Five hundred miles from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Donald Trump continued on his joy ride down the East Coast, highlighting from afar the Democrats’ “mess,” where the “dying remnants of the Bernie people” are creating a stir in and out of the convention hall.
“Would you rather be here or would you rather be with crooked Hillary Clinton?” Trump asked the thousands at a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “What a mess they have going.”
Trump, amid the crowd’s holler, continued: “I think his people are going to throw Bernie overboard!”
The first night of the Democratic National Convention began with protests as the party’s chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced she would step down from her post following the leak of DNC emails that appeared to show party officials trying to damage Sanders’ candidacy.
“Crazy Bernie is crazy right now,” Trump shouted from the stage. He continued: “He doesn't know what to do. And he's losing his legacy, because he's just sort of given up.”
Trump then attacked Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren ahead of her prime time speech in Philadelphia, calling her — as has become a now frequent attack line — “Pocahontas” to draw attention to his claim that Warren has misrepresented herself in the past as having Native American heritage. “Her life is a fraud, in a sense,” Trump said, adding: “She goes, ‘Well look at my cheekbones. Look.’ You find anything nice about her cheekbones? I don’t know.”
A day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook, who Trump called “a clown,” asserted Russia is attempting to give an assist to Trump’s campaign by hacking and leaking the DNC emails, Trump smirked, calling it “one of the weirdest conspiracies.”
“Now, I never met Putin, in all fairness. But that Putin likes Trump, and therefore, he went in, and he stole it, and he wants Trump to win,” Trump laid out before pausing and responding sarcastically: “Okay.”
But after a year of friendly comments toward Russia, the candidate directly opened up the prospect of working more closely with Putin.
“When you think about it, wouldn't it be nice if we actually did get along with Russia? Wouldn't it be nice?” Trump pondered out loud. “Not so bad. Wouldn't it be nice if Russia and us and a couple of others went out and knocked the hell out of ISIS and knocked them off? Wouldn't that be nice? Nothing wrong with that.”
In a nearly hour long, meandering speech, Trump highlighted a CNN poll released on Monday that showed Trump with a six-point bump after the Republican convention last week.
But Trump notably went as far as to question his polling deficit among women — in a NBC/WSJ poll last month, Clinton led Trump among women by 52 percent to 35 percent.
“Fifty percent of our country is men, where I'm doing very, very well,” he began. “That's the good news. Let me give you the bad news: The women. I don't know what's going on with the women here. But I think, I think I'm doing well with the women.”
Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of North Carolina, who has controversially refused to back away from the state's so-called bathroom bill, introduced the GOP ticket of Trump and Mike Pence Monday.
After a convention in Cleveland deemed the most LGBT-friendly ever for Republicans, Trump made no mention of McCrory’s singing of the law this spring, which requires individuals use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate and, also, bars local ordinances that deems the LGBT community as a protected class.
Just last week, the NBA pulled next year’s All-Star game out of North Carolina over the law.
“If any of you need to use the restrooms, and if you have any questions, go to the Philadelphia convention where all the Democrats are,” McCrory cracked from the stage to a large applause.
Trump, celebrating his rise to the top of recent polling over Clinton, warned the North Carolina crowd of future ads against him, but boasted of his success despite lack of on-air rebuttals: “I've spent nothing — and guess what, we’re leading!”