“Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long [to kick them out] is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore,” Trump said during a speech at the Peabody Opera House — around 12 miles from Ferguson, Mo., the site of racially charged mass protests in 2014.
“There used to be consequences. There are none anymore,” Trump said. “These people are so bad for our country. You have no idea folks, you have no idea.”
For the better part of 10 minutes in the middle of Trump's speech, individuals shouted and interrupted.
“These people are so bad for our country, folks. You have no idea," Trump continued during a longer break in the action. "They contribute nothing. Nothing. And look at the police, they take their lives in their hands."
"We don't even win here, with protesters anymore" he complained. "The protesters end up taking over. And frankly, I mean, have to be honest: From my standpoint it makes it a little more exciting, and it gives me time to think about where I want to go next. It's beautiful. It's like intermission. And the guys that are near the event, they see some pretty good stuff."
Trump then trained his fire at the media, forecasting how "dishonest" reporters would portray the situation.
“And these people in the media, the most dishonest human beings on Earth. They are the worst. They are the worst. So what they’ll do is they’ll take 10 minutes worth of clips of that and if one policeman accidentally moves a finger and touches this wiseguy, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’ And yet the police are being abused for 10 minutes, OK? " he said. "Give me a break. Give me a break. We better toughen up, we better smarten up, and we better stop with this political correctness because it’s driving us down the tubes.”
Remarking that he knew many people in the St. Louis area who were good, he also added, "But you have people that aren’t so great.”
The event began more amenably for Trump, who received the endorsement of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly. The first person to interrupt Trump shouted praise for him.
“I love you, too. Really do. Really do," he said. “Thank you. See, this doesn’t get talked about in the press, the love that’s in these rooms. I mean, it’s love. I mean, they talk about a protest or something, they don’t talk about what’s really happening in these forums, in these rooms and these stadiums. They don’t talk about the love, the love, the people in this country are incredible people, they want to take it back.”
Trump defended supporters who hit back at protesters at his events earlier in the day, saying that's "what we need a little bit more of."
During a press conference in Palm Beach, Florida, which he announced the endorsement of former rival Ben Carson, Trump was pressed about his comments during a February rally in Las Vegas in which he said of a protester, "I'd like to punch him right in the face, I tell ya."
“It’s politics. And it’s fact. Let me tell you, we’ve had some violent people as protesters. These are people that punch. These are people that are violent people," Trump said.
Alluding to the incident in Las Vegas, Trump said it was "a guy who was swinging, very loud, and then started swinging at the audience."
"And you know what? The audience swung back. And I thought it was very, very appropriate. He was swinging. He was hitting people. And the audience hit back. And that's what we need a little bit more of," he declared.
"Now I’m not talking about just a protester, this was a guy who should not have been allowed to do what he did. And frankly, if you want to know the truth, the police were very, very restrained. The police have been amazing. But the police were very, very restrained.”
After departing St. Louis, Trump heads eastward to Chicago later in the evening, where thousands of fans and throngs of protesters have been reported to be ready to greet him. It also happens to be a day after a North Carolina man was charged with assaulting a protester being led out of a Wednesday night Trump rally.
Tweets from reporters in St. Louis before the rally showed a contentious scene in the line waiting to get into the downtown opera house, which seats 3,000, a comparatively smaller venue than the norm for Trump.
Author: Nick Gass