Trump asks SLC crowd about Romney – ‘Are you sure he’s a Mormon?’

By Theodore Schleifer

CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Donald Trump pilloried Mitt Romney on his home turf on Friday, making his best appeal to the state's majority Mormon population and questioning whether Romney truly represented their faith.

The rally in Salt Lake City, coming one week after clashes between supporters and protesters forced Trump to cancel a Chicago event, was also marked by a couple hundred protesters outside the Infinity Event Center, some of whom at one point tried to rush into the event.

"Do I love the Mormons? I have many friends that live in Salt Lake City -- and by the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them," Trump said to applause. "Are you sure he's a Mormon? Are we sure?"

Romney, the GOP 2012's nominee, said earlier on Friday that he would vote for Ted Cruz in Utah, who is expected to do well in the state's GOP caucuses on Tuesday. Romney has recently become a leading critic of Trump, the national GOP front-runner, and he said he would back Cruz in Utah because he had the best chance of stopping Trump there.

Trump also said at his campaign rally Friday night that many Mormons had worked for his businesses, and that employees even occasionally make deposits directly to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so they're not tempted to pocket their paychecks.

"He's out campaigning with (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich and then he endorses Cruz," Trump added in another shot at Romney. "People say -- are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Romney became at least the third high-profile Republican to have his religion questioned by Trump. Both Cruz, who is Southern Baptist, and former 2016 candidate Ben Carson, who is Seventh-Day Adventist, have had to reaffirm the particulars of their faith after being questioned by Trump.

And the criticism is particularly harsh for Romney, who has been reluctant to share his Mormon faith in public life. Some Christians do not see Mormonism as a true Christian church.

Protesters try to breach entrance

As Trump was speaking, tensions between Trump supporters and protesters escalated outside the venue. One Trump protester grabbed the hat of a supporter and threw it, and earlier, a Trump supporter shoved a protester who was speaking into a megaphone. As this was happening, dozens of police officers looked on.

At one point, protesters attempted to breach the entrance at the Infinity Event Center as Secret Service officers quickly shut the doors. The protesters were shouting "To the doors," "Chicago" and "Shut it down" before the doors were abruptly closed.

More than 40 police officers in riot gear moved in, creating a standoff between authorities and scores of protesters at the entrance. Video shows protesters and police shoving each other. 

The incident, which took place as Trump's event was winding down, caused security inside the venue to direct attendees to leave through a side entrance after the GOP front-runner concluded his remarks. Outside, attendees were directed down a path away from the demonstrations but many from the rally walked over to the protesters and engaged in tense conversations and shouting matches.

Salt Like City police said on Twitter shortly after 9 p.m. local time that no arrests had been made. Det. Cody Lougy told CNN that a "couple hundred" protesters were present out of a crowd of about 500 to 600 people, many of whom were there to support Trump.

But the unrest didn't affect Trump's rally -- which was notable for a lack of protesters inside the center, unlike typical Trump events -- as he mentioned the demonstrators in his speech as part of an observation he made about the "love" in the room.

"There's even some love for the protesters," Trump said to boos. "Honestly, they're doing their thing."

Later Friday, Trump went on Twitter to praise the "fantastic crowd" inside the event.

"Just leaving Salt Lake City, Utah- fantastic crowd with no interruptions. Love Utah- will be back!" he tweeted.

CNN's Ashley Killough, Noah Gray and Ashley Young contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

20 comments

    • bob

      I was downtown for a comedy show (not the Bernie rally) and I’ve never seen so many Mexican flags flying from car windows in my life.

      Keep on proving Trump right, idiots. BUILD THE WALL!!!!

      • bebe

        These protesters Mexican flag wavers, Jorge Ramos, move-on activists, shady characters, etc. are simply a bunch of cowards, hypocrites maybe mixed in with some criminals. How come they never went after the real culprits – the Mexican corrupt officials or the drug cartels human traffickers, asking them to stop mistreating their own people so they do not have to flee their country. Never once seen these cowards protesting against the real culprits – if they are so brave. It is very likely Jorge Ramos, Mexican flag wavers, protestors are all being paid off by the human traffickers drug cartel to keep our border open so the cartels can continue their lucrative business.

