Donald Trump didn’t waste any time Tuesday night proving that all politics is local, promising an estimated crowd of more than 5,000 at the Myrtle Beach convention center that if he’s elected president, he would build an interstate to Myrtle Beach.
“I love Myrtle Beach, I’ve been here many times, but we’ve got to get I- built, it’s time,” Trump said. “It will bring a lot of business, and I guarantee you when I get in there, it’s going to start pretty quickly.”
Local leaders have lobbied for years to build Interstate 73 to Myrtle Beach, however Trump inadvertently referred to the proposed highway as Interstate 85 in his speech.
The Republican frontrunner pledged to be a unifier and “the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” build a wall along the southern U.S. border to block illegal immigrants, and cut taxes on the middle class.
“The border patrol is being told to stand down,” Trump said. “They are the greatest Americans who want to do their jobs, and they’re not allowed to, because Obama signed an executive order.”
Trump said that Syrian refugees should also be banned from entering the U.S., and those already here should be deported.
“They’re not coming here from Syria, because we’re sending them back,” Trump said to loud cheers. “So many bad things are happening — you look at Paris, whole sections of Paris, the police are afraid to go.”
They’re not coming here from Syria, because we’re sending them back.
Donald Trump, GOP presidential candidate
Trump has galvanized a solid base by promising to eliminate illegal immigration by building a wall along the southern border, and forcing Mexico to pay for it. Trump’s immigration plan, posted on his website, does not call for the deportation of every illegal alien, only those who have committed crimes — essentially the same policy that the Obama administration claims.
Citing the terrorist attacks on Paris, Trump pledged to defeat ISIS and scrutinize Muslim mosques. The attacks would not have happened if Paris did not have strict gun control laws, he said.
“This is going to be an election that is based on competence. We’re tired of nice people, and you know what, we’re really tired of stupid people,” Trump said.
This is going to be an election that is based on competence. We’re tired of nice people, and you know what, we’re really tired of stupid people.
Donald Trump, GOP presidential candidate
“I want to get Obama out because he doesn’t have a clue, he thinks that global warming is our biggest problem. I’ll tell you what’s our biggest problem, it’s nuclear warming unless we are strong and tough and cunning,” Trump said.
The billionaire New Yorker has branded himself as the anti-politician who is not beholden to anyone’s money except his own. That’s not to say he’s denouncing donations. Trump has raised $3.9 million in contributions and donated $1.9 million of his own money to the campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Comparatively, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has raised $77 million in her quest for the Democratic Party nomination.
“Politicians are all controlled by special interest donors, and the big ones are the lobbyists — it’s a game. I’m the only one self-funding my campaign, everyone else has a PAC, and PACs are bad. And the candidates are totally controlled by the PACs and whoever gets the most money has the most power. Me, I’m working for you 100 percent.
Since Trump entered the race in the early summer, he has dominated the polls nationwide as well as in South Carolina.
35 percentSouth Carolina support for Donald Trump
19 percentSupport for Dr. Ben Carson
16 percentSupport for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
13 percentSupport for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
5 percentSupport for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
The latest CBS/YouGov poll of South Carolina voters released Sunday showed Trump ahead of the field by a margin of 16 points. Trump was favored by 35 percent of South Carolinians, followed by Dr. Ben Carson with 19 percent, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with 16 percent, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with 13 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 5 percent.
The South Carolina numbers are following the same trend as the latest poll of national voters released Sunday by ABC and the Washington Post, which shows Trump with 32 percent, Carson with 22 percent, Rubio with 11 percent, Cruz with 8 percent and Bush with 6 percent.
The Palmetto State primary is the first southern contest for the GOP scheduled for Feb. 20, and is the third primary held in the nation.
Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney in the 2012 South Carolina election — the only exception to the state’s record of always picking the eventual Republican nominee.
Contact Audrey Hudson at 843-444-1765 or @AudreyHudson