KNOXVILLE, Tennessee–GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is pummeling President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy weakness.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of more than 10,000 here at the Knoxville Convention Center, an ebullient Trump mounted the podium to the strains of “Rocky Top,” the fight song for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, as the crowd broke into chants of “USA! USA!,” which the New York City real estate billionaire joined in.
Trump attacked Obama and Democratic frontrunner Clinton from the start while largely ignoring his GOP rivals.
“A lot of bad things have been happening over the last little while. But it’s gone and and on and on. And weakness has shown that when you’re weak and ineffective, bad stuff does happen. You know that. That’s what we’re seeing,” Trump said.
“I just left a certain little thing where I was watching our president talking. Boy, he does not get it. He doesn’t get it.”
Trump mocked Obama, Clinton, and Bernie Sanders for their timid approach to radical Islamic terrorism.
“You hear the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ He [President Obama] won’t say it. He won’t say it. And you can’t solve a problem if you refuse to talk about what the problem is,” Trump noted.
“He won’t talk about it. I don’t know what’s going on with this man.”
“You know who else won’t talk about it. Hillary, She won’t talk about it,” Trump added.
Trump also took a swipe at the second place Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“How about Bernie [Sanders]? Nothing matters because it’s over for him. It was over for him in the first debate when he refused to talk about the emails. ‘Oh, no, that’s not right, we should talk about…’ I mean, she broke the law. He doesn’t want to say that. He got a great sound bite that lasted for about 20 seconds. He got applause for 20 seconds… How about this guy saying he thought the Paris attacks had to do with global warming?” Trump asked.
Ignoring the existence of radical Islamic terrorism, Trump said, does nothing to solve the problem.
“Radical Islamic terrorism. Let’s talk about it. We have no choice. This is a real problem,” Trump said.
“Normally I come up and talk about trade and how China is killing us. And they are. And I talk about how Japan and how Mexico and how everybody is just absolutely eating our lunch. Today, I’m going to be talking about something else. It’s like survival,” he asserted.
“You’re talking about sneaky dirty underhanded people that want to kill our civilians, they want to go after our civilians, they want to kill – not only our civilians, all over the world — and its gonna be stopped. It’s gonna be stopped. Somebody criticized me the other day. They asked me what I’ld do and I said I’m going to bomb the s*** out of them,” Trump said.
The audience applauded wildly.
“They’ve gotta be stopped. And they should have been stopped a long time ago,” Trump noted.
Trump then turned his attention back to Obama’s weakness.
“And then we have a president, with all of the problems, and you probably heard that at least one and probably more of the killers, the animals, that did what they did in Paris came out of the migration [from Syria].”
“So we have a president, that wants to take hundreds of thousands –hundreds and thousands of people [from this Muslim migration from the Middle East] and move them into our country.”
The crowd booed.
“And we don’t even know who they are. There’s no paper work. There’s no anything. And all you have to do is look at the website for Obamacare to know that we’re never going to figure it out,” Trump told the crowd.
“We have no documentation on these people. And I said, a couple of weeks ago, you probably saw, I’m looking at this migration and it’s a terrible thing. I have a big heart, I have a tremendous heart, I want to take care of people. But you look at this migration … they seem like so many men. They’re so strong. They’re strong looking guys,” he noted.
“So I said why aren’t they back fighting for their country? Then I say, ‘Is this a Trojan Horse?’ We all know the story of the Trojan Horse.”
Shouts of “Yes!” rang out from the crowd.
Trump then turned his attention to weak European leaders, Germany’s Angela Merkel in particular.
“And now you look at what’s happening in Germany. So I used to be a fan of Merkel. I used to think she was terrific,” Trump admitted.
“I think what she did to Germany is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace. It’s a total disgrace,” he said.
“They walked all through Europe to get to Germany. What we should have done for a lot less money, because there’s a humane basis to want to do it, is to in Syria take a big swatch of land. Which believe me, you get for the right price. You take a big swatch and you don’t destroy all of Europe. By the time this is finished, wait until you see Germany,” he asserted.
