Donald Trump tells Conn. voters he’s ‘not toning it down’
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A confident Donald Trump told supporters on Saturday that he’s not changing his pitch to voters, a day after his chief adviser assured Republican officials their party’s front-runner would show more restraint while campaigning.
‘‘You know, being presidential’s easy — much easier than what I have to do,’’ he told thousands at a rally in Bridgeport, Conn. ‘‘Here, I have to rant and rave. I have to keep you people going. Otherwise you’re going to fall asleep on me, right?’’
Trump declared to the crowd that he has no intention of reversing any of his provocative policy plans, including building a wall along the length of the southern border.
‘‘Everything I say I’m going to do, folks, I’ll do,’’ he said.
At a rally in Waterbury earlier Saturday, Trump joked about how it’s easy to be presidential, making a series of faux somber faces. But he said told the crowd he can be serious and policy-minded when he has to be.
Trump’s new chief adviser, Paul Manafort, met Thursday with top Republican officials and told them his candidate, known for his over-the-top persona and brashness, has been ‘‘projecting an image.’’
‘‘The part that he’s been playing is now evolving,’’ Manafort said.
The Republican front-runner and most of his rivals in both parties were out campaigning Saturday across the quintet of Northeastern states holding primaries on Tuesday: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. For the Republicans, the stakes are high as Trump looks to sweep the remaining contests and reach the required 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, while Ted Cruz and John Kasich look to thwart his efforts and force a contested convention.
Cruz, in Pennsylvania on Saturday, addressed around 1,000 supporters in a high school outside Pittsburgh.
Cruz said Tuesday ‘‘is going to be a pivotal day,’’ and he rebuked Trump’s recent suggestions that building separate transgender bathrooms is ‘‘discriminatory’’ and costly, saying that it should be ‘‘the choice of the given location, of the given local government to allow that, to provide for that.’’
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders spoke to a boisterous crowd of mostly young people in Baltimore, where he railed against big banks and highlighted his differences with Clinton.
He hammered at ‘‘disastrous trade policies,’’ saying that ‘‘we are seeing corporation after corporation shut down in the United States throw millions of workers out in the street, people who are earning a living wage.’’