Presidential hopeful and billionaire developer Donald Trump stood before a packed audience in Chicago on Monday and made numerous declarations.
He told the City Club of Chicago he’s so rich he doesn’t need lobbyists.
He says he is so courageous in his views, he doesn’t need a teleprompter like “politicians” do. He isn’t afraid of speaking the truth.
Beaming with bravado, Trump cracked jokes about Univision, how he’d sue them for dropping him after his remarks about immigrants.
He makes no apologies for those remarks, he says; he opposes illegal immigrants, believes the border is dangerous and that’s that.
He belittled first President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State John Kerry for breaking his leg in a bike race.
But all along, The Donald was sounding pretty much like a typical politician.
These were his remarks about immigrants on the day he announced his run for office:
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
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So now that he has to own those remarks, what did he think about the large, exceptionally loudprotest across the street from where he stood, where demonstrators chanted in Spanish and held signs that read: “NBC Dump Trump.”
He didn’t see the protesters, he said.
OK. Would he apologize to Latinos for his remarks?
“No, there’s no apology because what I said is right. What I said is 100 percent right, you know that better than anybody,” Trump said to a Spanish-speaking reporter.“I love the Mexican people. But we have to have a strong border. We can’t let people come into the country illegally.”
Having strong borders isn’t what immigrant groups, Univision and now NBC are taking issue with. What’s rattled them is the part of his statement where he calls Mexican immigrants “rapists” and says they’re “bringing crime” to America, then adding that perhaps a few are OK.
Trump addresses this in his formal speech before the club, citing a Fusion article that details how an estimated 80 percent of young women who attempt to cross the Mexico-U.S. border are raped. He held this up as his defense for his remarks.
But Trump is pressed again on this issue after the formal event. What exactly did he mean by immigrants being rapists?
He points to his entourage to show this same article.
But this article is saying women who are attempting to cross into the United States are being assaulted. That’s not what he said.
“What am I saying?” he snaps. Well, could he clarify what he meant by immigrants being rapists?“They’re saying 80 percent of the women are getting raped — I didn’t write the article — and on top of it it’s in the Huffington Post.”
But his contention was that immigrants were rapists. The Fusion piece describes immigrants as victims — not the perpetrators.
Trump never answers this point. He changes the subject.
It’s the same kind of non-answer he surely would blast other “politicians” for giving.
Next thing you know, we may see Mr. Trump behind a teleprompter.
Follow Natasha Korecki on Twitter: @natashakorecki