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Donald Trump Travels to Regent University

By Julia Mattera

Fresh off his caucus win in Nevada, Republican presidential contender Donald J. Trump made his way back to the East Coast to participate in Regent University’s Presidential Candidate Forums series held Wednesday, February 24, on Regent’s campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Donald Trump with Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson.
Donald Trump with Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson.

This sold-out event featured opening remarks from Trump, impromptu endorsements from his two sons, a live interview with Regent Founder, Chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, and an audience Q&A session moderated by David Brody, chief political correspondent for CBN News.

Trump is the third presidential candidate to participate in Regent University’s Presidential Candidate Forums, hosted by the university’s popular Executive Leadership Series (ELS), which provides candidates an opportunity to discuss their campaign platforms in a balanced, non-debate format. Regent does not support or oppose any candidate; presidential candidates from both parties have been offered invitations to participate in future Presidential Candidate Forums.

Trump began by sharing about his recent victory in Nevada, and was then unexpectedly joined on stage by his two sons, Don and Eric. Fully endorsing their dad for the position of Commander in Chief, they spoke of him as a father and grandfather, noting the values of family, education and work ethic that he instilled in them while they were growing up, as well as his business acumen and the mentorship he has provided to them over the years. Trump went on to discuss his platform, stating that he wants to reduce the debt, be strong on trade, secure the borders, strengthen the U.S. military, get rid of Common Core, protect the 2nd Amendment and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Trump also spoke about foreign affairs, negotiations and the U.S. military. “We’re going to make our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before. We need it more than ever. It’s the cheapest thing we can do, by the way, and nobody’s going to mess with us. I don’t want to use it. Nobody’s going to mess with us,” Trump proclaimed.

The live-interview portion of the series between Trump and Robertson focused on a wide-range of issues such as Trump’s hotel plans for the old U.S. Post Office building on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., his plans regarding President Obama’s executive orders, the U.S. budget deficit and taxes, as well as his criteria for selecting a judicial Supreme Court replacement for Justice Scalia. In that regard, Trump shared that he would select someone like Justice Scalia who is pro-life, very conservative and extremely smart.

Following the live-interview, Brody offered questions from the audience on a variety of topics. Trump’s answers confirmed his support of Israel, the constitution and upholding Republican, conservative values. Additionally, when asked about a vice presidential pick, he indicated that he has whittled down his list of possible running mates from 17 to 5, and that the most important quality would be someone who would make a great president. After that, he would want someone with a strong working knowledge of government and politics, who is political and who can help get legislation passed, including proper health care.

A businessman with primary interests in real estate, sports and entertainment, Trump has authored more than 15 bestsellers, including his first and most notable book, The Art of the Deal. Trump formally announced his candidacy for president in June 2015, and, since late that summer, has led the field of GOP candidates in most national polls. This was Trump’s first visit to Regent University.

Learn more about Regent University’s Presidential Candidate Forums.