Donald Trump returns to North Carolina, site of one of his most controversial rally incidents, with a new rally that will stream live Monday morning from the city of Hickory, home of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The rally could be volatile, as protesters have shown up at almost every Trump rally, even with the widely publicized incidents of violence and confrontation with Trump supporters.
During a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina — about 175 miles east of Hickory — on March 9, a 78-year-old Trump supporter named John McGraw launched an unprovoked attack at 26-year-old African-American protester Rakeem Jones, “sucker” punching Jones in the face as the protester was in the process of being escorted out of the arena by security.
Pro and anti-Trump demonstration at the same time here in Boca Raton, FL. pic.twitter.com/vUnN0RUXaU
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 13, 2016
McGraw has since been charged with assault, but even though the man gave a press interview in which he said that “next time” he “might have to kill” the protester, Trump has said that he might pay McGraw’s legal fees as he fights the criminal assault case against him.
Watch the shocking video of the earlier North Carolina Trump rally incident, below.
Both Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, leveled verbal fire at Trump over his incendiary remarks and the overall tenor of his campaign during appearances in Ohio on Sunday.
Clinton blasted Trump as “bigoted” and accused him of committing “political arson” by encouraging violence against demonstrators at his campaign rally events, while Sanders branded Trump “a pathological liar.”
Will there be another violent incident when Trump holds another rally in North Carolina, one day before that state and four others go the polls on the latest Super Tuesday primary election day? Or will the event come off more peacefully this time?
To find out, watch a full replay of the Donald Trump rally from Hickory, North Carolina, in the video below.
Though Trump is well ahead in the Republican race for the party’s presidential nomination, and currently leads Texas Senator Ted Cruz in North Carolina polling by an average of almost 14 points, not every North Carolina Republican is thrilled to have Donald Trump in their state.
“Anger and negativity and divisiveness will only harm our country in the long term,” said Shannon Smith, a prominent Republican campaign donor in Charlotte, North Carolina. “To me, Trump represents that. There is a reason to be angry, but anger is not a policy and not a way to govern our country.”
“A lot of principled people are angry, and sadly, don’t care anymore about anything other than sending a message,” said Jonathan Felts, former top advisor to North Carolina Governor Pat McRory, in an interview with McClatchy News Service. “They don’t care who the messenger is, and they don’t even care what the message is. They just want a tool they can use to send their message of anger to the (Washington) D.C. establishment. Trump benefits from that.”
Trump wrapped up his weekend of campaigning with a rally in Boca Raton, Florida, just 35 miles south of his Man-A-Lago mansion and elite country club in Palm Beach.
Trump just made a hilariously over the top triumphant entrance via helicopter here in Boca Raton. pic.twitter.com/xxrqtTjifj
— William Gallo (@GalloVOA) March 14, 2016
Watch a full replay of the Donald Trump Boca Raton, Florida, rally in the video below.
At that rally, which went off without major incident, despite the presence of numerous protesters, Trump spent much of his speech ripping his Republican rival, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, as “a lousy senator.”
When an announcement was made from the stage before Trump appeared, asking supporters not to “touch or harm” protesters, it was met with scattered boos throughout the crowd.
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Donald Trump has two more rally events scheduled Monday, visiting Tampa, Florida, at 2 p.m. and then in the evening, staging what his campaign called a “massive” rally in Youngstown, Ohio, where Trump is trailing in the polls to that state’s own governor, John Kasich.
[Featured Photo By Paul Sancya/Associated Press]