(CN) – If President Obama gets his way and appoints the Supreme Court nominee of his choice, “They’ll take the Second Amendment away so fast your head will spin,” Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told a gathering of avowed sportsmen in Walterboro, S.C. Wednesday night.
Speaking from a camouflage-draped stage on the farm of Randy and Sara White, the billionaire real estate mogul received the endorsement of Lowcountry Sportsmen for Trump, then proceeded to harangue the Obama Administration for its stance on gun violence while tying the issue to the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
“The Second Amendment is under siege. You know that. You know that very well,” Trump said before a large crowd hemmed in by verdant woods and logging trucks, that greeted his remarks with shouts, affirmations and nods in the affirmative.
“We lost a great Supreme Court Justice,” he continued. “Nobody thought this was going to be part of the equation. … [but] all of a sudden, if the wrong person gets in they’ll take the Second Amendment away so fast your head will spin.”
Trump went on to tick off the names of known enemies of the Second Amendment, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is considering an independent run for the White House, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who the candidate dismissed as a “disaster on the Second Amendment.”
“That’s why it’s so important that you vote,” Trump told the crowd, which included many families with young children, the young and the senior citizens, business men and woman and working class laborers.
“Obama wants to put in a Supreme Court judge and the one he wants will be a very negative person on guns, believe me, and that will be the way it is,” he said.
Trump then pivoted to criticize the Republican establishment, and specifically, the Republicans in control of the Senate, who he said he holds little faith in.
“I keep saying, are the Republicans going to hold firm [on their threat not to consider the president’s Supreme Court nominee]? Or are they going to fail? Are they going to crack?” Trump said.
“Then I’m driving over here tonight and I hear there are already cracks; that some are saying there is a possibility that the president’s nominee will be considered by the Senate; that maybe the president will nominate someone that the Republicans can agree on,” he said.
“Folk, these are the same thing you heard with Obamacare,” Trump said.
“We can’t let that happen. It’s not going to happen,” he vowed.
Despite his keying in on the Second Amendment issue, which he admitted he was told would play well with his Walterboro audience, Trump mainly focused on illegal immigration and foreign trade matters during remarks he abbreviated so he could get to a second rally 82 miles away in Sumter, S.C.
Repeating his call for a border wall along the Rio Grande, inspired a roiling chant of “build that wall,” “build that wall,” from the crowd.
“We’re going to build a wall, and who’s going to pay for the wall?” Trump said, stoking the crowd.
“Mexico!” a cry rang out.
“You better believe it,” Trump said.
With that, the remainder of the crowd broke into loud and sustained cheers.
Trump promised to levy a 35 percent import tax on companies like the air conditioning giant Carrier, which announced this week that it is relocating its manufacturing from the United States to Mexico, Nabisco and Ford, which are expanding operations in Mexico, which he said are exporting job abroad at the expense of the American worker.
He even took on Boeing, which only recently built a massive 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston.
“Everyone loves Boeing today, but talk to me about Boeing in five years unless I’m elected president, then you’ll be okay,” Trump said.
“Boeing just got a huge order from China, but in placing that order, China insisted that Boeing build a huge assembly facility there. So what’s going to happen is, the Chinese are going to devaluate the hell out of their currency, and force Boeing to move its assembly operations there.”
“That’s what the Chinese do,” Trump said. “And our leaders are not smart enough to stop it.”
In South Carolina, the Dreamliner plant is considered the major economic development victory of the still-young 21st century, similar to how the arrival of the BMW plant in Upstate was seen as a cornerstone of late 20th century economic development in the state.
Trump also vowed to defeat ISIS “And we’re going to do it fast,” he said and end the Common Core curriculum in the nation’s schools.
“We’re bringing back your education locally,” he said, promising, “It’s going to be fabulous.”
Although he strove to touch on many issues, Trump also carved out a bit of time to take on the principal irritant to his campaign, his opponent in the Republican contest, Sen. Ted Cruz.
“What Cruz did to Dr. Ben Carson in Iowa [announcing Carson was dropping out of the race] was theft,” Trump said. “We will not let that happen again. We’re all watching. You’re all watching.”
“Here’s a guy who raises the Bible and then he tells fibs. He tells lies. He does other bad things. Politicians are bad people folks, ” Trump said.
On Tuesday, an attorney for Trump sent the Cruz campaign a cease-and-desist letter saying that a new Cruz television spot, entitled “Supreme Trust” is “replete with outright lies, false, defamatory and destructive statements and downright fabrications.”
It’s “completely disingenuous” Trump said.
The ad was released Sunday in the immediate aftermath of Justice Scalia’s death, and has been airing statewide in South Carolina all week.
It opens by referring to the High Court vacancy left by Scalia’s death and with what Conservatives see as at stake in the choice of the justice’s replacement.
‘Life, Marriage, Religious Liberty, the Second Amendment. We’re just one Supreme Court Justice away from losing them all,’ the ad says.
It then moves on to show portions of a 1999 interview Trump did with the late Tim Russert of NBC, in which he says he is pro-choice.
The ad ends with a narrator saying, “We cannot trust Donald Trump with these serious decisions.”
The ad comes at a critical time in the race for the Republican nomination, with Republican South Carolinians going to the polls on Saturday, and Republican Nevadans caucusing on Tuesday – both races Trump is currently expected to win but with Cruz suddenly emerging as the frontrunner in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.
At a press conference in South Carolina on Tuesday, Cruz waved the cease and desist before reporters and taunted Trump, saying his opponent has ” been threatening frivolous lawsuits” for his entire adult life.
“Even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits this takes the cake. And so, Donald, I would encourage you, if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file a lawsuit,” Cruz said.
Cruz continued to mock Trump and the cease-and-desist letter in a televised CNN town hall Wednesday night.
“I’ll confess, I laughed out loud,” Cruz said, recalling his receiving the letter.
He noted Trump wants him to pull the ad because it presents old clips of Trump advocating positions he says he no longer holds.
“It is quite literally the most ridiculous theory I’ve ever heard, that telling the voters what Donald Trump’s actual record is, is deceitful and lying,’ Cruz said on CNN.
In South Carolina, Cruz said he looked forward to any lawsuit Trump might file.
” … And let me note by the way, one of the things I look forward to most of all is deposing Donald Trump,” Cruz said, suggesting he might even conduct the deposition himself.
” Donald Trump does not want to be under oath answering questions about his own record because his position quite simply is that anyone who points to his record is somehow lying,” Cruz said.
Trump responded with a statement that said Cruz is “a liar and these ads and statements made by Cruz are clearly desperate moves by a guy who is tanking in the polls.”
He also threatened again to sue the Canadian-born Cruz over his eligibility to be president.
“If I want to bring the lawsuit regarding Senator Cruz being a natural-born Canadian I will do so. Time will tell, Teddy,” the statement read.
In Walterboro, Trump predicted he will defeat Cruz and all comers, win the campaign, and “when we get in, we will take it back.”
“So get out and vote. We’re going to do something that you’re going to be happy with. We’re going to win so much. And we’re going to make America great again,” Trump said.
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