Trump: ‘There’s nothing like New Jersey… so many wise guys’
LAWRENCEVILLE — Donald Trump touted his love for the Garden State — and the feeling was mutual inside the New Jersey National Guard Armory where a crowd of supporters had paid to hear the presumptive Republican nominee speak.
"There’s nothing like New Jersey. So many wise guys," Trump said Thursday evening after he was introduced on stage by Gov. Chris Christie. The crowd, including many who wore Trump's signature "Make America Great Again" hats, cheered him loudly as many tried to take video with their smartphones.
"If you can make it in New Jersey, you can do just about anything you want in life."
Trump, who heads unopposed into New Jerseys June 7 primary, covered familiar ground in his half-hour speech, saying he'd address illegal immigration with a border wall, renegotiate trade deals with China and other countries and spend more on the military.
He took shots at the candidate leading in the Democratic primary.
"If Hillary Clinton gets in, I don’t know if our country can ever recover," Trump said.
And Trump — after he mentioned Nabisco's move to Mexico — also made a lighthearted fat joke at his friend's expense.
"I'm not eating Oreos anymore," Trump said. "But neither is Christie."
The native New Yorker knows much about New Jersey.
Trump’s business ventures in New Jersey include two residential towers in Jersey City and three golf courses. Trump’s four Atlantic City hotels and casinos have all either closed or been sold.
Christie, who endorsed Trump after dropping out of the race, said Clinton's "worst nightmare" would be seeing Trump across the debate stage.
"We don’t need more Washington, D.C., insiders messing up this country and we sure as heck don't need Hillary and Bill back in the White House," Christie roared. "We need a president who is going to put America first one more time."
Other elected officials at the rally included state Sen. Michael Doherty, R-Warren, and Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede.
Doherty, who was one of the first elected officials in the state to back Trump, led the crowd in a call-and-response chant: "Who’s gonna build that wall? Trump! And who’s going to pay for that wall? Mexico!"
Yaede said "nothing scares me more" than the thought of Clinton winning the presidency.
"I stand before you as a woman proudly to support Donald Trump. Why? There’s something so much greater than me than you. It's about America, its about this country, isn’t it?"
Trump was at the event to help Christie pay down a $400,690 debt from his aborted run for president. After the rally, Trump attended a separate $25,000-per-ticket event to benefit the state’s Republican Party.
Nearly 200 anti-Trump demonstrators stood outside.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.