Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told a news conference and a crowd of cheering and laughing supporters in Davenport, Iowa, that he wanted to “hit” several speakers from this week’s Democratic National Convention “so hard their heads would spin.”
It wasn’t clear whether he meant “hit” them physically or verbally.
Here are Trump’s full remarks:
The things that were said about me. … You know what, I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them — no, no — I was gonna hit them. I was all set. And then I got a call from a highly respected governor. ‘How’s it going, Donald?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s going good, but they’re really saying bad things about me. I’m gonna hit them so hard.’ I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy.
I was gonna hit this guy so hard, his head would spin. He wouldn’t know what the hell happened. And he came out of nowhere. He came out of nowhere. They made deals with me. ‘Would you help me with this? Would you make this deal and solve this problem?’ I solved the problem. I do a great job. I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin, they’d never recover. And that’s what I did with a lot of people — that’s why I still don’t have certain people endorsing me. They still haven’t recovered, okay, you know?
Trump did not name any political adversaries but did say he wanted to “hit one guy in particular, a very little guy.”
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) spoke Wednesday night at the convention to endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and heap criticism on Trump, whom he called a con man and hypocrite. Bloomberg, who stands 5-foot-8, has often been taunted for being short by opponents.
Trump said jokingly the only thing that stopped him from attacking the speakers was a “ highly respected governor,” whom he also declined to name.
It wasn’t the first time Trump has couched comments in what could be interpreted as violent terms.
In March, Trump said he’d pay the legal bills of a supporter who attacked a black protester at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.
A month earlier, Trump said of a protester at a Nevada rally, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
“In the old days,” Trump said at the time, the protester would have been “carried out on stretchers.”
In November 2015, Trump supporters beat a black protester who disrupted a speech. The next day, on Fox News, Trump said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday night.