Tom LoBianco, CNN, July 10, 2015
Donald Trump’s divisive comments about immigration have drawn a crowd, one bigger than even the blustery billionaire expected.
Trump announced late Thursday that his weekend rally in Phoenix, Arizona, had been moved to the Phoenix Convention Center.
“Due to the overwhelming response for Saturday’s Rally in Phoenix, Arizona the venue has been changed to accommodate the thousands of people expected to attend and the event will now take place at the Phoenix Convention Center,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement.
The former reality TV star’s theatrics have helped vault him near the front of the pack of a wide field of big name Republican candidates. But they have also cost him a seemingly endless string of business relationships, as major brands like Macy’s, NBC and others have broken off ties with him.
The Republican Party of Maricopa County and [Sheriff Joe] Arpaio are hosting Trump on Saturday. But the state’s Republican establishment is largely snubbing him.
Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee, Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are all skipping Trump’s rally. Flake told The Arizona Republic that Trump’s views are “coarse, ill-informed, inaccurate, and they are not representative of The Republican Party.”
[Editor’s Note: A New York Post article notes: “Trump accounted for a stunning 48 percent of all social-media and traditional-media conversation about politics over the last week, according to analytics group Zignal labs for The Washington Post. Trump had 1.9 million mentions, compared with just 448,000 for top Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.”]