Trump Belittles Rivals, Then Calls for Unity

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the California Republican Party Convention on April 29, 2016, in Burlingame, California. Trump is preparing for the California primary on June 7. (Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

Update 8 p.m.: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Friday night warned against inflammatory rhetoric aimed at Latinos.

"Do the Republicans actually think they can win an election by scaring every Hispanic in this country to death?" Kasich said before his dinner speech at the state GOP convention. "Do you have any idea what they'll do in a general election?"

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When Donald Trump finally made it to the podium Friday at the state GOP convention lunch at the Hyatt Regency ballroom in Burlingame, he joked that the hordes of protesters outside almost prevented him from getting there.

"I went over a fence, I got mud all over me," Trump said. "I felt like I was crossing the border."


Titters and nervous laughs.

Trump's familiar combination of humor, putdowns, disparagement and ridicule were on full display, if a little more muted, and no one was spared.

In a room at the airport hotel with many supporters of Ted Cruz and John Kasich, Trump was unsparing.

"Lyin’ Ted did not do too well in New York, folks," Trump said. "You gotta do better than that, folks. The only way he (Cruz) can win is if things go terribly wrong -- I would never use the word bribe," said Trump, who then went on to do exactly that,  saying that bribing delegates was Cruz's only path to the nomination.

Then, just for good measure, Trump took another swing at the nomination process, which he called corrupt.

He disparaged John Kasich's eating style -- again -- and his single victory in Ohio. "Kasich is one for 42 or 48," said Trump. "It doesn’t matter -- that includes some islands."

Consultant Karl Rove? "Is he the dumbest person on earth?" Trump asked. "Rove still thinks Romney won. You gotta go a different way, folks. They’re leading you into a very bad desert."

He ridiculed the "morons" in the media who predicted his demise. And the "geniuses" who negotiated bad trade deals. "I love free trade, but our leaders are not smart people," Trump said, adding that NAFTA "emptied out" California.

It was a tour de force almost completely devoid of any actual policy, but full of politics and polls.

After disparaging candidates that half the room supported at one time or another, Trump then called for unity.

"I can add something. The Republican in a presidential race doesn’t win anymore. You pick your standard cookie-cutter candidates and I can tell you what states they’ll win and lose. I’m different," Trump said, promising he'd campaign and win in states like New York, Michigan and Florida.

There's no real evidence for that, but the idea excited the audience.

When asked after the lunch whether Trump's tone would make it harder to unite the California Republican Party after the convention, party chair Jim Brulte said, "By and large, political parties come together after hard-fought campaigns."