INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2016) – Presidential hopeful Donald Trump took the stage to thunderous applause and cheers Wednesday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Speaking in front of a crowd of thousands, Trump reiterated his support for a plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, took shots at fellow Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Hillary Clinton and railed against Carrier's decision to move hundreds of jobs from Indianapolis to Mexico.
Trump met with Gov. Mike Pence at the Governor's Residence before the rally. The governor said Trump requested the meeting and released the following statement about it:
“Governor Pence was pleased to welcome Mr. Trump back to Indiana and hear firsthand his plans for the country. The Governor was also grateful for the opportunity to describe Indiana's economic success and expressed his desire to have a partner in the White House who will help advance pro-growth economic policies, reduce burdensome regulation and curb the size and scope of government. With more than 130,000 new private sector jobs created since he took office, Governor Pence believes addressing these issues is critical in order for Indiana to continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
At the rally Trump spoke for about an hour, imploring Hoosiers to go out and vote to "make America great again" at the conclusion of his speech. He criticized the media, the political system and the current U.S. leadership as he positioned himself as a political outsider who wouldn't be swayed by special interests.
And, of course, he addressed protesters as they were hauled out of the rally, once remarking that he was "disappointed" in their lack of tenacity.
"Thank you, Indiana, thank you," Trump said at the beginning of his speech, still clearly on a high from his victory in New York. "We had a great night in New York. The people of New York were amazing."
Trump mentioned Carrier multiple times during his appearance. The company announced plans earlier this year to move hundreds of jobs out of Indianapolis to Mexico. The move attracted national attention, and Trump spent much of his time discussing his problems with industry and trade.
"You're looking at a situation in our country where our jobs are being ripped out of our states," he said. "When you're losing the kind of money we do on trade... it is absolutely horrible."
He said he would make it so that companies like Carrier would have to pay a significant tax (upwards of 30 percent) in order to import their goods to the U.S.
"I bought a lot of Carrier air conditioners over my life," he told the crowd at one point. "I'm not buying any more."
Trump told the crowd the country is being taken advantage of economically, saying, "it's going to be a much different place if we don't get smart on trade and defense." He said if businesses want to leave the U.S., that's "fine, but there have to be consequences when they do."
"We've gotta be the smart people. You know, I'm a free trader. I wanna be smart. I wanna have smart trade."
One of his most famous plans involves building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico as a way to get immigration under control. The crowd enthusiastically chanted "build that wall" when Trump mentioned the idea.
"We're gonna have strong borders... (people) have to come into the country legally," he said, insisting that Mexico would indeed pay for the wall despite the country's insistence that it wouldn't.
He also offered some pointed jabs at the news media.
"The media. They are the worst. They are very dishonest people. They are terrible," Trump said. "These are not stupid people, but they're very dishonest people."
Of the political system of which he's positioned himself as an outsider, Trump derided it as a "rigged, crooked" system that lets "the bosses pick who they want." He invoked "Lyin' Ted Cruz" and "Crooked Hillary" in reference to his political rivals.
"(The system) is rigged for the lobbyists. It's rigged for the donors. It's rigged for the special interests," he said, telling the audience he didn't take outside money and assuring them they've helped create a movement.
"So when this all started... they all said Trump will never run. He's just having fun," he said. "It takes guts to run for president. I'll you. It takes guts."
"We're going to win, win, win. Remember, go out and make America great again."
Here's the story as it developed today: