Donald Trump said the Republican party will lose elections if it reforms the nation’s entitlement programs and will hand Democrats 11 million votes if Congress grants citizenship to illegal immigrants, likening the reform efforts to a “suicide mission.”
Mr. Trump also said that the United States should “take” $1.5 trillion worth of oil from Iraq to pay for the cost of the war and give $1 million to each of the families that lost someone in the effort — sparking applause from the thousands gathered Friday for the American Conservative Union’s 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen,” Mr. Trump said, adding that polls show that tea partyers are among those who don’t want their entitlements changed. “What we have to do and the way we solve our problems it to build a great economy.”
Mr. Trump has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration and established himself as a voice in Republican ranks when he badgered Mr. Obama to release his long-form birth certificate to prove that he was born in the United States. More recently, Mr. Trump has taken aim at the administration’s decision to halt White House tours because of the automatic budget cuts, known as sequesters, that kicked in earlier this month.
Mr. Trump also took aim at Republicans on Friday.
Without naming them, Mr. Trump criticized GOP consultant Karl Rove from not getting a better return on the hundreds of millions of dollars he invested in the 2012 campaign, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for urging the GOP to “stop being the stupid party” after the election.
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“What a horrible statement,” he said.
“The Donald” also weighed into the thorny issue of immigration.
“The fact is 11 million people will be voting Democratic. You can be out front. You can be the spearhead. You can do whatever you want to do, but everyone of those 11 million people will be voting Democratic,” he said. “It is just the way it works.”
“You have to be very, very careful, because you could say that to a certain extent the odds aren’t looking so great for Republicans, that you are on a suicide mission,” he said. “You are just not going to get those votes.”
• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at email@example.com.
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