Trump calls US dump­ing ground

Lesotho Times - - International -

DAL­LAS — Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump on Mon­day re­newed his fo­cus on illegal immigration, call­ing the United States “a dump­ing ground for the rest of the world” as he ral­lied thou­sands of Texas sup­port­ers be­hind his fiery can­di­dacy and promised Repub­li­can lead­ers he’s just get­ting started.

De­spite calls from Repub­li­can of­fi­cials to tone down his rhetoric on the sen­si­tive is­sue, the Repub­li­can fron­trun­ner de­cried “an­chor ba­bies” and gang mem­bers among the im­mi­grants liv­ing in the US il­le­gally, draw­ing huge ova­tions from a rowdy au­di­ence packed into Dal­las’s Amer­i­can Air­lines Cen­tre.

“An­chor ba­bies” refers to the chil­dren of im­mi­grants in the US il­le­gally who are granted au­to­matic cit­i­zen­ship be­cause they were born in the coun­try.

The 20 000-ca­pac­ity venue was at least three-quar­ters full for the evening rally.

“You peo­ple are suf­fer­ing,” Trump told the Tex­ans. “I’m in New York, but they’re in New York, too. They’re all over the place.

“It’s dis­gust­ing what’s hap­pen­ing to our coun­try,” Trump con­tin­ued as he called for more le­gal immigration.

Provoca­tive rhetoric on immigration has de­fined Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign from the very be­gin­ning, when the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man called Mex­i­can im­mi­grants rapists and crim­i­nals in his June an­nounce­ment speech.

Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee chair­per­son Reince Priebus, among oth­ers, has en­cour­aged Trump to soften his tone, yet the for­mer re­al­ity tele­vi­sion star and re­al­ity TV mogul has re­fused.

The strat­egy may play well among the party’s more con­ser­va­tive vot­ers - those who filled the Dal­las sports arena among them - yet threat­ens to hurt the party’s stand­ing among a grow­ing group of His­panic vot­ers in the gen­eral elec­tion.

Trump’s pop­u­lar­ity within his party has kept grow­ing. He holds a com­mand­ing lead in early polls.

“This is a move­ment that’s hap­pen­ing,” he de­clared, con­fronting crit­ics who think he’s not run­ning a se­ri­ous cam­paign. “Now it’s time to re­ally start, be­cause this is go­ing to hap­pen, I’m telling you, I’m not go­ing any­where.”

“Un­less I win, it’s been a waste of time for me, folks,” he con­tin­ued. Mon­day night’s crowd ate it up. They waved minia­ture Amer­i­can flags, munched na­chos and drank $13 cups of beer from plas­tic cups as they in­ter­rupted Trump re­peat­edly with ap­plause.

“Some­times he puts his foot in his mouth, just like ev­ery­body,” said Bar­bara To­masino, a 65-year-old re­tired ele­men­tary school li­brar­ian from Plano, Texas, who donned a dress, shoes and a purse plas­tered with pic­tures of Trump’s face.

“If he gets elected, he might need to tone it down a lit­tle bit.”

Still, the crowd cheered wildly when Trump bashed im­mi­grants in the coun­try il­le­gally, the media and the energy lev­els of his ri­vals.

“I have tremen­dous energy,” Trump said. “Tremen­dous. To a point where it’s al­most ridicu­lous if you think about it.”

Mean­while, a grow­ing di­vide has emerged in the Repub­li­can Party’s un­ruly pres­i­den­tial con­test, as the race bid farewell to a once-pow­er­ful con­tender.

A day af­ter Rick Perry, Texas’ long­est-serv­ing gover­nor, ended his sec­ond Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial run with a whim­per, Trump marked the shake-up by em­brac­ing his role as his party’s 2016 bully on Satur­day.

“Mr Perry, he’s gone. Good luck. He was very nasty to me,” Trump told Iowa vot­ers on Satur­day.

