The Islamic State, the military and waterboarding were just some of the issues that Donald Trump spoke about Monday night to a crowd of thousands at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
“We are tired of being run by stupid people. We have become soft, we have become weak, and we have become a laughingstock all over the world. We gotta knock the crap out of them,” Trump told the crowd when referring to the Islamic State, which then gave rise to one of the loudest applauses of the night.
Trump praised American police officers and promised to rebuild the military so that America could be “great again.”
“I am going to build a military so strong and so powerful that nobody will mess with us,” he said. “Also our police do a wonderful job, they do a phenomenal job overall and we need protection, we need these people, now more than ever.” This was followed by a “build a wall” chant among the crowd, led by Trump.
The 2016 Republican presidential candidate spoke about his candid views on how best to fight terrorism, which include waterboarding when necessary.
“On the other side, they chop off our young people’s heads and they put them on a stick,” Trump said. “Would I approve waterboarding? You’d bet your a– I’d approve it. You bet your a–.”
Trump also talked about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi scandal during his hourlong speech, saying that she is far too corrupt a candidate.
“How about Hillary with all of her corruption? How about the 500 or 600 phone calls from the ambassador asking for more security and asking for help, and she didn’t return a single call,” Trump said referring to the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, while Clinton was secretary of state.
Mircea Lazar, the communications director for the OSU College Democrats and a third-year in international relations and economics, said he is amazed at Trump’s success and popularity.
“He is stirring up Islamophobia. He has surged in the polls since the Paris attacks, but I still don’t think he is going to get the nomination, but it is definitely an amazing possibility. I am a bit blown away by all of it,” Lazar said after Trump’s speech. “Now we have had him in our community and we are worse off for it.”
Trump did not back down from the comments he has previously made about surveying and possibly shutting down mosques that are suspected of having terrorist attendance or fueling Islamic radicalization.
“We have great people in the Muslim population, but something’s happening,” Trump said. “I always say they’re not coming from Sweden that want to kill us, they’re not coming from Norway, they are not coming from Denmark. They’re coming from a certain philosophy, this is bad stuff out there. We have to have strong surveillance.”
When it came to the topic of the media, Trump had harsh words to say about how the media portrays him. People in the crowd booed at the TV and media crews covering his speech.
“Among the most dishonest people I’ve ever dealt with are the media, the media,” Trump said as the crowd booed in the direction of the press.
David Stanislav, a third-year in chemical engineering and chairman of OSU College Republicans, said he understands Trump’s frustration with the media.
“Trump was right when he said that the media doesn’t treat Republican candidates as well as they treat Democrat candidates,” Stanislav said after Trump’s speech. “I don’t think it’s fair to boil down an entire person’s campaign to calling him names or to call the entire GOP names based off of Trump.”
Trump ended his speech by reminding the crowd that he would be a huge change from the current leaders we have — all of whom are politicians.
“I’m not a politician. I’ve only been a politician for four and a half months,” he said. “We are all sort of on the same side. Whether you are liberal or conservative or Democrat or Republican, we all want our country to be great again. Remember, we are the silent majority that is no longer silent, remember that folks.”
This was Trump’s first campaign visit to Columbus.