Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump brought his campaign to South Carolina Wednesday, speaking at Sen. Tim Scott’s Town Hall meeting in Columbia. Sen. Scott is holding the meetings across the state with all of the Republican candidates to give voters a chance to see and hear the candidates in person.
University of South Carolina student Sage Miska waited in the “stand-by” line for people who didn’t have tickets, hoping to get in. “My dad is a veteran and so Trump is really important to my parents when it comes to those issues,” she said.
Sen. Scott asked Mr. Trump questions that had come from the audience. His first was what Mr. Trump’s top three priorities would be as president. “We have to get rid of at least some of the debt, if not all. We’re up to $19 trillion and we have a country that’s in serious trouble,” he said to cheer. “I want to get rid of Obamacare. We want to repeal it.” That got a huge roar from the crowd. He said his third priority would be to build up the military. Later, he brought up veterans, saying they’ve been treated like third-class citizens and that he would change that.
During the town hall, he talked about immigration, energy costs, and foreign policy. He said he’s been criticized for not being more specific about plans and policies, but said when it comes to foreign policy he wouldn’t talk about details because he wouldn’t want to tell our enemies what he would do.
He said he’ll give some specifics about another area soon. “I’ll be putting a tax plan in next week that will be very long on policy and will be a great plan with a major reduction in taxes for the middle class,” he said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Jim Ulmer, who’s from the town of North, said before going into the meeting that he’s considering voting for Mr. Trump but hasn’t made up his mind yet. “I’d like to believe that I could trust him implicitly with my life, my family, and my country, but I don’t know if I can or not.” He said he hoped Wednesday’s meeting would help him make up his mind.
Afterward, Charlton Scott, who also said he’s considering Mr. Trump but hasn’t decided yet, said the meeting swayed him a little but he’s still not sure. “I want to hear some more details, the tax plan he talked about, let’s see what he rolls out there. He wants to play close to the vest with international policy and whatnot. I’d like to hear a little bit more. He stressed not to let everybody know what you’re doing, but by the same token there’s a balance in the information I’d like to see too.”
Mr. Trump also spoke to the media before the town hall and answered questions. He had brought up that he’s leading in every poll. We asked him what he would do to try to keep from dropping, since four years ago in September Rick Perry led the polls but then plummeted and dropped out, while eight years ago Rudy Giuliani was the leader at this point and Fred Thompson was second. John McCain won the Republican nomination.
Mr. Trump said, “Well I’ve been here a long time. They weren’t. They were for a very short period. I’ve been here a long time. But certainly that can happen. I’m not saying it’s not, you know, maybe something happens. Maybe people fall un-in-love with me. Certainly that can happen. I don’t think it will. I think we have a tremendous base. We have people who want to make America great again.”