The Daily Gamecock

Trump covers variety of issues at Koger Center

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves after his speech at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/TNS)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves after his speech at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

From sound bites to shiny golden hair, Donald Trump has been plastered across our screens for the past few months. 

On the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 23, he appeared at the Koger Center for the Arts alongside Sen. Tim Scott to answer questions from South Carolina residents.

The town hall had a casual atmosphere, with Scott and Trump seated in armchairs onstage. The questions covered a variety of topics, from foreign policy to Trump’s own past.

Trump devoted a substantial amount of time to immigration and foreign policy. He stressed that his attitude toward immigrants is often misread.

“I want them to come into this country, but I want them to be legal,” Trump said. “And I want them to be smart people.” 

Courtesy of SGTV

Trump elaborated that the problem with immigration is that young, educated people are not allowed to stay in the United States, whereas illegal immigrants are not regulated strictly enough.

Other questions concerned the Iranian nuclear weapons deal and its possible effect on Israel.

“We will protect Israel,” Trump said. “[The Iranian nuclear deal] is going to lead to nuclear proliferation. It’s a one-way street ... this is the most incompetent agreement that anyone has ever seen.”

Trump particularly criticized ambiguous language in the deal that implies the United States has a responsibility to defend Iran if it were attacked. Other deals with Japan and Germany contain similar requirements, according to Trump. He said that the United States cannot continue to protect other countries with a debt of approximately $19 trillion.

Trump said he does not like to discuss specific tactics he would employ when it comes to foreign conflicts.

“You want to be unpredictable,” he said, “You don’t want the enemy to hear what you’re doing.”

In specific response to a question, Trump said that his top three priorities other than immigration are reducing the debt, undoing Obamacare and building the military.

“I could have a military so strong no one would mess with us, but you have to know when to use it,” he said.

Many questions addressed domestic issues, particularly economic issues.

Trump expects that the key to making America great again is creating jobs.

“The American dream is dead,” he said. “We’re going to make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before.” Trump referred to his own business success as an example. He said there are too many regulations on people seeking to start small businesses, many of which he intends to remove.

“Our middle class built this country,” Trump said, following a question about his plan for major reduction in taxes on the middle class. “I think it’s a plan that’s going to give great incentives. We’re going to produce jobs.”

Trump also commented briefly on increasing energy prices and Common Core in education.

“We can really be the energy capital of the world ... energy should be coming down a lot further, and I think it will,” he said.

He promoted local education that connects teachers to parents. Despite the fact that the United States spends more per student than any other country, he said, the education system is still ranked below less developed countries.

“We’re behind third-world countries on education, so you know it’s not working,” he said.

Trump has acquired a reputation for having poor relationships with minorities, but he believes that this image is untrue and will not affect his campaign.

“My relationship with African-American people and businesses has been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve had a great relationship with the Hispanics ... I’ve employed thousands of Hispanics over the years and now. One of the things both groups like is I’m going to create jobs.”

Trump also believes that he can bridge the divide that is growing in the American people.

“I have a temperament that brings people together, and that means countries too,” he said.

In his last few comments, Trump showed a softer side, expressing his fondness for his family.

“Family is so important,” he said. “If a person’s happy, that’s more important than having billions of dollars in the bank.”

Scott had a great deal of praise for Trump, his long-time supporter.

“He speaks from the heart,” Scott said. “Sometimes it’s a tad abrasive, but it seems to resonate with a lot of folks ... whether you agree or disagree, the one thing you walk away with is that you know that he’s authentic.”