The Slatest

Donald Trump in Phoenix: Mexicans are “Taking our Jobs” and “Killing Us”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona on July 11, 2015.

REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec

It wasn’t quite the 9,000 people Donald Trump had said would show up to his rally in Phoenix. The number, in fact, was less than half of that. But around 4,000 people still gathered to hear the real estate mogul, reality star, and presidential contender spout xenophobic words. “I love the Mexican people … I respect Mexico … but the problem we have is that their leaders are much sharper, smarter and more cunning than our leaders, and they’re killing us at the border,” said Trump, according to Politico. “They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

No one should interpret his words as anti-immigrant, Trump insisted, noting he’s a fan of those who enter the country legally. “They flow in like water, and I love legal immigration. I love it,” he said. “We should make it easier, and faster.”

Ever the showman, Trump made fun of his rivals for the White House and mocked the companies that have cut ties with him over his recent comments. “Thousands and thousands of people are cutting up their Macy’s credit card. I love it,” he said. Trump also called Hillary Clinton “the worst secretary of State in the history of our country.” He also expressed surprise at a poll that showed him tied with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for the Republican vote. “How could I be tied with this guy? He’s terrible!” Trump said.

What qualifies Trump to be president? “I’m really smart,” he said. In fact, he’s so smart that as soon as he were to move in to the White House he could solve problems in no time at all. Reuters summarizes:

He told the crowd he would be able to get hostages returned “in an hour” and would tax Mexico each time someone crossed the border illegally. He said he could convince the head of Ford Motor Co to move a plant back to the United States from Mexico overnight, with a couple of phone calls.

“It’s so simple,” he said.

About 20 minutes into the speech a group of protesters interrupted the real estate mogul but were immediately drowned out by supporters shouting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” reports the Arizona Republic. “I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so,” Trump said. “Don’t worry, we’ll take out country back.”