WARREN, Mich. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump says a violent episode involving a protester at one of his rallies “was amazing to watch.”
The Republican presidential front-runner told a Warren, Michigan audience on Friday that he’s tired of political correctness when it comes to handling protesters. He was interrupted several times during his remarks by yelling protesters, as he often is at his events.
During one interruption, Trump said, “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court.”
“Are Trump rallies the most fun?” he then asked the crowd. “We’re having a good time.”
He then recalled an incident at a New Hampshire rally where a protester started “swinging and punching.” Trump said some people in the audience “took him out.”
“It was really amazing to watch,” he said.
Police are investigating at least two alleged assaults against protesters at a recent Kentucky rally. One, captured on video, involves a young African-American woman who was repeatedly shoved and called “scum.”
Trump was also slamming his opponents while campaigning near Detroit Friday morning, just hours after the most recent GOP debate, CBS2 reported.
“Littke Marco, little Marco,” Trump said. “Lyin’ Ted Cruz, lyin’ Ted.”
Also Friday, Trump announced he would skip the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. His opponents immediately pounced.
“He really doesn’t belong at a conservative gathering,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said. “Donald Trump is not a conservative.”
“Donald Trump started galloping to the center before the primary was over,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said.
The bickering was much the same Thursday night in the debate, that often devolved into a yelling match. Throughout the night, Cruz and Rubio used attack after attack to try to take down Trump.
“He’s trying to con people into giving them their vote, just like he conned these people into giving them their money,” Rubio said.
But despite their tries – Cruz and Rubio may have missed their chance.
“Last night, someone needed to land a knockout punch, and it didn’t even look like they came to the box,” Republican Political Strategist Rick Davis said.
No matter how bad his opponents say Trump will be as a nominee and a president, they still say they’ll support him if he wins.
On Friday, Rubio said the reason for that is simple.
“We as Republicans feel that Hillary Clinton would be a disaster to the country — that’s how bad she is,” Rubio said. “I would look at that as a reflection of how bad she is, not how good Donald Trump is.”
Even though Trump is the most likely GOP nominee, he does fare the worst against Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, polling at 42 percent against Clinton’s 45.4 percent. Rubio, Cruz and GOP candidate John Kasich were all projected to win over Clinton, according to a recent RealClearPolitics analysis.
Word surfaced earlier Friday of a plot to get U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) into the presidential race.
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