A Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, was interrupted by a protester on Monday evening, and the interruption was not received kindly, with the businessman-cum-politician expressing a desire to “punch him in the face.” Normally, a presidential candidate threatening violent retribution against a peaceful protester would seem strange, but with Donald Trump, it is merely par for the course.
Trump, who almost seems to enjoy such interruptions, called the man “nasty” and accused him of “throwing punches”, although the man did not appear to be resisting his ejection. Trump remarked that he missed the “good old days” when a rougher approach would have been taken. “You know what they used to do with guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks,” he said, before stating, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell you that.” The crowd cheered in response. They also cheered when he said he would like to go further than waterboarding when it came to terrorist suspects, who he labelled “animals”.
Ted Cruz also felt the wrath of Trump, with the celebrity billionaire calling him “a liar”. The charge has been levelled at the Texan senator repeatedly; just yesterday, he was forced to sack a campaign spokesman for putting out a video that appeared to show Marco Rubio mocking the Bible. As is always the case with Trump, he didn’t pull any punches. “This guy Cruz has lied more than any human being… [t]his guy is sick, there’s something wrong with this guy,” Trump said. Cruz has apologised for the video, calling it “a grave error”.
Trump is ahead in the polls, but Nevada holds caucuses rather than primaries, a fact that caused the Republican frontrunner problems in Iowa, where a weak ground game and a system that is unhelpful to first-time voters saw him finish second. Marco Rubio will be hoping to do well in the state; he lived there as a child and, as the Spanish-speaking son of a former maid, should appeal to the large number of Latino voters who reside there now. A strong second or a win would almost certainly give him the “Rubiomentum” to be the anti-Trump candidate of choice.