    • FrankDHayden

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    • Bobby T

      Why and who would “PAY” the protesters? Do you think just maybe , even in Utah , there’s people that don’t want this psychopath as the commander and chief of the military ?? This hate monger in the oval office? This imbecile as the President of the United States? Maybe that’s why they were there .”Payed”? HA! #FEELTHEBERN

      • George Richards

        The only Burn you will feel is when he burns your ass you idiot. Trump is not a hate monger .He is sensible. We need to protect our borders and people should come in legally like they used to in the past. I have had relatives wait 10 years and needed a sponsor to get to America. Now the people just walk in. You are the imbecile and you are misguided to say the least. You have bought into the indoctrination of the liberal fanatic radicals. You, and your kind, are what makes America sad. We need to make America Great again.

      • Ben Dover

        Hate monger ? Really d Bag ? What makes trump a hate monger ? Please tell us ? Is it the fact that China, Mexico and India have the majority of american manufacturing jobs and Trump wants this to end ? Or is it the fact that the only Mexicans who climb the border fence are the uneducated job less ones who come into our country and live for free ? Maybe he’s a hate monger for pointing out that a holes such as yourself are too f__ @ing stupid to realize that ALL muslims hate christians. Maybe he’s a hate monger because he actually believes in something called America. Contrar d bag its all the little sissy boys like you who are the hate mongers. People line you are too used to living off mommy and daddy and with Trump as president you might actually have to find a job. Yeah thats pretty hateful isnt it ? Damn. I mean expecting bed wetters like you to take responsibility for yoyr own actions and quit playing the victim card is a really hateful thing isnt it ? I have an idea, go and find a job and pay 35% in taxes so that others can lay around on their asses while you work to pay for them. At that time come back and tell us what is hateful about trump

      • Ron Gringo

        Bobby, I take it that youre still wetting the bed and sucking your thumbs ? Poor baby. Play the victim card some more

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  • bob

    Cruz is not “Southern Baptist.” He’s a Pentacostal. His father is the pastor. And not just any Pentacostals, but a really whacko extremist sect that preaches the overthrow of the U.S. government and the establishment of a religious dictatorship. Ted is the “Annointed One” who is supposed to usher in the Millennium.

    Literally. Look it up. The “Baptist” thing is a smokescreen. When Ted announced his candidacy, Daddy Rafael took down his church’s website and they began selling themselves as “Baptists.”

    They’re loony as hoot owls.

  • HAYDEE

    Im very glad Mitt Romney has not given into staining/ degrading the sacredness of his religion by chosing to not share it publicly. It shows great self control and respect for himself and his beliefs despite the public pressure. Thank You,
    MITT ROMNEY for having true character.

    • Keter Malkut

      In 2012 Mitt Romney’s flip flopping on issues to suit the audience to get votes was a MAJOR ISSUE and talked about a lot. Now his campaigning with Kasich because he knew Kasich would win OH, and then shifting gears when it comes to Utah, and endorsing Ted Cruz, shows his DISHONEST CHARACTER – the same FLIP FLOPPING MITT, who is trying to ride BACK DOOR on someone ticket to the GOP convention.

      If Mitt Romney had CHARACTER he would leave the people alone. He was REJECTED BY THE THE VOTERS and 3,000.000 Republican voters apparently stayed at home and did not vote when he ran in 2012.

  • TBM

    I want to bare my testimony. I know that Mitt is true. I know that City Creek is the only true shopping mall in the face of the earth. And when the the Lord comes to earth he will goto city creek and buy a diamond at Tiffanys. If Mitt believes JS is a prophet then so do I!

  • David John Francis

    THE GLOBALIST PROFITEERS HAVE LEFT IT TOO LATE TO STOP DONALD TRUMP?

    Learning that GOP establishment is aggressively thinking of changing the rules in this election, to undermine THE PEOPLE’S selection for President, Donald Trump will split asunder the Republican Party. Everybody’s listening to the walls in Washington; the facts of their objective is going to leak out and anything of changing the rules, so they genuflect to their big corporate paymasters will indubitably turn the American voter against Senator Ted Cruz, John Kasick and those that back them.

    I have a huge following on my Twitter account and I am telling you now, if the GOP Cartel manages to overturn Trumps run, then I will not vote, but walk away from the appalling situation and from the tweets on my website, people who write their thoughts are telling me they will not vote for Ted Cruz, John Kasick, Mitt Romney or any involved in the RINO money machine. Ted Cruz owes his loyalty to donors as Club for Growth $700.000 plus, Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank, which means some time ahead he will have to pay it back, especially if he becomes President. Kasich’s top donors are MNBA Corporation giving over a $100.000 dollars, followed by Huntington Bancshares gave over $96.000 and that they will demand something for their blood money at a future date.

