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Trump Attacks Fiorina, Fields Controversial Questions At N.H. Campaign Event

Emily Corwin for NHPR
Donald Trump in Rochester. 9/17/2015

Even people with tickets were being denied entrance at the Rochester Recreational Arena: the place was packed to fire code. And Republican front runner, Donald Trump, didn’t fail to deliver the campaign style he’s become known for.

"I have many Hispanics working for me.  Many, many, many Hispanics,” he said early on, and, “a wall properly done, a Trump Wall, A Trump Wall works."

Trump didn’t hold back on his opponents, either. But this time, Trump didn’t even mention Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  He saved his jabs for Carly Fiorina.  Although unlike earlier talk about her looks, this time, he went after her business record.

"I thought I'd wait a couple days before I expose her business failure," he said, "but honestly it's so ridiculous." 

Unlike Trump’s last visit to the Seacoast, he cut his speech short, and entertained lots of questions. That didn’t always go smoothly. For his first question, Trump pointed to a corner of the room “Okay, this man I like this guy"

The audience member began. “We got a problem in this country. It’s called muslims.  We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American."

Trump laughed. "We need this question. First question!" The fellow continued "we have training camps growing, where they want to kill us."

Donald Trump tread pretty lightly. "We’re gonna be looking at a lot of things,” he said, “and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there we’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things."

And then there was this exchange when a local woman asked about the beheading of Rochester native James Foley by ISIS in Syria just over a year ago:

"I just want you to know about the nightmares I have about ISIS beheading Rochester’s young Foley. I’m having horrible visions of people I know and everyone being loaded up into these boxcars like another holocaust. I want you to know about that."

At which point Trump gestured – it’s getting hot in here.

"Does anybody have a towel? Every room is packed, and nobody has enough air conditioning!"

However, Trump seemed to regain his usual footing when a young woman asked what he would do to reduce the pollution that is driving climate change. As the crowd jeered and booed, Trump responded “how many people here believe in global warming? Who believes in global warming raise your hand. Wow. Not much. Nobody? One person?"

After the event, people streamed out of the arena sweaty, and excited. Outside the hall, his supporters continued to point to his frankness and his stance on immigration as his main appeal. Chris Noddin was among them.

"I just feel like there is a lot that are in here illegal, and they seem like they are getting more benefits than the US is and it’s not fair."

Or the way Diane Charpentier put it, it’ll be a wall with a big beautiful door, for people with papers. 

There's one thing Charpentier says she likes more than Trump’s immigration policy.

"What I admire most about Mr. Trump is the fact that he’s raised such a humble family. They’re very humble, they’re very well spoken."

Although some here say they haven’t made up their minds yet, Charpentier says he’s definitely got her vote.  

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