A quick check on the circus that is the GOP presidential primary reveals that Donald Trump - who has a commanding lead in New Hampshire - has retaken the top stop in Iowa and we think we might know why. As CBS reports, "large majorities of Republican primary voters in Iowa express tough views toward illegal immigrants including eight in ten who view them as harm to national security [and] more than four in five who say that they have broken the law and should be penalized or deported."
Additionally, 43% of Iowa voters say the Paris attacks affected their vote and fully three quarters favor sending troops to Syria.
Combine a hardline stance on immigration and an "ass kicking" approach to fighting terror and what do you get? This:
Anyway, Trump is coming off a week in which he suggested (and yes, we realize he was baited by the reporter) that he would not be opposed to, i) keeping a national database of Muslims, and ii) requiring Muslim Americans to carry ID cards.
Of course the Teflon Don is, as one analyst put it a few months back, "gaffe proof" which means that when Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to "rabid dogs", prospective voters recoil in horror, but when Trump conjures up uncomfortable images out of Europe's difficult past everyone just kind of chuckles before writing it off as "Trump being Trump".
Well, Trump was out being Trump in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday when he was interrupted by Mercutio Southall Jr. who The Washington Post describes as "a well-known local activist who has been repeatedly arrested while fighting what he says is unfair treatment of blacks."
Here's what happened after Southall interrupted Trump:
And here's a bit of color from WaPo:
A fight broke out, prompting Trump to briefly halt his remarks and demand the removal of Southall.
“Get him the hell out of here, will you, please?” Trump said on Saturday morning. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!”
At one point, Southall fell to the ground and was surrounded by several white men who appeared to be kicking and punching him, according to video captured by CNN. A Washington Post reporter in the crowd watched as one of the men put his hands on Southall’s neck and heard a female onlooker repeatedly shout: “Don’t choke him!”
As security officers got Southall on his feet and led him out of the building, he was repeatedly pushed and shoved by people in the crowd. The crowd alternated between booing and cheering. There were chants of “All lives matter!”
Southall told the AL.com news site that the commotion started as he began recording himself and other protesters at the rally and saying that he wanted “Donald Trump to know he’s not welcome here.” Southall said someone knocked the phone out of his hand and made a racial slur. Then there was pushing and punches started flying, Southall told the news site.
Unfazed, Trump proceeded to taunt Mercutio from the podium before launching into a story about a "seriously obese" man who disrupted a previous rally. Take a listen:
Asked on Monday about the incident, Trump said the following: "maybe he should have been roughed up."
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