Donald Trump on Friday slammed fellow Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, CNN — even Wall Street hedge fund managers for not paying enough taxes — just before speaking at a private meeting with supporters outside Boston.
"Jeb Bush is a frequent target because when this started, I thought he was going to be the primary competition," Trump told reporters before the event at a private residence in Norwood, Mass. "But he drifted to the middle of the pack and is disappearing. We will look at somebody else."
Trump spoke to about 2,000 supporters, many of whom were veterans, at the event. Attendees were asked to contribute $100 to defray expenses for the event, a campaign spokeswoman told Newsmax.
None of the funds would go to the Trump campaign, she said.
When questioned by reporters on the contributions, Trump responded: "This is not a fund-raiser tonight. They're paying for some of the basics. We have food, 2,000 people, but this is not a fund-raiser."
"Many of the people are coming in," Trump added. "They can pay whatever they want. They're doing something to offset the tremendous cost of food for 2,000 people. This is not a fund-raiser."
He added that he would continue to fund his own campaign, saying that, "I'm turning down millions of dollars for the campaign, millions. Everybody is offering me money. I don't want it. I'm turning down millions of dollars. No interest."
When CNN reporter M.J. Lee questioned Trump about a group of protesters outside the event, the billionaire businessman slammed the cable network.
"I see thousands of people. There's a few protesters," Trump said. "I figured would you ask that question. That's the way it is."
"CNN is terrible. CNN — you're with CNN?" he asked Lee. "You people do not cover us accurately."
"They have a few protesters outside. They have thousands of people. The first question from CNN is about protesters."
Trump also attacked Bush for "almost" being against funding women's health issues — and then slammed Cantor for endorsing the former Florida governor on Thursday.
Last year, Cantor suffered an embarrassing loss in the Virginia Republican primary race to little-known college professor Dave Brat.
"You can imagine asking Eric Cantor to endorse you?" Trump asked in response to a question. "He had the biggest loss in the history of the United States Congress. It never happened, where a man in that position loses."
"He got primaried," Trump said of Cantor's bruising defeat. "He lost. I wouldn't want his endorsement."
The developer reiterated his support building a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration and said that he would rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure without raising taxes.
"There's so much fat in Washington that if somebody got in that knew what they were doing, you don't have to raise taxes," Trump said. "We want to lower taxes."
He said that he would simplify the nation's tax laws to ensure that everyone pays fairly.
"I know hedge fund guys that pay almost nothing and they make a fortune. I want to see lower taxes," Trump said. "But on some people, they're not doing their fair share."
"The hedge fund guys have to pay up."
When Trump was asked who he wanted to face in a general election, he responded: "I don't care. I haven't focused on them."
"I'm focusing on the 16 people that right now are looking to do well. Most of them are not doing well at all."
Reflecting on his strong showing in recent polls, Trump added, "people want to see real change — not Obama change, but real change."
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