Trump celebrates a big jump toward the GOP nomination

By Diana Pearl
March 01, 2016 11:00 PM

brightcove.createExperiences(); Donald Trump was feeling “awfully good” on Super Tuesday.

The frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination continued his winning streak as Republicans went to polls in 11 states Tuesday. (Trump had already picked up New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in February contests.)

Trump claimed wins in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia and most recently Vermont. Rival Ted Cruz, the U.S. Senator from Texas, won both his home state and Oklahoma.

And Minnesota gave Sen. Marco Rubio his first win, a potential lifeline at a time when he is under pressure to end his previously win-less race.

Trump celebrated his multiple wins in Palm Beach, Florida, where he spoke to a gathering of his supporters in the gilded ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago luxury golf resort.

His former opponent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie introduced Trump, calling him tough, strong and bold.

It s really been great, Trump said of his evening. He congratulated Cruz on prevailing in Texas, calling it “an excellent win” for his rival.

Trump wasted no time in taking after Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her “make America whole again” twist on his trademarked “Make America Great Again” motto.

She wants to make American whole again and I m trying to figure out what that s all about.

As for any concerns about November, he said he had none: I think that s going to be an easy race.

Clinton wasn t the only opponent Trump touched on – he also discussed his recent spats with Marco Rubio.

I know it was a tough night for Marco Rubio, he said. He is a lightweight, like I said.

However, Trump insisted that the bad blood between the two was new: I always liked Marco until about a week ago when he decided to go hostile.

In Miami, Rubio put a rosy, forward spin on his mostly losing streak. He told his homestate crowd that only five days ago his campaign had begun “to explain to the American people that Donald Trump is a con-artist. And in just five days, we have seen…in state after state, his [poll] numbers are coming down, our numbers are going up.”

Looking ahead to the March 15 primary in Florida, he predicted a home-turf win that will “send the message that the party of Lincoln and Reagan and the presidency of the United States will never be held by a con-artist.”

Rubio may think he s a con-artist , but that didn t stop Trump from continuing to make campaign promises, to create jobs like you ve never seen and to lower taxes substantially for the middle class, and of course, that Mexico is going to pay 100 percent for his much-discussed wall.

Trump also took a moment to reflect on his fast-growing campaign.

Recalling his June 2015 announcement at Trump Tower, when he famously arrived by escalator, Trump saluted himself for having the “courage” to run for president. “I’ve never done this before,” Trump said Tuesday night from a gilded ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. “I felt we had to do it.”

Now, he says: I feel awfully good.

His only complaint? That the whole thing isn t already over.

It s too bad winner didn t take all, he said. We d be having a celebration.

Before he arrived on the podium, The Donald took to Twitter to share his thanks.

And he was far from the only one Tweeting about his wins.

Cruz, on the other hand, celebrated his two wins with his home state supporters at the Houston-area Redneck Country Club, where the membership levels have names like “.22 Caliber,” “.44 Magnum” and something called “BIG ASS GUN.”

He called on Rubio, Kasich and Carson to fold up their tents and join him in defeating Trump. “So long as the field remains divided, Donald Trump s path to the nomination remains more likely and that would be a disaster for Republicans, for conservatives and for the nation. And after tonight we have seen that our campaign is the only campaign that has beaten, can beat and will beat Donald Trump.”

Cruz called Trump “profane and vulgar” and said America deserves better than a president whose talk is an embarrassment.

Meanwhile, pressure mounted – in the Twittersphere, at least – on the other Republicans still running:

Another five delegate-rich states – Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio – vote in a mini-Super Tuesday on March 15.