- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2016

TAMPA, Florida — GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump sounded less than confident of his changes to sweep the board in Tuesday’s primaries, saying that while he expects to win Florida, he only hopes to triumph in Ohio.

“I hope I win Ohio,” the businessman said as he campaigned in Tampa on Monday, hours before flying back to Ohio for a last-minute rally to try to staunch a drop in the polls.

The rally was interrupted several times by protesters making obscene gestures and shouting at the controversial GOP front-runner, whose rhetoric has spawned disruptions both inside and outside his events, and sparked a national debate over his role in politics.

Mr. Trump pleaded for calm, even signaling that he was leaning against pressing charges against the protesters, saying it seemed “harsh” to force a negative mark on their records.

At his rally he accepted the endorsement of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and he took questions from the audience, vowing to be a fierce defender of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, and telling another man there’s no such thing as jobs Americans won’t take — as long as there’s the right incentive.

“People do want to work, but they want to work and they want to make a lot of money,” he said.

In Ohio, Mr. Trump is facing a stiff challenge from Gov. John Kasich, who has flown under the radar for much of the campaign.

Mr. Trump said he’s defeated Mr. Kasich repeatedly, including in New Hampshire, where Mr. Kasich spent most of his time even as Mr. Trump campaigned nationally, and again in Michigan last week, where Mr. Kasich had predicted his message would resonate the most.

“Now I’ve got to fight him again in Ohio, and he hasn’t done a good job in Ohio,” Mr. Trump said.

The latest polling shows Mr. Kasich either even with, or slightly ahead of, Mr. Trump in Ohio.

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