When the lights suddenly went out during a Donald Trump rally in Atlanta on Sunday, the Republican frontrunner gave us a glimpse of what the race for the GOP nomination may look like if no one catches up to him.
“Oh, I like that much better,” Trump told the crowd inside Georgia World Congress Center. “Those lights were brutal. Are they coming from the dishonest press?”
According to NBC News, a protester had pulled a cable, turning them off. But when they came back on, the brash billionaire demanded that they remain off.
“Don’t turn the lights on!” Trump said. “No, get those lights off. Off! Turn them off, they’re too bright. Turn them off!”
The real estate mogul tried to turn the situation with the lights into a teachable moment.
“We save on electricity, right? And because the lights don’t work, I won’t pay the rent — so, better lighting, and we don’t pay the rent. That’s the way we have to negotiate for our country … the lights go off, it’s better. We say we want the lights. Oh, it’s terrible, we take a big deduction off the rent because the lights are off, but it’s actually better. It’s the kind of sick thinking we really need for our country.”
Trump’s rant came a day after his 10-point victory in the South Carolina primary — a bludgeoning that led former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s favorite targets, to bow out of the race.
“With no Bush as foil,” NBC News’ Ali Vitali wrote, “Trump rails against the light.”
Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Atlanta on Sunday. (Photo: Branden Camp/Getty Images)
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he believes it’s now a two-person race for the Republican nomination, with Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio the last candidates standing.
“The bigger advantage is to Trump,” McCarthy said. “He’s got the momentum. I think there’s more than a 50 percent chance he’s the nominee. And I think that’s what’s setting in for a lot of people. Could they get their heads around Trump being the nominee?”
McCarthy was asked if he could work with a President Trump.
“Oh, yeah, I think I can work with Donald Trump,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rubio may soon find himself in Trump’s crosshairs.
On Saturday, Trump retweeted a link to an online article questioning whether the Florida senator, whose parents are from Cuba, is eligible to be president.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Trump was pressed by host George Stephanopoulos about floating another potential birther conspiracy theory.
“Do you really believe that?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I think the lawyers have to determine that,” Trump replied. “It was a retweet, not so much with Marco. I’m not really that familiar with Marco’s circumstances.”
Then why retweet it?
“Because I’m not sure,” Trump said. “I mean, let people make their own determination.”
He added: “I’ve never looked at it, George. I honestly have never looked at it. As somebody said, he’s not [eligible]. And I retweeted it. I have 14 million people between Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and I retweet things, and we start dialogue and it’s very interesting. And maybe that’s why I have 14 million people instead of 200 people, I don’t know.”