PENDLETON, S.C. — Fresh off a landslide victory in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is making his pitch one of electability.
In his first rally since winning the Republican primary on Tuesday night, Trump told nearly 5,000 in the Palmetto State that he was the guy who could not only win in South Carolina, but beyond.
"You’re next," Trump said to the South Carolinians assembled, citing his large margin of victory in the Granite State and promising that a win here would propel him on to run the table.
But it’s not just the next string of primary states that Trump is looking ahead to: The New York businessman painted himself as not-your-average-Republican — and thus a candidate who can win states that aren’t typically ripe for Republicans’ taking.
"These guys are just regular Republicans," he said of his dwindling crowd of rivals, punctuating the claim with a string of "oys" to drive the point home.
But it is true Trump is not the average Republican — or politician in general. He cited states like New York and Michigan as possible places he could open up a lead and declare victory. And, by Trump's calculations, New York has "so many delegates" that if he wins there "the election is over, essentially."
Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but he also didn’t miss the chance to take a swipe at Hillary Clinton for her loss in New Hampshire to Sen. Bernie Sanders — whom Trump called "wacky socialist guy Bernie."
Nor did Trump miss an opportunity to tout his controversial proposal for a wall along the southern border, pushing back on former Mexican President Calderone, who said Mexico would not be paying for his vaunted wall.
Trump’s reaction? "The wall just got 10 feet higher!"
The New York businessman also promised voters during a short Q&A portion in a cold Clemson University Livestock Arena (complete with dirt floors) that he would save Medicare, which he sees as "under siege" along with other issues like the Second Amendment and saying Merry Christmas.
Trump also seemingly made a gaffe during the rally, saying he would "keep" the "Common Core" educational initiative. His detractors jumped on him for the statement, but he later tweeted that he was "talking about Jeb." Not everyone believed him.