Ignoring a request from the Republican Party chairman to tone down his rhetoric, Trump rally’s more than 5,000 supporters in Phoenix on Saturday afternoon.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who built a national profile with his aggressive efforts to hunt down and deport undocumented immigrants in the Phoenix area, joined Trump on stage.
At what was his largest campaign event to date, with a huge U.S. flag stretched from one side of the stage to the other, Donald Trump addressed his faithful followers at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Two dozen supporters stood behind the Republican presidential candidate holding signs reading, “Trump, Make America Great Again,” while thousands of supporters looked on.
The Trump campaign distributed 15,000 tickets for the event at the Phoenix Convention Center, where the North Ballroom has a capacity of only 4,200, according to the facility’s website. The campaign said thousands were turned away because of fire regulations.
Trump welcomed by several high-profile supporters, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose stands against illegal immigration and often controversial punishments have earned him a reputation as a hard-nosed, unyielding lawman.
During his speech, Trump turned the stage over to Jamiel Shaw Sr., the father of a high school student killed by an undocumented immigrant, who spoke about why he is supporting the candidate.
Although campaign aides said earlier Saturday that Shaw was going to introduce the candidate, he ended up speaking midway through the speech.
Shaw vividly described how his son was shot in the head, stomach and hands while trying to block his face, and how he heard the gunshots as he talked to his son on the phone.
Shaw said he trusted Trump, and encouraged the crowds in both cities to do the same.
Toward the end of his speech, Trump suggested charging the Mexican government $100,000 for every illegal immigrant it “sends over.”
“The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take the country back!” he said in closing.
Full Speech: Donald Trump Brings Down The House In Phoenix, AZ (7-11-15)
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