    It should be remembered that Trump wants nothing from these people; not from corporations, industry of the US Chamber of Commerce, the investment and financial institutions or the mega wealthy that control our government and are far from beholding to the people I’m yelling now that if these ignorant power hungry human beings irritate me to the limit of my patience, I will vote for the person I despise for her repeated psychopathic lies and ability to slip through the cracks of the justice system, And that is Hillary Clinton who first appeared on the scene in the Whitewater complicity fraudulent land deals-and the devil take the hindmost?

    If Donald trump is within sight of the 1273 delegates, he should become the nominee. It was less than 48 hours after an Iowa caucus defeat; Donald Trump had a right to call “FOUL,” with Cruz dirty trick and then Trump calling for repeat performance of that caucus. The New York business man accused the Ted Cruz campaign of fraudulent activities during the Iowa caucuses, after controversial voter mailers and reports that Cruz staffers lied to caucus goers by signifying that Dr. Ben Carson was dropping out in order to gain votes for Cruz. Afterwards Cruz called for the firing of those people and apologized, but even so it was the first of dirty tricks by the man.

    Donald Trumps paramount topic and growing epidemic is the illegal alien invasion and was first to speak out about it last June. Later Donald Trump went to the dangerous border, and then indicating he was going to build a massive wall, anywhere there was not a natural barrier and then place an army of ‘Boots of the Ground’ agents right at the border line. So of course this inflamed the 15 million plus illegal aliens who came here to steal jobs, edged on by anti-American business owners. Once here they living off the federal, state, and local financially funded public programs. Last year the majority of parents unloaded their unaccompanied kids on the unsuspected population, explaining to them what to say once detained by the US Border Patrol. Once in, then the parents can smuggle themselves past the border and the cost is becoming astronomical. In the last few days that Criminal Hillary Clinton said, if she becomes President, she is going to give every illegal alien Obamacare.

    Our elections are not safe as many blue states as California have suppressed the official need for photo ID, so it opens not only primaries to voter fraud as the Democrats have pressed many states in demanding identification to vote. The Republicans should require a legal team to oversee has a right to enter the voting halls?

    Don’t we already have enough financial woes in the United States, with a 19 Trillion deficit, (7 Trillion caused by Obama in office) a huge majority of average Americans unable to locate a job while Democrats pledging to give low cost housing, medical care, food stamps and even Obamacare and a wealth of other programs to people are violated the law. I don’t want to contribute my part of the $$150 BILLION PLUS DOLLARS to the illegal alien invasion, as I have my own family to financially support? I cannot afford to just another statistic of the 92 million people losing my job to some legal working with an H1-B visa or just a skilled illegal immigrant? It doesn’t really matter if you reside in Utah, Arizona or any of the 50 states; your religion, your nationality, or your creed, nor if you are African American, or from Europe, legally from across the border or came by plane from Asia. All that matters are jobs are being appropriated by illegal aliens or somebody with a 6 year working special visa?

    While illegal immigration has been a gathering storm, the power grabbers, the global profiteers as taken our jobs and manufacturing industry to foreign countries, owing to the destructive fast track FREE TRADE agreements and I am sure the government negotiators made a pretty penny under the table for themselves approve of this one-sided parody. How can the America government allow China to deceive us enough to not only steal our jobs, but stealthily walk-off with a $600 Billion deficit or Mexico $58 Billion in the fiscal year? What seems wrong to me is foreign nations buying US companies inside America. Our auto industry has departed across the border and so many other industries have gone to other foreign countries as if they never existed

    For me Trumps wall will stop the loads of drugs from across the Southern Border; illegal immigration will become a trickle through using Mandated E-verify and new-age scanning equipment of who comes to the US, and when and if they leave and to audit companies hiring these workers. Trump demands fair and balance Trade or otherwise the culprits, will face importation duties. None and I mean none of these promise will materialize From Cruz, Kasick or Hillary Clinton or any of the ‘Insiders’. Without Trumps new government Obama’s already flatten economy will further fade and our nation will become a third world country over time.

  • Bradfr

    Mittin is a waste, people think he did a great job in the 2002 games. Let me tell you he is not the hero the heros are
    the fire and police chief, abd the United States which poored in millions for saftey after 9/11/2001

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