Trump jabs at opponents in GR as protesters are ejected

Trump jabs at opponents in GR as protesters are ejected

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- In one of the most energetic political events in decades in West Michigan, Donald Trump spoke to more than 6,000 people at the DeltaPlex in Walker on Monday night.

Trump hit on many of the topics he's covered in previous events and at the party's debates over the last several months. He took on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, blasted the Barack Obama administration, blamed Mexico and China for stealing American jobs and promised, once again, to build a large wall to keep illegal immigrants from coming over the southern U.S. border.

But much to Trump's dismay, protesters were a headline at the Grand Rapids event, as well. More than a dozen protesters were escorted out for screaming and interrupting Trump's speech.

MSU student Dan Epperding, 20, was the first protester to interject into Trump's speech. He got onto a friend's shoulders and shouted, calling Trump a racist and a bigot.

"I'm proud and glad that I said what I said and did what I did, becuase I feel in the position I am in, I have a responsibility to speak up for those who don't have a voice," Epperding later told WZZM 13 on Tuesday.


Trump, though, seemed used to interruptions and kept speaking. His speech, all off the cuff, ran for just more than an hour.

RELATED:Trump rhetoric playing in primary, political communications expert says

"Honestly, how can I describe our leaders as anything but stupid," Trump said at one point; that quote set off the first protester to be escorted out.

Trump gave his campaign credit for drawing big crowds across the country, but even his top supporters agree it remains to be seen whether those people agree with him politically or just want to be entertained by him. Trump wanted to prove to the crowd he's the right person to be elected in the primary.

"The last person she (Hillary Clinton) wants to run against is me," Trump said.

On immigration, Trump continued to say he would build a wall. "Nobody's coming over it," he said.

On Michigan's auto industry, Trump blamed Mexico and China for taking Michigan auto jobs. "The one big thing that helps me now: you are making really good cars now," Trump said.

On his run for the presidency, Trump said Americans need to vote for him: "If we don't get it right this time, we're not going to have a country," he said.

When it comes to the most recent polling, Trump leads the pack of Republican candidates in the field by double digits -- but the first primary election in the U.S. isn't until February.


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