ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — Ohio’s Republican voters chose Governor John Kasich over businessman Donald Trump in March’s presidential primary, but Trump returned Tuesday night for another shot at winning them over.
The presumptive nominee spoke to a crowd at Ohio University in St. Clairsville, Ohio, about what a Trump presidency would mean for the nation.
His speech hit familiar notes: he promised to build a “beautiful” wall on the Mexican border, he reaffirmed his commitment to levying high tariffs on companies who moved their manufacturing centers to other countries, and he took a few swipes at Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, whom he characterized as “totally overrated.”
Trump also spoke about the threat presented by the Islamic State group and reiterated his endorsement of waterboarding as a method of extracting information from political prisoners.
“I like it a lot,” he said. "I don’t think it’s tough enough. … We’ve got to fight fire with fire.”
“(Trump) shows more respect for veterans, more respect for human life as far as military functions go,” said Yorkville, Ohio resident Giovanna Loccisano, who attended the rally.
Trump concluded his speech with a slightly ominous promise.
“I’ll get a call from representatives from the great state of Ohio saying, ‘Mr. President, our people can no longer stand it; they can’t take it. You are winning too much,’” Trump said.
(Trump did not clarify why a superlative amount of winning would make Ohio’s elected representatives beg for it to stop.)
The Trump campaign hired its first Ohio staffer last Thursday, suggesting that the Buckeye State will be a priority in the coming months. The candidate himself will be in Cincinnati next Wednesday for a fundraiser with a minimum contribution of $2,700.