Perry had all but de­clared war on the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man in July, call­ing Trump “a can­cer on con­ser­vatism” who could de­stroy the Repub­li­can Party. On Satur­day, Trump’s front-run­ning cam­paign was soar­ing while Perry’s White House am­bi­tions were dead. And with the real es­tate mogul leap­ing ahead of the rest of the packed field, it’s likely a mat­ter of time be­fore he helps push another Repub­li­can can­di­date out of the race.

Perry was a lead­ing voice in the anti-trump move­ment, a group that has suf­fered in the polls as Trump’s public al­lies largely avoid back­lash from the anti-es­tab­lish­ment wave that made Trump the un­like­li­est of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial front-run­ners.

“There is no play in the play­book for where we are right now,” said John Jor­dan, a Cal­i­for­nia win­ery owner and ma­jor Repub­li­can fundraiser. “Donors don’t know what to think. No­body saw the Trump phe­nom­e­non com­ing.”

In still-early polls, the real-es­tate mogul and re­al­ity TV star has more sup­port that the once-top-tier trio of for­mer Florida Gover­nor Jeb Bush, Wis­con­sin Gover­nor. Scott Walker and Sen­a­tor Marco Ru­bio com­bined. That has left party lead­ers un­nerved, as Trump has made in­cen­di­ary com­ments they fear could alien­ate His­pan­ics and women.

Bush has jabbed the busi­ness­man re­peat­edly on the cam­paign trail and through so­cial media. He was at it again Satur­day while meet­ing with sup­port­ers in Mi­ami.

“Mr Trump says that I can’t speak Span­ish,” Bush told the crowd in Span­ish. “Po­brecito [poor guy].”

Walker, another Trump critic, has also strug­gled re­cently, par­tic­u­larly in Iowa, the state that kicks off the nom­i­nat­ing race next year, where he had been con­sid­ered a front-run­ner. The Wis­con­sin gover­nor can­celled up­com­ing ap­pear­ances in Cal­i­for­nia and Michigan to fo­cus in­stead on the crit­i­cal early vot­ing Iowa and South Carolina.

On the other end of the spec­trum, Texas Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz, per­haps Trump’s big­gest ally, de­clined to ad­dress the Trump ef­fect on Perry’s exit on Satur­day.

“I recog­nise that the media en­joys see­ing Repub­li­cans bicker back and forth with each other and throw rocks at each other. But I think the Amer­i­can peo­ple could not care less,” Cruz told re­porters af­ter ad­dress­ing the same gath­er­ing of so­cial con­ser­va­tives in St Louis that Perry shocked the night be­fore with his an­nounce­ment.

A favourite of the con­ser­va­tive tea party move­ment, Cruz has de­clined to seize on Trump’s po­si­tions that would nor­mally trig­ger con­ser­va­tive ire.

Trump favours tax in­creases on the rich, once sup­ported abor­tion rights, gave money to Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton and said kind things about gov­ern­ment-run health care in other coun­tries.

“Some­one has to bring him down. ... I’m not go­ing to sit qui­etly by and let the dis­as­ter that is Don­ald Trump be­come the nom­i­nee,” Sen­rand Paul told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “Do you want some­one who ap­pears to still be in grade school to be in charge of the nu­clear ar­se­nal?”

Perry’s Repub­li­can ri­vals praised him pub­licly and pri­vately — and be­gan court­ing his po­lit­i­cal net­work. Cruz on Satur­day said Perry did “a re­mark­able job as gover­nor” and praised him for run­ning “an honourable cam­paign”.

A per­son close to the Cruz cam­paign, who was not au­tho­rised to speak pub­licly and re­quested anonymity, says the fel­low Texan’s camp will be “im­me­di­ately” reach­ing out to Perry donors and sup­port­ers. “If we don’t jump in, other cam­paigns are go­ing to try to,” the per­son said. — AP

Don­ald Trump ad­dresses sup­port­ers in this file pic­ture.

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