FORT WORTH — Former presidential candidate, and governor of New Jersey Chris Christie publicly endorsed Donald J Trump for president in front of approximately 8,000 Trump supporters at a rally Saturday at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth.
Christie referred to Trump as a “good friend” who is the strongest Republican candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton, which he said was the single most important thing his party can do.
“There is no one better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump,” Christie said.
Trump made several attacks at his opponent Marco Rubio, calling Rubio a “nervous Nellie” who sweats too much under stress.
“I don’t think he’s of presidential caliber or has the demeanor,” Trump said.
At one point Trump mocked Rubio, pouring a bottle of water on the ground saying, “It’s Rubio! It’s Rubio!”
Trump dismissed all of his opponents’ chances of winning Texas, where candidate Ted Cruz serves as a senator. He cited a recent Bloomberg poll of Super Tuesday voters that showed most voters selecting Trump as the candidate they would vote for.
Trump is currently leading with 81 delegates, Cruz and Rubio are tied with 17 delegates.
Trump asked skeptics to look at the South Carolina primary where Cruz was favored to win but Trump won the majority with 32.5 percent of the votes.
“I won by a landslide. I won evangelicals. I won military. I won the blacks. I won everything. I won men. I won women. I won Hispanics. I won every category,” Trump said.
Gina Garza, one of the few Latino Trump supporters, stood near the event’s entrance wearing a beanie decorated with a Trump pin.
Though most attending the rally were white, Garza and others represented a small number of Latinos who came to support the man they think is most qualified to be the next president.
“He wants to deport [illegal immigrants], but then let them return to the country legally,” Garza said of Trump’s proposed immigration policy.
Garza, who was born in the United States, said she preferred Trump to opponents Rubio and Cruz because, “he speaks the truth.”
Not everyone at the rally supported Trump’s strong rhetoric. Three dissenters in particular stood in the crowd and held signs bearing the colors of the Mexican flag. One read, “You need our vote to win.”
Fort Worth resident Luis Jurado wore an American flag as a cape and expressed his disgust with the large size of the rally.
“I never knew until today that there were this many racists in Fort Worth,” Jurado said.
Turner Corbett, an 18-year-old Trump supporter said he disagrees with the claim that Trump is racist.
“People try to call him racist and sexist but he’s married to an immigrant, so that proves he isn’t racist,” Corbett said. “He has thousands of Hispanic workers ,so I’m pretty sure he isn’t racist otherwise he’d be married to a white woman and would only employ white people.”
Jurado, who protested with two cousins, said that others in attendance approached them and told them that they were “dirty Mexicans.”
Jurado said he disagreed with Trump’s assertions that he would win the Latino vote.
“Only dumb people that have fear in themselves would vote for Donald Trump,” Jurado said.
Corbett supports Trump because he is afraid of the number of illegal immigrants in America. Corbett also likes that Trump is a free market capitalist, supports Christianity and stands up for the Second Amendment. Corbett said he believes Trump has won every debate he has participated in and thinks the more other candidates attack him in debates the more votes Trump will get.
Karen Seurlock, a 52year-old Saginaw native said she doesn’t care that Trump isn’t politically correct, in fact that is one of his draws.
“Trump speaks for the people and tells the truth unlike any other politician out there.” Seurlock said.
Seurlock said she believes his business background is what makes him unique. She believes in his slogan “make America great again” and trusts he will do it by stopping illegal immigration, turning America into a fair-trade economy instead of a free-trade economy and by heavily taxing goods coming into America.
“Trump is going to make America respected again. Right now, under the Democrats we are a laughing joke,” Seurlock said. “Trump is the American Dream; he is going to save America. I lived through the Reagan administration, and I can tell you that Trump is this generation’s Reagan.”