Donald Trump spoke to an energized crowd at his downtown Columbus rally this evening and while it was cold outside, Trump was on fire inside, taking time at the start of his hour-plus-long talk to mock Ohio Gov. Kasich for, among other things, his very low poll numbers.
But Camp Kasich was out in force today in advance of the New York City billionaire’s stop in Ohio’s capital city. Earlier in the day, Kasich backers did their best to portray Mr. Trump as someone who isn’t qualified to be president. Kasich has made his old resume, including 18 years as a central Ohio congressman, a major pillar of his sales pitch that he’s the best Republican candidate among the 14 or so left to take on Democrats and their widely expected nominee, Hillary Clinton, next year.
“Donald Trump is in Ohio today and we’re expecting him to attack John Kasich like he did last week because it’s the only thing he knows how to do when anybody questions his bombastic rhetoric,” said Kasich’s chief communicator, John Weaver, via email. “How do you think Mr. Trump will handle Russia’s Putin or ISIS? Fire off a barrage of tweets? Trump actually thinks we should let Russia take care of ISIS. He must not realize that ISIS is a threat to all of us.”
Weaver, who helped direct Sen. John McCain’s failed bid for president in 2000, said America needs a President who has the national security experience to defeat ISIS and can build a team of nations to carry out the mission. “John Kasich is ready to lead. He put forward a plan months ago to wipe out ISIS.” He then asked, “Will you chip in $10, $25, $55 or more right now to re-affirm your support for John Kasich and to help us continue educating Americans about why Donald Trump is unfit to be President?”
Donald Trump spent most of his talk going over the same ground he goes over at events like this. From building a wall on the Mexican border and having the Mexicans pay for it to telling a cheering crowd he’ll “kick the crap out of ISIS,” Trump drew applause by bashing Hillary Clinton, Obamacare and saying the tragedy last week in Paris, where ISIS gunmen killed more than 100 innocents before blowing themselves up, could have been less tragic if more of the victims had guns.
Kasich-supporting operatives were in the crowd and working the media with a double-sided handout from New Day For American, Kasich’s superpac group, that said one side, “You Can’t Trust Trump: Foreign Policy,” and on the other side, “You Can’t Trust Trump: Ohio Jobs.” For the latter, Kasich said, “Trump Lied To Americans About His Record Of Keeping Ford Jobs In Ohio.” The other side’s sidebar read, “Trump Has Flip-Flopped On Major U.S. Foreign Policy Changes.”
On the topic of waterboarding, Trump said he would bring it back. “You bet your ass I would…it works! Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work… it works, believe me, it works! They deserve it anyway…it works!”
A disturbance occurred in the crowd that caught Donald Trump’s attention. He told the crowd that another disrupter at a previous Trump rally was roughed up, but he deserved it. To the approval of the crowd, he said, “You can get them the hell out of here, go ahead!” With media present, the blond bombshell pointed at them, as the crowd turned, and said he thinks media are some of the “most dishonest people.” He said they always show him but never the crowd, and mocked them for not panning their cameras.
Trump made controversial comments recently that he watched people cheering when the twin towers went down on Sept. 11, 2001. He said there were thousands that were having tailgate parties as they wanted the World Trade Center towers crumble to the ground. America never wins anything, he said, saying the Iraq oil fields need to be bombed, and that he would take the oil revenue and share part of it with wounded warriors and military families that have served their country.
He spent time, as he does at such events, touting his plan to build a tall wall on the border with Mexico. Trump started his own chant, “Build a wall,” which the crowd picked up with great enthusiasm. He blamed not building a wall on an environmental statement. “Maybe it was a snake, maybe a toad,” he said as the reason it hasn’t been built already.
“The American dream is dead, but we’re going to make it bigger and better than ever,” he said before pressing the flesh with admirers who had come to listen to him. Music blaring at the end was “We’re not going to take it anymore.”
One couple present were unafraid to speak their mind on Mr. Trump. Walt and Carolle Goudy, who live in Columbus, loved Trump. Walt was a Navy pilot who flew missions in Vietnam while Carolle once worked at the Pentagon. Not only would they vote for Donald Trump, but they thought his vice president should be Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio, they said, was too young. They saw Trump as a great manager, and although they were committed to Trump, they thought he could make John Kasich secretary of the treasury because he was ‘good with numbers.” For secretary of defense, their choice would be former Republican congressman Allen West. For Secretary of State, John Bolton would do just fine, and for Secretary of Commerce, the Goudy’s thought Carly Fiorina would be good. For Energy secretary, Sarah Palin was their pick.
Mrs. Goudy thought that if Trump wins, he should turn the White House into a museum.