Trump pledges military build-up, better deal for vets

2015-09-16 13:03
Donald Trump. (File: AP)

Donald Trump. (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Republican presidential contender Donald Trump vowed to offer frustrated veterans subsidised private health care, charging that immigrants in the country illegally receive better care than the nation's wounded soldiers.

The comments, delivered Tuesday aboard a retired World War II battleship in Los Angeles harbor, came on the eve of the second Republican presidential debate in nearby Simi Valley, where some of the billionaire businessman's Republican rivals are expected to challenge his fiery rhetoric on immigration.

"We have illegal immigrants that are treated better by far than our veterans," Trump declared, the USS Iowa's massive 40cm guns behind him. "It's not going to happen anymore."

The Republican front-runner gave no details on how he would pay for an expansion in the armed forces — or veterans' health care — leaving his foreign policy agenda still mostly a blank slate.

He called for a military buildup so broad that no foe would challenge the US, as well as a new health care deal for veterans stuck on waiting lists in hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In doing so, he again swiped at people who are in the country illegally, a refrain that has powered his campaign since the start.

"There's tremendous crime, there's tremendous drugs pouring across the border," Trump said. "We're going to build a wall."

'He's a racist'

Dozens of protesters gathered in the parking lot adjacent to the battleship, periodically chanting, "He's a racist."

Some of Trump's supporters were bothered by the tone of Trump's comments, even those who said they planned to vote for him.

"You have to careful about how you talk about the Latino population," said Craig Pahl, among dozens of veterans in a crowd of roughly 500 gathered on the ship's deck. "I have real mixed views on how he addresses that. ... Hispanics start thinking, 'Wow, there are a lot of white prejudiced people out there.'"

Trump excites with tough rhetoric, but he has so far offered little in the way of detailed policies on national security or foreign policy.

He has also struggled to answer basic questions about key players in the Middle East and elsewhere. He has said he would become an expert on US interests abroad by the time he becomes president.

Republican presidential rival Rand Paul, a leading Trump critic, charged that Trump's lack of experience with national security is alarming.

"Do you want someone who appears to still be in grade school to be in charge of the nuclear arsenal?" Paul asked, speaking in a recent Associated Press interview.

On Tuesday evening, however, Trump insisted his skills on the international stage are superior to those of his Republican rivals.

"I'm fighting some very nice people," he said. "But they're never going to do anything with these countries. They're never going to be able to do it. It's an instinct. It's something that's special. They don't have it."

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.