By Anthony Scannella
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will return to South Carolina to hold a series of his booming, high-energy rallies, starting at Clemson University on Wednesday.
Trump’s Clemson rally, coming off a blitz through New Hampshire, kicks off a weeklong tour of the South that includes Baton Rouge, La., Tampa, Fla., Sumter, and Myrtle Beach, and culminates with the South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina has seen Trump’s characteristic bravado before. Last week, hundreds of people gathered in the Florence Civic Center, a venue traditionally used for minor league sports, monster trucks, and even the city’s symphony orchestra.
During his speech, Trump stressed his history as a businessman and self-funded campaign during his hour-long speech in which he called attention to the lack of business expertise in the political world.
“We have the greatest business leaders in the world, we just don’t use them. We use political hacks. We are led by people who are stupid. We are led by people who are incompetent,” Trump said.
Boos echoed through the arena during mentions of President Obama’s policies on healthcare, refugees, and religion.
“I’m a unifier, I bring people together. We have a president who’s a divider,” said Trump.
Trump was introduced by Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, who said he hadn’t seen such enthusiasm for a presidential candidate since the late President Ronald Reagan campaigned in the South.
Describing the present as “dangerous” and “different” times, McMaster stressed the importance of putting up the strongest candidate possible for the Republicans. McMaster is one of South Carolina’s highest-ranking politicians to endorse the billionaire.
“I think we should have come in first. A lot of things happened there,” said Trump.
Trump’s speech also included mentions of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
“We are going to build a wall,” Trump said, drawing some of the loudest cheers of the night. Trump has made some of the most controversial statements about illegal immigration, threatening to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border.
He went on to compare his idea for a more fortified wall to the Great Wall of China, saying that it should be easy to build if the Chinese could do it 2,000 years ago.
Cheers also erupted during Trump’s verbal attacks on ISIS, calling for the terrorist group’s destruction.
“The world is tough right now. This is like medieval times,” he said.
Trump is polling well in South Carolina. According to the Huffington Post, he currently leads the SC Republican primary candidates with 36.4%, ahead of both U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.