INDIANAPOLIS — Donald Trump promised to keep Hoosiers working in Indiana by plopping a heavy tax on companies wishing to move jobs out of the United States.
“There have to be consequences when they leave,” he said at a rally Wednesday. “You’re going to pay a damn tax when you leave this country.”
He focused on Carrier Corporation, an air conditioning manufacturer that’s moving jobs to Mexico.
“You’re looking at a situation in our country where our jobs are being ripped out of our states ... like candy from a baby,” Trump said. “If I were in office right now, Carrier would not be leaving Indiana.”
The potential Republican candidate spoke at Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion, where he addressed a crowd of several thousand. This visit comes two weeks ahead of Indiana’s primary May 3.
Crowds at other rallies have been violent, but this crowd was docile.
About 60 people were gathered outside the pavilion five hours before Trump was expected. A man sold “Trump” buttons out of his pickup truck as families with kids, elderly couples and adults joined the growing line.
Despite the crowd’s calm, two women fretted about the rally turning violent. “I just don’t want to get hit,” one woman said. But the event stayed relatively peaceful. A handful of protesters were thrown out throughout the hour-long speech, and Trump told audience members not to hurt anyone.
A few men standing together sported shirts emblazoned with “Donald Trump Finally Someone with Balls.” Some supporters of the Republican frontrunner echoed this thought: that the United States needs strength, and Donald Trump is the answer.
Jaden Falcone, who lives in Bloomington, said she believes Trump is strong. Maybe he won’t be able to fix everything, she said, but he can give people hope.
“Trump makes me feel upbeat, and at this point I’m 100 percent behind him,” she said.
After pavilion doors opened at noon, the crowd filtering inside swelled. A gray haired couple giggled after taking a selfie with a Trump sign. A woman wore a fiery button that said “Bomb the Hell out of ISIS.”
People clutched Trump signs as they waited for him.
After taking the stage, Trump plunged into criticizing the media, his political opponents, the Republican Party, the entire political process, rally protesters and Hillary Clinton. He also complained about the country’s deficit and China “ripping off” the U.S.
Trump blamed the country’s deficit on its decisions to “take care” of countries like Saudi Arabia while the U.S. suffers from bad airports and broken roadways. He promised to improve relations with allies if he’s president.
“I’m greedy,” he said. “I take. Now I’m taking for the American people.”
He said he was disappointed there weren’t more protesters. Over and over again, he called Hoosiers strong while praising his own success. The U.S. has weak leadership, he said, and he intends to change that.
“It takes guts to run for president,” he said. “I’ll tell you, it takes guts. I’m millions of votes ahead. Billions.”
Right now, Trump has 845 delegates. He needs 1,237 to automatically receive the Republican nomination for president. Ted Cruz has 559, and John Kasich has 148.
“We’re gonna protect the people of Indiana,” Trump said. “You’re going to be so proud of your country.”