Trump in Chicago: Says he’s ‘100 percent correct’ about Mexicans, blasts U.S. as ‘laughingstock’ — ‘we’re all a bunch of clowns’
Donald Trump brought his in-your-face presidential campaign to Chicago audience on Monday, declaring that if elected, he would make America “rich,” stop illegal immigration and “knock out” federal health-care reform that the U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled the law of the land.
And even as NBC became the latest network to sever its ties to Trump after he characterized Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, Trump insisted he had nothing to apologize for, saying his remarks were “100 percent correct.”
Despite all that, the Republican candidate said he loves the Mexican people and expects to win strong Latino support in his presidential bid.
“How can I not love people who give me many millions of dollars for apartments?” referring to their renting apartments in buildings he owns.
Trump spoke at a luncheon speech at the City Club of Chicago and at a news conference afterward.
He declared that the United States is “a laughingstock; we’re a joke; we’re all a bunch of clowns.”
On immigration, Trump defended remarks he made when he launched his presidential bid earlier this month, saying he opposes illegal immigrants; that the border must be protected, and that 80 percent of women and girls crossing the border from Central America into the United States are raped. He cited as a source a company affiliated with Latino TV station Univision.
Univision is canceling its telecast of the Miss USA pageant, an event that Trump partly owns, and severing other business ties to the real-estate mogul after his remarks.
NBC followed suit on Monday, issuing a statement saying the network will no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which were joint projects ofTrump and NBC. The network cited Trump’s “derogatory comments” about immigrants.
Trump also said:
- The country’s biggest problem is nuclear proliferation.
- He doesn’t believe Jeb Bush, the GOP front-runner, is in first place, and that Bush “will never ever in a million years bring you home.”
- He believes Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party front-runner for president, but that she is vulnerable.
- He bemoans that U.S. roads and bridges are crumbling, vows to make America “rich,” and will save Social Security without cutting it.
- He never uses teleprompters and believes no other U.S. presidential candidate should, either.
- A CNN poll shows him ahead among Republican candidates in handling the economy, dealing with international terrorism and being the strongest leader.“The only thing I’m not good on is, ‘who is a nice person?’ he said.“If I’m all these things, why not call for the electiontomorrow?”
Trump’s appearance set a record for ticket requests — more than 5,000 — at the City Club of Chicago, said Paul Green, the club’s program director.
Trump said he didn’t understand why the event wasn’t moved to a bigger venue.
“You would have made a fortune,” he said to Green. “I guess it’s a long-term tradition [for the club to meet at Maggiano’s], but to be record-setting is always something I enjoy.”
In answer to a reporter’s question, Trump also said he believes the Confederate flag that is still prominent in some Southern states belongs in a museum. He also decried all career politicians — except those in the audience — saying, “They’re all talk and no action.”
And he claimed that he quit his TV show, “The Apprentice,” along with making millions of dollars, in order to campaign for president. At the same time, he criticized NBC-TV for disagreeing with his strong stance on immigration.
Outside the City Club of Chicago luncheon, before Trump spoke, a crowd of protesters chanted, “Trump is a racist” and cited as hate speech the real-estate mogul’s controversial remarks last week describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists” who bring drugs and crime with them.
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Later Monday afternoon, window washers announced they would hold a protest outside the Trump Tower on North Wabash Avenue, saying they risk their lives doing their jobs and deserve better pay.
Earlier this month, in Trump’s speech announcing a run for president, he deplored immigrants from Mexico who “have lots of problems” and are “bringing those problems to us.”
“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” he said, adding, “and some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump went on Fox News on Thursday to say, “Of course I’m standing by the statement.” He added, “I love Mexico, I love the Mexican people.”
Trump also said he intends to sue Univision for refusing to carry the Miss USA pageant.
At his campaign kickoff speech, Trump also called for building a wall along the border.
Trump has created waves in Chicago, too.
Last year, the installation of 20-foot-tall letters spelling out Trump on his skyscraper triggered a verbal spat with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called it “architecturally tasteless.”
After the luncheon Monday in Chicago, Trump said people “love” the sign with his name on the Trump Tower, based on the many photos they take of it. He called it “the Hollywood sign of Chicago” and said he fully supports the city’s action in prohibiting anyone else from emblazoning his or her name on their building.
Contributing: Bill Zwecker, AP