June 18, 2016 - 11:37 pm
Donald Trump spoke in Las Vegas on Saturday, declaring that the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a week ago demonstrates the need to fight terrorism.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke to an audience that packed the 1,600-seat Mystere theater at the TI, 3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
The otherwise peaceful event was disrupted by the arrest of 19-year-old Michael Sandford. He was arrested after he began a conversation with a uniformed Metro officer “on the pretense of seeking an autograph” and then tried to disarm the officer, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
Trump’s wide-ranging stump speech touched on themes familiar since he announced his unconventional run for president a year ago.
“It’s radical Islamic terrorism and it’s not guns,” Trump said of the Orlando attack. “It’s not guns, it’s terrorism.”
The perpetrator in the Orlando attack, Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group and killed 49 people and injured 53 before Orlando police shot him dead. The war on terror is different from past wars, in which the enemy was known, Trump said.
“Today you don’t know who the hell it is and …. you are going to have problems the likes of which you’ve never seen unless Donald Trump becomes the president,” he said.
Trump said the attack shows the need for having secure borders and strong immigration policies, pointing out that the attack in Florida was from just one person. The many people entering the United States, Trump said, are comparable to the Trojan horse. In that story, the ancient Greeks hid in a hollow wooden horse to slip into Troy and attack the city.
“This is one man,” he said. “We’re letting in millions of people. This could be the great Trojan horse. We all know the story of the Trojan horse.”
Trump’s promises included doing away with the Affordable Care Act; the crowd cheered when he took aim at the health law.
“We’re going to repeal and replace that horror show called Obamacare,” Trump told supporters.
Trump also promised to increase the nation’s military strength and fight terror.
“We’re going to knock the hell out of ISIS,” Trump said.
Also, Trump called for taking better care of veterans and repeated his now-famous refrain to secure borders and build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Trump spoke of his victories against former Republican candidates.
“I spent less money than any other candidate and I ended up in first place,” Trump said. “I beat them fair and square.”
Trump poked fun at naysayers who had said he’d never reach the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination.
“Do you remember when they said, ‘1,237 — he can’t reach that number,’” Trump said. “And I kept saying, ‘What’s the big deal?’”
Trump criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is also seeking the Democratic nomination.
He suggested Sanders hasn’t conceded the race because he’s waiting for results from the FBI, which is investigating Clinton’s use of a personal email account and server during her time as secretary of state.
“Crazy Bernie, he doesn’t give up,” Trump said. The crowd laughed when Trump said Sanders wants to be like him.
“I don’t think he should give up,” Trump said.
Wayne Allyn Root, a media personality and the Libertarian Party’s candidate for vice president in 2008, talked up Trump and introduced speakers on stage before his arrival, including Danny Tarkanian, the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District race.
Down-ballot Republicans are hoping the anti-establishment mood that boosted Trump’s fortunes will continue in November.
“We have our establishment politicians,” Tarkanian said. “They spend too much. They tax too much.”
Tarkanian encouraged the audience to support other Republicans in Nevada’s down-ballot races, including U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
In response to Trump’s appearance, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange issued a statement: “Donald Trump is a serial liar and con artist who has no business sitting in the Oval Office, and that reality was on full display in his bloviating and incoherent speech today.”
Security personnel escorted two individuals out at different points.
As Trump tells it, he’ll be in the White House as president and his people will come to him, telling him there’s a problem with thousands of people complaining that “they can’t stand winning so much.”
Then, Trump said, he’ll tell them he’s sorry, the winning isn’t going to stop.
Before that can happen, Trump has more than four months to campaign — and an election in November.
Contact Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2904. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.