MANCHESTER, N.H. – Fresh off a plane trip from Milwaukee to Manchester and what he said was 90 minutes of sleep, Donald Trump followed Tuesday’s late-night debate with an early morning appearance on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" and an event with New Hampshire’s Politics & Eggs speaker series. Trump took a victory lap following what he touted as a strong debate performance, justifying his dismissive remarks to Carly Fiorina, defending his proposals to deport illegal immigrants, and hinting that he wouldn’t mind having Chris Christie play a role in a potential Trump administration.
Christie may not have been on the main debate stage Tuesday night, but he was front and center during the Republican front-runner’s question and answer session when an attendee asked Trump whether the business mogul had given any thought to who he might choose as vice president. The man jokingly coughed and suggested he pick Christie.
“He did very well last night,” Trump told the audience. “Good guy. Well, there certainly could be a place for him, I can tell you that.”
After the event, Trump was pressed by NBC’s Katy Tur about how exactly his deportation plan for the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants would work, and Trump responded, “we’re going to do it very humanely and hopefully they’re going to be coming back, but we’re going to do it very humanely and it’s going to happen and it has to happen.” Earlier on MSNBC, Trump said that he would use a "deportation force" to remove undocumented immigrants.
Trump said he had gotten “very high remarks” for the debate and was “very happy with the way it worked out.” He also defended his questions during the debate about why Carly Fiorina “was interrupting everybody,” claiming that others told him it was a good move.
“In the case of Carly, you know she was interrupting a lot of people and I think – by the way four people came up to me afterwards that were on the stage and said thank you so much for what you did with Carly,” he told Tur.
The magnitude of the current drug crisis in New Hampshire is “unbelievable,” Trump said at the Politics & Eggs event, echoing comments he made in his MSNBC interview that he would be in favor of funding drug treatment facilities. He was asked multiple times at the event about treating heroin and addiction. Trump said he was going to look drug clinics and tied the epidemic to one of his signature issues – securing the border. “We are also going to close up the borders,” he said. “The drugs are pouring in…when I say, ‘build a wall,’ I’m not just playing games.”
“I don’t know what it is with heroin but it just sees to be a really tough one to get away from,” Trump continued. “People get hooked, unknowingly.” A recent WMUR poll found that treating drug abuse is the top issue facing New Hampshire.
When an African-American man stood up and asked Trump a question about the militarization of police forces across the United States, Trump didn’t flinch.
“I happen to think the police are not being treated properly in this country… along with the vets, along with certain groups,” Trump stated. “I really do feel and I think it’s important that we cherish our police, that we respect our police.”
Trump also reiterated his plan to “leave social security alone” and get rid of fraud, waste, and abuse in the system. He also indicated he will release a plan on ethanol within several weeks.
One man asked if Trump could sign a copy of his book “Crippled America,” and Trump looked at his photo on the cover and told the audience that, “it’s the worst picture I think I’ve ever taken.”
Two of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, came in tow and offered support for their father before the presidential candidate took questions from the crowd.
This was not Trump’s typical audience. Instead of a raucous evening rally, Politics & Eggs is a business breakfast hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College that all of the presidential candidates are invited to. Attendees sit at white tablecloths and have a nice meal amid wooden eggs that the candidates are supposed to sign.
The event is generally held at the college, but today’s breakfast was moved to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. Organizers said this was the biggest crowd Politics & Eggs has seen for any of the presidential candidates, with more than 700 people in attendance.