BUFFALO, NY — Donald Trump pledged Monday night to win the New York primary and show “Ted Cruz hates New York" — after referring to 9/11 as 7-11.
But Trump's followers apparently forgave him because they continued to cheer him on as he vowed to win the Republican nomination on the first ballot, and without wining and dining delegates to do so.
“No New Yorker can vote for Ted Cruz and no New Yorker can vote for Kasich,” he said before a crowd of thousands at the First Niagara Center arena in Buffalo, N.Y.
It was his final rally before New Yorkers headed to the polls on Tuesday, and one of his biggest, with 11,400 supporters packing the stands, according to the local police department.
Polls have shown Trump easily defeating his rivals, and he stands to pick up a huge chunk of delegates from a big win in the state. Trump speculated that Cruz could come in last, musing “wouldn’t it be interesting if Cruz came in third?"
And in his final pitch to New Yorkers, he opened with a knock on Cruz’s now-infamous dismissal of “New York values” by reading a written statement on what the attacks on September 11 proved about New York values.
“Every small act of kindness, every great act of courage, those are New York values,” he said.
It was then that the notoriously unscripted candidate got “7-11” and “9/11" confused.
Other than that, the Trump rally went off with just one major interruption — a brief protest at the start of Trump’s remarks by about two dozen people chanting “no racist USA!”
But unlike in some past rallies, this one ended quickly and peacefully. As instructed before the rally, supporters waved their signs over the protesters and chanted “Trump! Trump!” while police pulled dragged the limp protesters out of the rally.
Trump repeated many of the same lines he delivered this weekend, making his usual promises to bring jobs back to the country and maked America “win” again.
And he again spent a chunk of his speech lambasting the “rigged” Republican delegate system, which he said is “not meant like a guy for me, who’s not taking any money from these special interests.”