Conservative leader and Founder of the Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly said GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is a candidate that will give conservatives “a choice not an echo” during Trump’s campaign rally in St. Louis, Missouri at the Peabody Opera House on Friday afternoon.
“I want you to meet Donald Trump,” Schlafly told the crowd full of Trump supporters. “I had the chance to meet with him a couple minutes ago and I asked him to stand by the Republican platform because we have the best conservative platform we’ve ever had. He endorsed it. He will stand by it. He is a real conservative and I ask you to support him.”
Schlafly also told the crowd that she is confident Trump will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices like Justice Scalia.
“I think he has the courage and the energy – you know you have to have energy for that job – in order to bring some changes and to do what the grassroots want him to do, because this is a grass roots uprising. We’ve been following the losers for so long.”
“This is a great, great lady,” Trump said about Schlafly after taking the stage.
Trump recalled last nights GOP primary debate in Miami, Florida, saying, “They are getting ratings on these debates.”
“I wanted to act very presidential last night,” Trump said about his performance.
He said in the past a presidential debate was a “ratings graveyard” for news networks.
“They want to do it for themselves. They don’t want to do it for us,” Trump said, adding that a network called him and said they want to have two more debates.
The real estate mogul said he wants to put the debates away but added, “I guess it’s been very helpful,” since he is leading in the polls.
Trump commented on recent incidents about protesters and violence at his campaign rallies.
He said there is “a lot of enthusiasm” at the rallies but that his supporters are “not angry people.”
“But, we do get angry when we see the stupidity with which our country is run,” he added.
“These are trouble makers,” Trump said about the protesters, several of which interrupted the rally. “They realize there are no consequences to protesting.”
“Our country has got to toughen up, folks,” he added. “These people are bringing us down.”
“There has to be some law and order,” Trump said. “The divisiveness is incredible.”
“We’re going to end it,” Trump vowed.
“I’d love to meet those people for ten minutes… what do we want? We want homes, we want education,” Trump said, adding, also wanting borders, a strong military, and jobs. “They can’t want anything more.”
Trump moved on to criticizing the Democratic Party’s frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
“Did you ever notice the way she’s so nice now? Ever notice, ‘Oh yes, the president is right about this, right about that,’” Trump mocked. “You know, she was never that way to him. She never liked him and he never liked her and then now all of a sudden everything he’s doing is fine.”
“He said things about Bill… and Bill has never forgotten it and then all of a sudden she’s saying he is the greatest thing that ever happened,” Trump said about President Obama.
“She’s becoming him,” Trump told his supporters, saying that’s how he will win. “We’re not going to let it happen.”
Trump then moved to criticizing his competitor Ohio Gov. John Kasich ahead of the Ohio primary on Tuesday.
“The governor, and I like him, but he’s in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership, the TPP. It’s a disaster,” Trump began about Kasich.
“I am a free trader… but it’s got to be reasonable. It’s got to be fair.”
Trump then mentioned Obamacare.
“Kasich, in Ohio, brought Obamacare to Ohio. It’s a disaster,” he added saying people are very unhappy with it.
Ben Carson threw his support behind Donald Trump Friday morning, saying the two men had “buried the hatchet” and praising the Republican Party’s front-runner as a “the voice of the people to be heard.”
Speaking at a news conference here at Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago, the retired neurosurgeon echoed Trump’s recent calls for party unity and pleaded with the GOP to allow the “political process to play out.”
“What I’ve been seeing recently is political operatives… once again trying to assert themselves and trying to thwart the will of the people,” Carson said. “I find that to be an extraordinarily dangerous place right now.”
Carson’s endorsement, coming just one week after he ended his own White House campaign, gives Trump a significant boost as the Republican nominating contest heads to critical states like Florida and Ohio on Tuesday. Trump said he did not make any promises to Carson about a future role in a potential Trump administration, but pledged that Carson would play a “big, big part” in his campaign.
Carson – whose campaign and demeanor were polar opposites of Trump’s in many ways – played the role Friday of vouching for Trump’s character and integrity. He explained that there were “two Donald Trumps” – one that the public sees, and another more reserved and “cerebral” man who “sits there and considers things very carefully.”
“Some people have gotten the impression that Donald Trump is this person who is not malleable, who does not have the ability to listen, and to take information in and make wise decisions. And that’s not true,” Carson said. “He’s much more cerebral than that.”
Carson became the second former presidential candidate to back to Trump. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed the businessman two weeks ago.
Earlier this week, Carson had indicated that he would be open to backing either Trump or Ted Cruz. Carson and Cruz’s relationship hit a rocky patch around the first GOP primary contest in Iowa, when the Cruz campaign incorrectly told precinct captains while the caucuses were taking place that Carson may be dropping out of the race. Carson called on Cruz to take responsibility and fire whoever was responsible for the “blatant lying,” and Cruz subsequently apologized.
On Friday, Carson – a Seventh Day Adventist – insisted that he had no lingering hard feelings towards the Texas senator.
“I have completely forgiven him. That’s a duty one has as a Christian,” he said.
On the tense exchanges that he has had with Trump this cycle, Carson said all of that was also history. “We moved on because it’s not about me. It’s not about Mr. Trump. This is about America.”
Trump praised Carson throughout his press conference.
“Having (Carson’s) support, really, it just adds total credence to what I’m trying to do and to what we’re all trying to do,” Trump said, introducing Carson.