Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, surging in the states that voted on Super Tuesday, congratulated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz —who won in Oklahoma as well as in his home state — and taunted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
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At a packed press conference at the Mar-a-Lago luxury golf resort in Palm Beach, Trump spoke on a stage lit with blue and red lights in a room with ornate gold decorations lining the walls and ceiling. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former rival who endorsed Trump after dropping out of the GOP race, introduced the billionaire businessman.
“I know it was a very tough night for Marco Rubio....” Trump said. “He is a lightweight, as I’ve said many times before.”
Trump said special interests and lobbyists “want to have their little senator do exactly as they want” and plan to invest up to $25 million over the next two weeks in Rubio’s candidacy leading up to the Florida primary on March 15.
Trump repeated familiar themes such as building a wall at the Mexican border. He suggested that Mexico can afford to pay for the wall because of the U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbor. PolitiFact Florida recently rated a similar claim False — experts said the deficit has nothing to do with whether Mexico could write a check to build the wall.
One of the main themes Trump hammered: his promise to bring together the Republican Party.
“We are going to be a unified party,” he said, promising to pull in African-American and Latino voters. “We are going to be a much bigger party.”
Trump boasted: “I get along with Hispanics” and added that thousands of Hispanics work for him.
When asked by a reporter how he would bring back groups that had been offended by him, Trump said: “The reason is I’m going to bring jobs back.”
He said he didn’t know whether Florida Gov. Rick Scott plans to endorse him, as has been rumored in the past few days.
Trump was his trademark self: He appeared at ease taking questions from the press, pushing back at times and throwing in some humor.
“I feel awfully good,” he said when asked if he feels like the nominee. “I am watching your people on CNN and I’m watching the Fox people and I’m watching the MSNBC people too. See? I am becoming diplomatic.”