The presidential candidate never used the words “Muslim” or “Islam” during his brief remarks to the New England Police Benevolent Association, which offered its endorsement to the New York businessman. Instead, he referred obliquely to the firestorm swirling around him.
“We’ve had a pretty interesting couple of days,” he said to laughter. “We’ve had people talking, I will tell you that.”
The scene about to greet Donald Trump as he arrives in Portsmouth, NH. pic.twitter.com/j16GtjG5e7
— Brad Mielke (@TheBradMielke) December 11, 2015
The uproar has only boosted Trump’s poll numbers. A New York Times/CBS poll conducted before and after his statement on Muslim immigrants saw his national support rise to its highest levels this year.
Trump, with a hoarse voice, spent just ten minutes on stage, as NEPBA officials decided to award him their endorsement. Their options were limited, though –- after announcing the union would only consider candidates they met in person, Trump was the only one to take up their offer. He left without taking questions from the press.
Across the street from protestors, Mary Donnelly carried a sign in support of Trump, saying she agreed with his plan.
“The Muslim belief -– in my opinion, that belief does not belong in this country,” she said. She added that there was little he could say that would be so offensive as to lose her support.
“Not a thing,” she said. “The silent majority has not been heard. We are now being heard.”