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Trump fires up crowd in Harrisburg with take-no-prisoners message

HARRISBURG - From belittling protesters led out in handcuffs to trashing establishment politicians, from professing his love for Mexico to building "the most gorgeous wall you've ever seen," GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday kept a pumped-up crowd of supporters on its feet with his signature take-no-prisoners message.

Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex in Harrisburg.
Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex in Harrisburg.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

HARRISBURG - From belittling protesters led out in handcuffs to trashing establishment politicians, from professing his love for Mexico to building "the most gorgeous wall you've ever seen," GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday kept a pumped-up crowd of supporters on its feet with his signature take-no-prisoners message.

Bringing back jobs?

"We're going to bring them back here," he said, blaming "dumb as rocks" leaders "who don't know what the hell is happening" for allowing American companies to ship their operations overseas.

Building a wall along the Mexican border?

"Believe me, Mexico is paying for the wall," he said.

Strengthening the military?

"We are going to build a military so big, so strong, so powerful, that no one is going to mess with us again," he said as his supporters at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex whooped and hollered.

He later added: "We are going to knock the hell out of ISIS." But Trump told the crowd not to worry - "we are going to straighten it out."

Flitting from issue to issue during a 55-minute speech, at times in a stream of consciousness that both amused and confused, Trump touched on many of the issues he's been trumpeting during his tumultuous and controversial campaign.

He said he would repeal Obamacare, strike smarter trade deals, "take care of our vets," and reduce the federal deficit.

Every so often, his speech would be interrupted by a protester, who police would promptly handcuff and lead out of the arena as his supporters jeered and Trump joined in.

"Get 'em out," he said as one protester was stopped cold by state troopers.

"Do we love our police?" Trump bellowed as another protester was led out. "By the way, are Trump rallies fun?"

Richard Klopp, a retired steelworker from Lebanon County who attended the rally, said he likes that Trump doesn't talk "like a politician."

A Democrat who voted for President Obama twice - "I made a mistake; my whole neighborhood don't even talk to me anymore!" - Klopp said he likes what Trump says and how he says it: without mincing words or worrying about what others will think of him.

Though polls show Trump holds a double-digit lead over his rivals heading into Tuesday's primary, Trump took several swipes at his GOP rivals, and proclaimed he would like nothing more than to run against "crooked Hillary Clinton" in the general election.

He reiterated his belief that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is "a professional liar."

"Lyin' Ted comes in and he holds the Bible up and he holds it high, and then he lies. He lies. And he puts it down and he lies."

As for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, no one knows who he is, said Trump.

Though Trump said numerous times that he was winning primaries across the country, he urged people to head to the polls Tuesday and vote - unless they aren't planning on voting for him.

"If you are going to vote for anyone else than me, don't vote," he said.

acouloumbis@phillynews.com 717-787-5934 @AngelasInk

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