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Donald Trump in Ohio: U.S. has become ‘soft, weak’

UPDATE @ 8:45 p.m.

Donald Trump spoke for just about an hour to thousands gathered in Columbus. He started and finished his speech to the Twisted Sister song “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

In the home of the Buckeyes, Trump elicited roars from the crowd by yelling “O-H,” to a strong return of “I-O.”

“We’re gonna have a good time … even with a lot of bad subject matter,” Trump said. “We want to be critics who solve problems; not just talk about them.”

Trump emphasized the latest poll numbers, and touted still being the top candidate in polls. Trump said he doesn’t believe in using teleprompters or super PACs to forward his presidential campaign.

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“I’m the only one self-funding my campaign,” Trump said.

He spoke some about Ohio Gov. John Kasich, saying “When you’re governor of a state, you’ve got to run that state.”

On the continued ISIS threats and U.S. stance against them, Trump said “we’ve become soft, weak, a laughing stock all over the world.”

“ISIS is making a fortune,” Trump said. “They use the Internet better than we do. They’re convincing our kids to join ISIS. … So sad. They leave the country, fight for ISIS and we let them back.”

On the Paris attacks, Trump said again that many deaths could have been avoided if more people carried guns.

Trump said he strongly supports water boarding as a technique against enemies.

“And don’t kid yourself, it works,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments on Muslim Americans — and his desire to create a list of all refugees coming into the U.S. for surveilling — elicited boos from the crowd and he appeared to kick out a couple people.

“We have to really be vigilant with respect to the Muslim population,” Trump said, adding he does have respect for religions. “We have great Muslims. But we have to surveil; we have to create lists; we have the refugees coming in and we have to create lists.”

Trump said he’d like to see more support for the U.S. military members and their families. He said profits from oil in the Middle East should go to wounded warriors.

At one point in his hour-long speech, Trump had the crowd chanting, “Build the wall.”

Trump said he’d build an “impenetrable” wall at the border with Mexico — but it’d have a door on it for those coming in legally.

“We are going to keep our country safe; we’re not going to follow this formula,” Trump said, of political correctness.

“We have to be vigilant, we have to be smart, we have to be so tough,” Trump said.

Trump lightly touched on items like the Affordable Care Act, which he said he’d have “terminated and replaced, quickly.”

UPDATE @ 7:26 p.m.

Trump is speaking now. Watch live on WHIO-TV.

UPDATE @ 7:20 p.m.

A large crowd is awaiting Donald Trump in Columbus. His talk was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

UPDATE @ 5:28 p.m.

Lines have formed and people are filing into the Greater Columbus Convention Center to hear campaign remarks by Republican hopeful Donald Trump. His speech is expected to begin at 7 p.m.

EARLIER REPORT

The Ohio primary may not be until March, but Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump will be in Columbus today for his first rally in the state.

Trump will speak at the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 7 p.m at 400 North High Street, just north of the state capital. The event is free and the doors open at 5 p.m. Go to DaytonDailyNews.com for a link to get tickets.

Trump is bringing his campaign to the home state of one of his rivals for the GOP nomination — Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Kasich and Trump clashed on immigration during the last Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.

A Quinnipiac University poll from Oct. 7 indicated Trump was running ahead of Kasich among Ohio Republicans, with 23 percent of GOP voters saying they would vote for Trump while 13 percent said they would go for Kasich.

Ohio’s primary is set for March 15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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