“Wait until you see what happens in Germany. They’re having riots in the streets. They’re having crimes that they’ve never had before. Wait until you see the end result of what happens to Germany. Merkel, no longer a fan. I may have to deal with her, but I will tell you right now, no longer a fan,” Trump noted dismissively.
Trump also belittled Obama’s ineffective efforts to deal with ISIS.
“He [Obama] announces that he’s sending 50 [special forces troops to Syria] …now that’s not a great announcement because 50 doesn’t sound like too many.”
“You know the target that’s on their heads right now, these young brave people that are going over to this part of the world … But why do you have to tell the enemy that we’re sending 50 people?” Trump asked.
Trump blasted Obama for making it easier for Islamic terrorists to attack America on the very day of the Paris attacks.
“When five people are released from GITMO–think of it– on the same day as the shootings [of innocent people by the Islamic terrorists in Paris] you say is this right, is this possible? Is somebody just trying to torment everybody here? They release five people sent in a private plane back to where they could go and fight. You know, they all go back to fight.”
“They get released to the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and they’re supposed to be under house arrest, can you believe that?”
Trump saved his special disdain for the weakness of Obama in his dealing with our country’s enemies.
“The worst to me was Bergdahl. We get Bergdahl, they get five killers who they’ve wanted for nine years. And we get Sergeant Bergdahl, a dirty rotten traitor.”
Trump also criticized Obama for his poor negotiations with Iran.
“Why aren’t we getting our prisoners [in Iran] back? We’ve got four men, they didn’t do anything wrong. They’re in Iran. We just gave them the single greatest deal ever negotiated with a country, one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind…and they never even asked for the prisoners.”
“You know the question was asked, what about our prisoners? The answer: We don’t want to complicate the deal.”
“You say, I wan’t my prisoners back first, you don’t want them, we need them for our people, because our people don’t like that you’re holding people in your jails, the worst jails on earth.”
One of them’s in jail because he’s a Christian, a minister, he’s a pastor. I’ve met his wife a couple of times. She’s such a lovely woman. She doesn’t know what to do. So you have four people in prison, right now, that should have come out, and I don’t mean at the end of the deal. Before you start negotiating, you say fellas… before we start you’ve got to give us our prisoners back. You don’t want them. We do. It will set a good tone for the negotiations. You gotta give them back.
“Now, they’ll probably say, no we can’t do that. We’ll say bye bye. Now you leave, you double up the sanctions, they’ll call, I guarantee you, within 48 hours. And from there you make a good deal. I would never have given them back the money, by the way.”
“I want to negotiate like a real estate guy from New York rather than a politician,” Trump said.
Notably, Trump made no mention of his closest rival for the GOP nomination, according to recent polls, Dr. Ben Carson. The only GOP rival who spoke of was Sen. Marco Rubio.
Trump also noted that he is a big supporter of the Second Amendment.
Gun ownership, he added, would have resulted in a different outcome in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
“If you had 25 people in there who had guns, it would have been a totally different story, wouldn’t it? There would have been the shoot out at the OK Corral. And you would have had death, but it would have been their death. And there could have been some people. You’re talking about hundreds of people, innocent people, just gunned down,” Trump said.
“Is it coincidence or incompetence, or what is it, but today, as you know, President Obama, Friday, he doesn’t get it, Friday, same day [as the Paris attacks], it’s almost like–is he doing this on purpose?–probably, I think maybe.”
Trump also hit hard on his major theme–the need to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
“We are going to build a wall, and it’s going to be a real wall. We are going to build a beautiful, big high real wall. Anybody gets to the top of that wall, they’re going to be afraid to come down, it’s a long way,” he said.
Minutes before Trump spoke, 92-year-old Beada Corum delighted the audience by explaining why she supports the New York real estate maven for president.
“My name is Beada Corum. I’ll be 93 in a few more weeks,” she began.
“I heard him [Donald Trump] speak on TV about 3 times, and I thought, oh my Lord, that man makes a lot of sense to me,” she continued.
“We’ve had hard times, and we’ve had good times, but we sure don’t need the times like they are today,” Corum continued.
The solution for Corum is clear.
“I have all the confidence in one man, and that’s Donald Trump,” she concluded.