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In Connecticut, Donald Trump Slams Media, Malloy, and Clinton

Tucker Ives

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke in Connecticut Saturday for the first time since officially winning his party's nomination.

The crowd waited in a hot gymnasium at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield and Trump was more than 30 minutes late. Paramedics reportedly took at least one person out before the speech started.

Once Trump arrived, he introduced a Fairfield family whose son, Trump said, had requested to meet the Republican nominee through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Trump then unleashed criticism on his opponent Hillary Clinton and Connecticut's Democratic governor Dannel Malloy. But he saved his harshest criticism for the news media. Earlier in the day, The New York Times published a report on heightened discord within his campaign. "The newspaper is going to hell," he said, just before bringing up the idea of revoking the outlet's credentials.

Despite Trump's widespread anger towards the Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the media in general, he did read a New York Post report aloud. The piece written by Steve Cuozzo back in February was entitled "How Donald Trump helped save New York City."

Malloy was mentioned by first name throughout the speech, especially when it came to the issue of General Electric leaving Connecticut for Massachusetts.

Trump's visit to Connecticut was a surprise to some political observers because the state has not voted for a Republican since it voted for George H.W. Bush 28 years ago. When announcing his visit to Fairfield, the state Republican Party said:

There’s no doubt about it, Connecticut will be front and center in the presidential election this year. We are officially "in play," meaning our seven electoral votes could go to a Republican for the first time since 1988.

A June 7 Quinnipiac University Poll showed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leading Trump among registered Connecticut voters 45 percent to 38 percent.

Connecticut Democrats criticized Trump ahead of his visit. In a statement released Friday, Senate President Martin Looney tied the presidential candidate to state Republicans. 

"Make no mistake about it, the Connecticut Republican Party’s red carpet treatment of Donald J. Trump is because his words are their words and his values are their values until they have the courage to say otherwise," said Looney.

Looney acknowledged Republicans who are not supporting their party's nominee, including former Rep. Chris Shays and Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Former Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon is the vice chairman of the university's board of trustees. She was in attendance at the rally and received praise from Trump, who took the opportunity to criticize her former political opponent Sen. Richard Blumenthal for statements he made about his military service.

Blumenthal, who is up for re-election this November, defeated McMahon in 2010. This year, his challenger is Dan Carter, a state representative from Bethel.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

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