Trump draws crowd in downtown Tampa

- With just hours left before Floridians go to the polls, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump drew a crowd to an afternoon rally in downtown Tampa."Our country and our world need someone to protect it like never before," she said. "I am proud to endorse him."

Trump also appeared alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was originally thought to be headed back to Alaska to be with her husband, Todd, who was injured in a snowmobile accident. "Time is our most precious resource, and we have to use it to get Trump elected," she said.

She also said protesters, who have recently become a louder presence at Trump rallies, are, "Punk-ass thugs." "The media is on the thugs' side," she said.

Gov. Chris Christie also appeared alongside former reality show host. "We know Hillary Clinton can't unite the country," he said. 

Trump also indicted he is eager for the Republican race to be over. "Everybody agrees, that it's pretty much over and then I can focus on Hillary, because that's what I really want to focus on," he said. "The Republican Party has to come together."

Trump was interrupted by protesters four separate times, with some of them cursing at supporters and calling Trump a "Facist." He has drawn similar criticism to build a border fence and to deport illegal immigrants.

"They'll go home to their moms soon," Trump said of the protesters. "Let me ask you, I don't want to ruin someone's life but do we prosecute someone like that? It's on their card forever, it seems harsh. But we are trying to be nice."

Before the event started, an announcement asked attendees not to "touch or harm" any protesters, and those instructions appeared to be heeded.

An Opinion Savvy poll released by FOX 13 Monday showed Trump leading Rubio in Florida by a margin of 44 percent to 26 percent, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 18 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent.

"We have a big election coming up," said Trump. "We can really change things. Marco is not going to do it. Lyin Ted. Lyin Ted. Lyin Ted. L-y-i-n with an apostrophe."

However, pollster Matt Towery said his numbers hint that Rubio could be seeing a late surge of support in the Sunshine State. "The poll suggests that Donald Trump remains likely to win Florida's primary and all of its delegates, but that Rubio may have a stronger finish than many expect," he offered.

The selected venue inside the convention center was smaller than others what Trump has recently used. Organizers expected around 1,500 people inside.

VIDEO: Listen to the pre-rally warning

 

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