Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised waterboarding Tuesday while repeatedly likening a proposed trade deal to rape.
The presumptive GOP nominee asserted that America must “fight fire with fire” when dealing with Islamic State, which has a penchant for beheading and drowning prisoners. He openly praised torture as a way to intimidate terrorists, saying we need to fight “viciously and violently” to combat the threat of terrorism.
“What do you think about waterboarding?” Trump asked his supporters at an Ohio campaign rally.
“I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough,” he said to a cheering crowd.
The Bush administration banned waterboarding in 2006 as both an illegal and ineffective means of obtaining information. President Barack Obama issued a similar ban in 2009 on the use of waterboarding, asserting it was a “mistake“ and had provided al-Qaida with a recruiting tool.
Trump’s speech came just hours after an airport terrorist attack in Istanbul that left 41 killed and hundreds wounded. Before taking the stage, his campaign issued a statement on the attack: “Our prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in Istanbul. The whole world is stunned and horrified.”
The real-estate mogul also slammed the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a pact involving 12 countries that aims to cut tariffs and promote trade. He said TPP is a “disaster,” pushed by special interests “who want to rape our country.”
He compared the trade deal to rape three times during the speech.
Trump has referenced rape on the campaign trail several times before. At his announcement speech in June, 2015, he accused the Mexican government of intentionally sending rapists into the U.S., and in May, he said that “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”
This was Trump’s first appearance in Ohio since its March primary. No Republican candidate in American history has ever won the presidency without winning the critical swing state. A RealClear Politics poll shows Democratic presidential candidate Clinton leading Trump by just three points.
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