Headlines about Donald Trump's insane comments have become as routine as morning weather reports. Yet his suggestion yesterday that "Second Amendment people" might "do something" if Hillary Clinton is elected president feels different. The Secret Service is investigating it. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called Trump "a disgusting human being." Even his old friend Joe Scarborough is demanding that the GOP dump him.
That's what happens when you all but sanction a lunatic assassinating your opponent. Now, fresh off that horrifying moment, Donald Trump is heading to South Florida. He'll rally a crowd at the BB&T Center in Sunrise tonight and then speak to a builders' association at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach tomorrow morning.
Tonight's speech is Trump's first South Florida rally since October and follows multiple canceled events in Miami — possibly over concerns about backlash in one of America's most Hispanic cities. Indeed, local protesters say they're gearing up to disrupt tonight's rally.
"Immigrants are here to stay, we're unafraid, and we want respect and dignity," says Tomas Kennedy, who has dozens signed up for a protest at tonight's rally. "We're not going to accept that kind of inflammatory speech from Trump, especially in our city, which is so diverse."
Kennedy says members of his group will try to get into Trump's speech tonight to disrupt the event. They're prepared for a violent reaction from the crowd of Trump backers. At the real-estate magnate's October rally in Doral, one of Kennedy's friends was reportedly knocked to the ground and kicked by Trump supporters.
"I'm nervous about it tonight — I won't lie," Kennedy says. "But I think what he said yesterday about Hillary is really crazy. It's important to show that we don't support that in South Florida."
Trump's comments came at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, yesterday as he spoke about the need for a Republican president to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment,” Trump told the crowd. “By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
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Trump's campaign later claimed he was simply talking about "unification" and suggesting that gun-rights supporters should turn out at the polls. But that doesn't make sense — Trump was talking about what could be done after Hillary had already won. And the crowd didn't take it as a suggestion to go to the voting booths — reporters said at least one man screamed "Kill her!" after Trump's statement.
The moment, which overshadowed Trump's attempts to "pivot" with an economic speech the previous day, has led to some of the loudest condemnation yet of the candidate.
"Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being," Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times this morning. "His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again."
Trump's rally at the BB&T Center kicks off at 7 p.m. He's scheduled to address the National Association of Home Builders at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach tomorrow morning.