Trump cancels Florida appearance for 'massive rally' in Ohio

By Danielle Haynes  |  March 13, 2016 at 4:44 PM
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, March 13 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is sticking around a little longer in Ohio on Sunday, canceling an event in Florida in favor of holding a "massive rally" in the Buckeye State.

Trump's campaign issued a statement Sunday afternoon announcing the change of plans. He was supposed to hold a rally at Trump National Doral near Miami Sunday evening before heading north to Boca Raton, Fla.

He postponed the Doral event but still plans to be in Boca Raton later Sunday.

"Mr. Trump will host a massive rally in Youngstown, Ohio," the statement said. "If we are successful on Election Day, we will do a celebration at Doral after the election."

Trump has been holding rallies in Ohio all weekend, including one Saturday in which he was rushed by security on stage after a disturbance in the rowdy crowd.

Security at Trump events has been an increasing concern after a series of protests and fights have broken out in recent days. On Friday, he canceled an event in Illinois over potential security problems, prompting altercations between supporters and protesters who had shown up at the venue. The same night, dozens of people were arrested at a Trump rally in St. Louis.

Trump has called for protesters at his events to be arrested and blamed supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the disturbances.

"Some represented Bernie, our communist friend," Trump said at a rally in Dayton, Ohio. "Get your people in line, Bernie."

Sanders defended his supporters Sunday morning on ABC's This Week.

"I think anybody who understands Mr. Trump's campaign knows that he tells the truth very, very rarely," Sanders said. "I'm afraid that on this occasion, he's lying again."

"He is catching onto the fact that the American people do not support a candidate like Trump whose verbiage, whose language, whose rhetoric incites violence," he added.

The presidential candidates -- both Republican and Democrat -- have been campaigning heavily in Ohio and Florida ahead of Tuesday's primary elections in the battleground states. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is favored to beat Trump by 2 points in his hometown, a RealClear Politics average of polls indicates. Trump, though, has a lead over Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Florida by a margin of 18.1 points.

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