Businessman Donald Trump won three major Republican primaries Tuesday to expand his lead in the party’s presidential nomination process.
Trump defeated Senator Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida and added victories in Illinois and North Carolina. Rubio suspended his campaign after the loss.
Governor John Kasich won the first contest in his home state of Ohio to stay in the race. The remaining Republican candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, managed to tie Trump in Missouri. The two received virtually the same number of votes in the state.
The victories give Trump more than half of the 1,237 delegates he needs to be the party’s nominee.
The 2016 Republican presidential campaign
When Donald Trump announced his plan to run for president on June 16, 2015, few Americans took his candidacy seriously.
From the lobby of a luxury apartment named for him, Trump said, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
The businessman and media personality told reporters, “I’m really rich,” and said he was worth $8.7 billion. Critics say that figure is inflated, and have asked Trump to release his tax documents as proof.
The Huffington Post website declared, “If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and ‘The Bachelorette’ ” in entertainment. They meant that Trump was more a story about celebrity than news.
The National Review called Trump’s announcement, “Witless Ape Rides Escalator.” The magazine called the businessman a “ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste.”
Trump spoke about unemployment in America, and said China, Japan and Mexico had taken those jobs. He said Mexico and other Latin American countries send illegal immigrants to the United States.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said. Trump promised to “build a great wall” to keep them out and that he “will have Mexico to pay for that wall.”
Trump was the 12th person to join a crowded field of 16 candidates seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. He has never held public office, but he was the best-known candidate to the American public.
Trump was the host of a TV reality show called, “The Apprentice.” The show had 28 million viewers its first season. On Twitter, Trump has more than 6 million followers.
He showed that his campaign was different from others when he tweeted, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Politicians are all talk and no action - they can never bring us back.”
For the next nine months, Trump spread his message and attacked opponents on television, radio and posts on Twitter.
Trump made many incendiary and inaccurate comments about issues and other politicians.
“He’s not a war hero. … I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said about Senator John McCain, who ran for president as a Republican in 2008. McCain was shot down during the Vietnam War and was tortured as a prisoner of war.
Republicans and Democrats condemned Trump when he called for a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States.
About himself, Trump said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
About his rivals, Trump called former Florida governor Jeb Bush “low energy.” About businesswoman Carly Fiorina, he said, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”
Trump described South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham as a “dumb mouthpiece,” and said that Doctor Ben Carson has “pathological temper.” He said former Texas governor Rick Perry “should be forced to take an IQ test,” and described Kentucky Senator Rand Paul as “truly weird.”
He added that former New York Governor George Pataki “couldn't be elected dog catcher if he ran again,” and used words such as “liar, lying, loser, choker” to describe Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
As Republican Party leaders looked to support other candidates, Trump issued cutting statements. He called Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, “little” Rubio and responded with a series of insults: “lightweight,” “choker,” “looks like a little boy on stage,” and “Mr. Meltdown.”
The comments do not seem to affect Republican voters. A Gallup poll in February showed that a majority of Republican voters support Trump because he is “outspoken,” “strong” and “not a career politician.”
Only 8 percent of the people who liked Trump linked their support to immigration, his signature issue as the reason.
Trump was born June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York. He graduated from the New York Military Academy and later completed a study program at the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.
Trump started in business, working for his father, a wealthy real estate developer in Queens. During New York’s financial crisis, Trump received tax breaks from the city to build a hotel in Manhattan. The deal was the first of many projects for the developer -- from casinos to golf courses.
For a brief period, Trump owned a sports team and a small airline company. In 1991, he sought bankruptcy protection when his businesses did not make enough money to pay the loans.
It was the first of four bankruptcy filings.
Trump used his name to sell neckties, water, wines, steaks, books and magazines. He launched “The Apprentice,” and produced a business seminar called Trump University.
In the 1990s, Trump’s name became a headline for New York’s tabloid newspapers when he divorced his first wife, Ivana, and married Marla Maples, a little-known actress. He is now married to Melania Knauss, a former model from Slovenia.
The businessman has five children by three wives.
Where does Trump stand on the issues?
On immigration, Trump said he opposes giving undocumented workers a path to citizenship. He said he wants to end birthright citizenship, and wants undocumented immigrants to leave the U.S.
On foreign policy, Trump has criticized the Iran nuclear agreement. He opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He supports Russian involvement in Syria, and sending U.S. combat troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State militants.
On national security, Trump calls for more military spending. He wants to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. He said he supports a form of interrogation called water-boarding.
On gun control, Trump generally supports the right to bear arms. But he said he supports the existing ban on some assault weapons, a waiting period on gun purchases, and criminal and mental health background investigations.
On healthcare, Trump said he will cancel the Affordable Care Act, if he is president. He will replace it with a “much better and much less expensive [plan] for people and for the government.” He does not offer specifics.
On taxes, Trump said he wants to reduce personal and business income taxes on Americans, and end the “death tax” on inheritances. Trump said he would close loopholes to pay for tax cuts.
On China-U.S. relations, Trump called China “a currency manipulator.” He would act against hackers and counterfeiters, he said, and eliminate Chinese subsidies.
On the environment, Trump called climate change a hoax. He would cut the Environmental Protection Agency, he said.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck and George Grow were the editors.
Words in This Story
inflate - v. to say something is larger than it really is
opponent - n. a person, team, group that is competing against another in a contest
incendiary – adj. causing anger
rumor – n. information or a story that is passed from person to person but has not been proven to be true
pathological – adj. not normal or that shows an illness or mental problem
IQ – n. is an abbreviation of “intelligence quotient,” a number that represents one’s intelligence based on a score of a test.
seminar – n. a class or meeting to receive information and training in a particular subject
tabloid – n. a newspaper that typically contains many stories and photos of famous people and less serious news.
birthright citizenship - n. is a legal right for all children born in a country's territories to become citizen, regardless of the parents' origin.
inheritance - n. money and property that is received from someone when that person dies.
hoax - n. an act intended to trick or deceive people
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