Trump’s Hartford Whistle-stop Follows Script

     HARTFORD, Conn. (CN) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump didn’t disappoint his supporters during a 30-minute appearance in Hartford, which included the ejection of at least six protesters.
     “There is nothing more fun than a Trump rally,” Trump said Friday as he sought to point out a protester, a common occurrence at his rallies.
     Hartford Police said there were 6,000 to 7,000 who made it into the Connecticut Convention Center to hear Trump’s remarks, with another 1,000 left standing in line outside the venue.
     The front-runner harkened back to his entrance into the Republican primary last June, noting that his focus at that time was trade and immigration. He said those policies resonated with voters.
     Any time he referred to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump called him “Lying Ted Cruz.” But in the only poll of Connecticut voters, Cruz is a distant third when it comes to Nutmeg State Republicans.
     Connecticut’s primary will be held on April 26, along with primaries in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. In all but Connecticut and Rhode Island, the GOP contests are winner-take-all.
     Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who is polling at 26 percent Connecticut according to the Emerson College Polling Society — got a mention when Trump talked about how the former Congressman voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement.
     “You can’t vote for people who voted in favor of NAFTA,” Trump said.
     The billionaire focused the first part of his remarks on Connecticut’s struggling economy, which has been slow to recover the jobs it lost during the 2008 recession.
     “We are led by people who are grossly incompetent. They don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump said. “Militarily we can’t beat ISIS, we people that have no clue. That’s going to end folks.”
     The rallies have become almost formulaic, but Trump tailored a portion of his comments to Connecticut.
     “I know Hartford very well. I’ve lived in Connecticut. I love Connecticut,” Trump said. “But I know your problems. We lost General Electric. How do you lose General Electric?”
     Some members of the crowd shouted “Thanks Malloy,” referring to Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat — to which Trump replied that the only consolation is that Connecticut lost GE to another state and not another country.
     Trump said food-stamp recipients in Hartford County have increase since 2000 by 54,000. He didn’t blame those receiving benefits, but he said they need jobs.
     There were 307,000 Connecticut residents employed in manufacturing in 1990, there are now 159,000, Trump said, adding that if he is elected he will bring the companies and the jobs back.
     Trump also decried the Republican nominating process, which was the topic of an editorial he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.
     He said there are more people joining the Republican Party because of him, so if he’s not the Republican nominee then there will be millions of people who won’t come out to vote. But he also said he believes he’ll get the 1,237 delegates he needs before the Republican convention.
     Trump transitioned to how he built a great business, then pointed to the riser of cameras and reporters and said, “These are the most dishonest human beings you’ll ever meet.”
     He noted that the only time the media will show the massive crowd is when a protester is being led out.
     “These are really bad people. They don’t tell the story,” Trump said.
     He also said the media report on big crowds for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but never for him.
     “We have a movement going on the likes of which nobody has ever seen in this country,” he lamented.
     There were protesters outside the convention center, and a man came over the loud speaker before Trump took the stage to ask supporters not to touch the protesters. Instead, he told the crowd to yell “Trump, Trump, Trump” and that someone would escort the protester out.
     With the Connecticut poll currently showing Trump at 50 percent, he will likely walk away with all 25 delegates on April 26.
     Trump currently holds a solid lead in all five congressional districts, by margins of 18 to 38 points. The winner of the congressional district will be awarded all five delegates in that district.
     Kasich finishes second and Cruz is third in the poll, but that doesn’t get them any delegates unless they can convince Connecticut’s three super delegates to support them.
     Stephen Ellison, a Trump supporter from Milford, is sick and tired of seeing all the jobs being cut and the issues with illegal immigration. He said he doesn’t want to pay taxes for others to get free Social Security benefits.
     “I want something different,” he said outside the convention center.
     His wife Holly isn’t necessarily convinced Trump is her candidate yet, but like her husband she’s sick of self-gratifying politicians. She worries about how Trump would handle foreign policy and meeting with world leaders, but said Kasich spoke up too late and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “scares me.”
     Joanne Maras of East Hartford said she supports Trump because “things have gotten really bad under Obama.”
     She said the controversy regarding Trump’s comments about women doesn’t bother her.
     “I think he’s a good guy,” Maras said.
     Trump hasn’t been polling well with female voters and he took steps this week to repair his image with women by meeting with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. The two met for an hour and ended a feud that had some questioning Trump’s attitude toward women.
     And many women attended Trump’s rally in Hartford.

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