03/12/2016 07:40 pm ET
CLEVELAND -- Despite rebukes and calls for civility from Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Donald Trump’s army of supporters are with him now more than ever.
The rally, held at a massive exhibition center near the Cleveland airport, felt pretty run-of-the-mill compared to other Trump events. Families and children clad in Trump gear munched on pizza and enjoyed ice cream, giving the venue somewhat of a carnival vibe. It was a far cry from Friday’s skirmishes, nor did it require U.S. Secret Service members to hurriedly encircle the candidate after a man rushed the stage, as occurred at a rally earlier in the day in Dayton.
|Protester Quarrels at Trump Rally|
Still, the presidential hopeful’s nearly 40-minute-long speech was interrupted seven times by protesters, some of who shouted “Black Lives Matter,” the slogan protesting violence toward African Americans. Trump claimed they were organized by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who denied the allegation later in the day.
"These are Bernie's people," Trump said, repeating the charge after each successive protester was led out of the room. “They have no voice. It’s a Bernie person. Hey, Bernie, get your people in line!” Trump further blamed the Chicago protesters for the violence that occurred Friday night, warning that the incident would only gin up his supporters to hand him a “resounding victory” in Tuesday’s primaries.
|Anti-Trump protesters being escorted out|
by security in Cleveland
"My people aren’t violent,” he added, to huge applause. “It’s these people that come in.” more