Raucous crowd greets GOP front-runner Donald Trump at Super Tuesday rally in Louisville

03/01/2016 08:25 PM

LOUISVILLE — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump brought his campaign to Louisville with a simple message delivered to thousands of supporters and multiple groups of protesters, both inside and outside of the event.

Trump’s pitch to Kentuckians at the Kentucky International Convention Center came between stops in Columbus, Ohio and Palm Beach, Florida. The campaign stop in Kentucky was hours before results on Super Tuesday — where a dozen states cast ballots to assign delegates in both Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses.

The stop is also days ahead of Saturday’s Republican presidential caucus in Kentucky. Forty-five delegates are on the line in the commonwealth, and Trump joins other GOP campaigns seeking support in Kentucky and adding up their delegates in the hope of becoming the nominee.

Trump told his crowd that he would be watching Kentucky on Saturday, and asked them to be sure and vote for him.

The New York real estate mogul was introduced by New Jersey Governor and one time rival Chris Christie. Trump’s son, Eric Trump, also appeared on the stage.

Supporters went wild for Trump’s lines on building a wall between the United States and Mexico. The candidate turned to a call-and-answer with the crowd, which was estimated at 20,000 people.

Trump asked the crowd, “Who is going to pay for the wall,” to which supporters cried out, “Mexico.”

“They are going to pay for the wall. They don’t know it yet, but they are going to pay for the wall,” he said.

In prototypical Trump fashion, the GOP front-runner was short on specifics for his huge promises. At one point, Trump promised to make the military, “so big, so strong, so powerful — that nobody is going to be messing with us.”

“We’re gonna knock the hell out of ISIS,” he said.

Though he never mentioned how he would pay for military expansions.

Later, Trump said that he wanted to “get rid of Common Core,” and make education local, adding that he would get do away with the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

“It’s a disaster,” he said. “We’re going to repeal it and replace it with things that are so much better and so much less expensive.”

Again, no indication of what that less expensive and better care would be for thousands who rely on affordable insurance for healthcare.

Trump mocked his rivals, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who he said was “a total lightweight.” Rubio will also be appearing in Kentucky on Friday.

It wasn’t just Trump supporters in the crowd, there were multiple outbursts, some drawing the attention and ire of Trump and supporters, and others who chanted and led themselves out.

Several protesters met physical opposition from the crowd — more than one protester was shoved — signs ripped from their hands and their placards and poster board torn to shreds before being escorted out of the convention center by security.

One Bernie Sanders supporter had her hat, and some hair, pulled from her head from behind by another Trump supporter before she could retreat from the building. The Trump supporter threw the Sanders supporter’s hat into the crowd.

There were also several instances of shouting matches between those in attendance.

At one point in Trump’s remarks he pointed his fury towards the press, saying they’re “the most dishonest people in the world.”

One Trump supporter turned to gathered media and offered his middle digit.

Watch clips from Trump’s speech including his calls for ouster of multiple protesters below.

The protests and fireworks carried on outside of the venue after the rally as Trump supporters again clashed in a war of words, as a group on third street chanted, “Peace, equality, justice.”

Trump supporters countered with a chant of “U.S.A.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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