JANESVILLE — If Donald Trump came to Paul Ryan’s hometown to say something about Ryan, he thought better of it.
“How do you like Paul Ryan?” he said, and the crowd immediately reacted with boos and negative comments about the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Trump seemed taken aback.
“Wow. I was told to be nice to Paul Ryan. Really?”
The boos continued.
“Paul RINO,” one man shouted, using the acronym often used to accuse a Republican of being liberal: Republican in name only.
“He called me the other day. He was very nice,” Trump said, but then he dropped the topic.
Ryan recently decried the lack of civility in public discourse, something many took as a reference to Trump. But Trump did not bring it up.
Trump also disparaged Gov. Scott Walker, who on Tuesday endorsed Trump’s rival, Ted Cruz, for president.
Trump said he coined the phrase “common-sense conservative,” but he said Walker recently stole the phrase.
Trump said Walker once visited him and gave him a plaque for donating to Walker’s campaign.
Trump said someone found the plaque in a pile of plaques, and it would be brought to him so he could show it at other Wisconsin stops.
Trump criticized Walker’s record on creating jobs and managing the state budget and wearing a motorcycle jacket while not looking like a biker.
“It’s an incredible place,” Trump said of Wisconsin. “But it’s a place that has problems, and you have a governor who wants to convince you it doesn’t have problems.”
Trump pledged to stay in the state until just before the April 5 primary. He stressed several times that Wisconsin is important, and that if he wins, “It’s pretty much over; it’s going to be over.”
Trump appeared to be working at exuding confidence as he held a microphone with only a stool with him on the stage.
Talking about his struggle for the nomination against the GOP establishment, he said: “When you’re in a war, you’ve got to fight, and fight hard,” he said. “When I fight, we’re going to win.”
That line elicited strong approval.
Trump expressed surprise at the crowd outside, which he said numbered 5,000. Police Chief Dave Moore said it was more like 1,000.
Moore said earlier that the Trump people said they issued 5,000 tickets for the event.
Trump said he felt bad for those who could not get in and said he would return to Janesville, to a larger venue.
Trump returned several times to his attacks on fellow GOP candidate Ted Cruz, calling Cruz a liar and noting that the Keystone Pipeline was planned to start in Cruz’s birthplace, Canada, and end in the state he represents, Texas.
If Cruz becomes president, the Democrats will file suit, alleging Cruz is not a natural-born citizen and therefore not qualified, Trump said.
Trump also claimed repeatedly he was winning the evangelical vote, a sector where Cruz is thought to have strong support.
Trump was long on big ideas and short on details.
“I’m going to get rid of ISIS. We’re going to have good borders. We’re going to have borders again,” he said.
Trump repeated his pledge to make Mexico pay for a border wall.
A woman who said she was of Ukrainian extraction asked about Russian aggression toward that country.
“Don’t worry about Ukraine,” he said. “Ukraine is going to be fine. Just don’t ask me why.”
Revealing details would tip off enemies, Trump said: “You don’t need to know the details.”
“We trust you!” a number of people responded.
— Praised the Green Bay Packers franchise and said Aaron Rodgers was a great quarterback, even though he likely backs someone else for president.
— Said the country was on an economic bubble because of low interest rates that only rich people could access and predicted the bubble would explode. He did not explain how that could happen.
— Called Mitt Romney “a total dope,” saying he should have won the presidency in 2012, “and he should just go away and let the big boys do it.”
Romney is among Republicans who have criticized Trump, calling him a fraud.
— Chided Barack Obama’s handling of wars in the Middle East, saying that too much was made public, helping the enemy.
— Pledged to end “Obamacare” and common core education standards. He said the United States education would rebound to become one of the best in the world, but probably not as good as Norway, Denmark or China.
— He would try to get rid of a law that he said threatens the tax-exempt status of Christian churches if they speak out on politics.
— Defended his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who on Tuesday was charged with battery in Florida for allegedly grabbing a reporter’s arm.
Trump said the video shows the events did not happen as the woman claimed.
(c)2016 The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.)
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