Urbandale, Iowa, Jan. 15 – When a grieving father with a son who died of a heroin overdose asked Donald Trump how he’ll address this epidemic, the presidential hopeful said he’s going to stop the drug traffic from coming in through Mexico.
“We’re going to build a wall,” he said during a town hall at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa. “It’s going to be a real wall, because that stuff is pouring across. And we’re going to have a real wall. And people are going to come in to the country but they are going to come in legally. We’re going to stop that drug traffic.”
Trump acknowledged how “tough” the growing epidemic is, especially in New Hampshire where the first question he always is asked is on this topic.
In his first town hall in Iowa after a week of just rallies, Trump offered attendees the opportunity to ask about a variety of issues, including Social Security and veterans’ healthcare.
Trump pledged he would not cut Social Security because people already paid into it and earned it. He did say, however, that he would “take care of” the “tremendous waste, fraud and abuse.”
He also echoed his concern that veterans are waiting too long to receive simple treatments at veterans’ hospitals.
“We’re going to work a system where they go to the local hospitals, go to the local doctors. They’re going to get taken care of and it’s going to be cheaper.”
Talking to RespectAbility following the town hall, Trump said that businesses that are afraid to hire wounded warriors because of their disability “should be ashamed of themselves.”
Asked whether he had any great employees who are wounded warriors or other people with disabilities, Trump said, “I do, many, some of the best people I have. Some of the best people.”
Following a lawsuit in 2005, Trump’s former NBC show ‘The Apprentice” added language to their online contestant application stating, “applicants who believe they meet our criteria, including persons with disabilities, are welcome and encouraged to apply to be a participant.”
Prior to taking the stage at his Urbandale town hall, Trump was introduced by a former Iowa policeman who uses a wheelchair after being shot by an illegal immigrant.
Trump has made disparaging comments about a variety of people including those with disabilities. In November, he came under fire for mocking a reporter with a disability.
In a new ad released last week, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush echoed fellow contender Gov. John Kasich’s condemnation of Donald Trump for mocking a reporter with a disability this November.
More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability, and for Republicans, a smaller number of 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes. This shows that swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs.