Donald Trump’s Springfield visit didn’t impress U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, and he believes he’s not the only Illinoisan who feels that way.
Trump reportedly drew more than 10,000 people to his rally at the Prairie Capital Convention Center earlier this week, with his speech repeating immigration policies Durbin has criticized in the past.
Durbin thinks Trump’s overall message on immigration will fall flat in Illinois, no matter how large his Springfield crowds may have been.
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“We’re a state of almost 13 million, he had 10,000, so let’s not over state it. There are 10,000 people who will show up for almost anything and they showed up for him,” Durbin said “I think, overwhelmingly, we are a fair-minded people in Illinois and across this nation, and we know where we came from.”
Durbin thinks the rhetoric from Trump and other Republican presidential candidates is in some ways, a positive, because of the backlash it will create. Speaking in Chicago Friday to a group of immigrants who have applied for work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, he said “the best backlash is for people to vote.”
In the short term, he says the immigration policies in the presidential race have pushed some Republicans in the Congress further to the right on the issue, which he attributes to fears of being challenged by a primary candidate.