Donald Trump compares immigrants to venomous snakes
The Republican front-runner makes a final appeal to voters in Ohio
Published 15/03/2016 | 08:14
Donald Trump compared immigrants to poisonous snakes as five states prepared to vote on a day that could seal his path to the Republican presidential nomination.
The billionaire flew into Ohio on his private plane and addressed a packed hangar full of supporters at an airport outside Cleveland.
He gave a dramatic reading of The Snake, a 1968 R&B song by Al Wilson.
It tells the story of a woman who takes in an injured snake and cares for it only to be fatally bitten in return.
The final line is: "You knew damn well I was a snake when you took me in."
Mr Trump received wild applause for his performance, as he did for his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border that would be higher than the giant hangar he was standing in.
Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina go to the polls today and the property mogul has clear leads in four of them.
In Ohio he is tied in polls with the state's governor John Kasich.
Mr Trump attacked his rival claiming he supported trade deals that had destroyed jobs in Ohio.
The billionaire said: "Your steel industry is dead, your coal industry is dead, and your governor is overrated. You've got to boot Kasich. He can't make America great again. Without oil, you’d be in worse shape than any other state in the union.
"We’re going to bring your businesses back. we’re bringing your jobs back. You are going to be so proud of your country again. I love you Ohio. You can make the difference. Tell your friends to vote for Trump. I promise I'm going to do such a great job. Five years, 10 years, 20 years from now, you'll look back and say that was the greatest vote I ever cast.
"Ohio is going to make America great again."
Mr Trump said that as president he would telephone companies like Ford and Nabisco personally to stop them moving manufacturing jobs out of America.
Mr Trump's rally was uninterrupted by protests.
That was partly because supporters had to park at a shopping centre seven miles away and be brought to the airport hangar by coaches before going through security.