So much for that acting presidential “soon” talk.
On the eve of the Nevada caucuses, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump told the crowd at a rally in Las Vegas on Monday night that he wanted to punch a protester who was being escorted from the event in the face.
“There’s a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches — we’re not allowed to punch back anymore,” Trump said. “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher.”
He added: “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.”
Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Monday. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
It’s not the first time the brash billionaire has struck a bullying tone with a protester.
In November, after a Black Lives Matter demonstrator was punched and kicked at a rally in Birmingham, Ala., Trump suggested the activist deserved to be assaulted.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said on Fox News. “I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a troublemaker who was looking to make trouble.”
In an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump was asked if he thought, as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, he needed to “act more presidential.”
“Well, probably I do,” Trump replied. “I mean, I can act as presidential as anybody that’s ever been president other than the great Abraham Lincoln. I thought he was hard to beat.”
“So when are you going start?” Wallace asked.
“Well, pretty soon,” Trump said. “But, you know, don’t forget, we started off with 17 people. I’ve been hit from, you know, 97 different angles. Now, we’re down to I guess five. And we’ll see what happens. But I think, yes, I think I’ll be very presidential at the appropriate time. Right now, I’m fighting for my life.”
Earlier Monday evening, Trump demanded that security guards eject another demonstrator who was holding a sign that read: “Veterans to Mr. Trump: End hate speech against Muslims.”
“Get him the hell out,” Trump said, and security did.