Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to thousands of supporters today in downtown Phoenix amid controversy surrounding his remarks about Mexican immigrants.
During his speech at the Phoenix Convention Center, Trump took on his critics and blasted the nation's illegal immigration problem and US trade policies. Trump then went on to say that he loves Mexican people and respects their government, but he accused Mexico of deliberately sending criminals to America.
The North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center has a capacity of 4200 people and it was packed. When Donald Trump walked in the place erupted.
"This is absolutely unbelievable," said Trump. "Thank you everybody, very much, thank you."
Trump spoke without a script, without a teleprompter and without a filter.
"We are going to make this country so great again…we will work so hard," said Trump.
Trump improvised throughout his speech but he focused on several themes, including immigration, the economy and his career.
He joked about his gig as host of TV's the Apprentice, saying NBC didn't drop him, he dropped them to run for president.
"So NBC went nuts, they renewed the show without a star. Everybody else failed, so they are angry at me," Trump said.
Then Trump got down to business…railing against illegal immigration from Mexico and pledging to get tough on the border.
"I respect Mexico greatly as a country, but their leaders are much smarter, sharper and more cunning than our leaders, Trump said. "And they are killing us at the border and in trade, they are killing us."
Trump brought to the stage Jamiel Shaw, Senior, a Los Angeles man whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant.
"We have to trust Donald Trump like mom or dad, not do whatever they say, but you have to trust them," said Shaw.
Trump said he will use his business background to outmaneuver our foreign rivals.
"We are getting ripped, taken apart piece by piece slowly, slowly," said Trump. China laughs at us, they laugh at our stupidity, incompetent politicians. They have geniuses, we have people that don't have a clue.
Afterwards, Trump backers spoke out.
We asked Trump supporter Linda Longazel what she thought of Trump's speech.
"Excellent, so motivating," she said. Finally hearing somebody say what most of my group politically active all agree with.
"You know, I wanted to come out. I support Trump…because of his truthfulness... that and even with the comments he's made, he refused to apologize," said John Hazelton, another Trump supporter.