “pretty cool.”

And he took time to criticize Clinton’s past “SNL” cameos, saying she mispronounced her lines.

He said the opening skit in which the Mexican president hands him a check for a border  wall will really happen if he wins the presidency: “You know what’s going to happen is Mexico is going to pay for the wall. I will tell you right now. Because they’re doing a number on us. They do not have a clue.”

Trump said he asked “SNL” to take out a “nasty” joke about Jeb Bush.

“I said, ‘You can’t do it. It’s too nasty.'” Trump said. “See how nice I am? It would have been the best crack of the evening but I said ‘Take it out.'”


Supporters holds signs as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Trump was a big draw in Springfield.

Some Trump supporters waited for hours, then ran into the auditorium about 5:15 p.m. Many wore T-shirts, hats and pins to show support. Some were sold outside — $3 for pins, $20 for shirts.

Others protested outside. Mary McSurly of Springfield waved a sign that read “Dump Trump.” Her children held signs that read “No pigs in wigs,” and “Jesus loves all.”


Coen, 9, and Nova McSurly, 10, of Springfield. Photo by Tina Sfondeles

They exchanged words with Trump supporters walking in, who screamed “Trump!” as McSurly shouted “Look what he’s done to Atlantic City.”

Inside, Lisa Hancock wore an “I like the Donald!” button. Hancock, 56, said she’s an undecided voter, but hoped to learn more about Trump’s views.

“I’ve always liked Donald Trump. I used to think he was a good businessman,” Hancock said, adding his celebrity status made her want to see him in person.

“I’ve always wanted to see him. I want to hear what he has to say,” she said.

Not all in attendance were undecided voters. Eric Thomas, a former state worker, said he plans to vote for Trump and supports many of his views.

“I’m tired of old establishment b ——-.” Thomas, 59, of Decatur said. “Stop illegal immigration. Close the border. Cut spending. It’s that simple.”

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