Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) praised Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan, saying the American people want a president that defends their interests.
Sessions, who put on a Trump campaign “Make America Great Again” hat at Trump’s Alabama rally, stopped short of a full endorsement but thanked the presidential candidate for his stance on illegal immigration.
“The American people, these people want somebody in the presidency who stands up for them, defend their interest, and the laws and traditions of this country,” Sessions said on stage at a Trump campaign rally in Mobile, Ala., attended by about 30,000 supporters. “We welcome you here. Thank you for the work you have put into the immigration issue. I’m really impressed with your plan. I know it will make a difference and this crowd shows a lot of people agree with that. Congratulations.”
Trump told the Washington Post that he consulted with Sessions in a mid-July phone call on his plan. The senator heads the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration and is a favorite of tough-on-immigration conservatives.
The senator’s office said at the time that Sessions “enjoyed” his chat with Trump and hoped immigration would be one of the “defining issues” of campaign 2016.
According to Trump’s official campaign website, his immigration plan would require the return of all criminal aliens to their home countries, end federal funding for sanctuary cities, eliminate birthright citizenship and enforce penalties for overstaying a visa.
In his speech before the crowd, Trump called the U.S. a “debtor nation” and vowed to dedicate his “whole being” to make the country rich again, saying his children can successfully run the Trump Organization if he gets elected.
“My son is here, Eric Trump and Ivanka, has anybody ever heard of Ivanka? Has anybody? I’ll let them run it. I’m not going to let them do any big deals, just relax Eric, just relax, but you know what? I won’t care about that company. My whole energy – who cares if we do a building? It doesn’t mean anything. My whole energy, my whole being is going to be to make our country rich and to make our country great again,” Trump said.
“It’s a great aptitude, I’ve always had an aptitude for making money. Some people would say that’s nice. One person said, ‘Mr. Trump, that’s very crass.’ I said, ‘why?’ ‘You said you are going to make the country rich, that’s very crass.’ I said, ‘you have to understand, in order to make our country great, I have to make our country rich again.’ We’re a debtor nation,” he added.
Trump pledged to devote “1,000 percent” to the presidency to help fix a nation that is “running on fumes.”
“I couldn’t care less about the Old Post Office. I couldn’t care less about any of our stuff. My kids are really good. They’re going to run it very nicely and I just want to make this country so great and that’s what’s going to happen,” he said.
Trump also said his company’s Old Post Office building hotel renovation project in Washington, D.C., is ahead of schedule and under budget.
“I got it from the Obama administration, can you believe that? Now that’s called deal-making. One of the most-sought after buildings in the history of the General Services Administration and I got it and you know what? They did the right thing because we’re doing a great job and we had a great statement,” he said. “They want to make sure it gets done and it will be opening and here’s a little story: it’s now under budget and ahead of schedule, do you ever hear that from government?”
In his remarks before the largest crowd of the 2016 campaign thus far, Trump referenced a recent CNN poll that showed him leading the Republican field.
“Everybody says, why don’t I have a pollster? What the hell do I need a pollster for? Everyday I wake up there’s another poll. You know, they pay these guys like $100,000 per month and they can’t function because unless they have it vetted by their pollster they can’t talk,’” he said.
Trump said he scored “high marks” in every part of the CNN poll except one category.
“They said, ‘who’s the nicest?’ and I was pretty low on that part and I’m a nice person but who cares? A woman came up to me, she said, ‘I’m not sure if you’re nice enough to be president’ and I said, ‘you know what, this is not going to be an election based on a nice person.’ It’s going to be based on a competent person. We’re tired of the nice people,” Trump said to cheers from the crowd.
Trump said he is ahead of the other GOP candidates on defense issues because he would rebuild the military and take care of veterans.
“It [the military] will be so powerful and so great that we’ll never have to use it. Nobody is going to mess with us, folks,” Trump said to “USA” chants.