Trump rides New Hampshire primary wave, draws 4,000 to Clemson rally

A crowd gathers for a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena in Pendleton on Wednesday. The day before, Trump convincingly won the New Hampshire Republican primary.

CLEMSON — More than 4,000 people showed up to see Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump speak a day after his resounding win in the New Hampshire primary, where he received 35 percent of the vote.

“We did a good thing,” he said of Tuesday’s win. “New Hampshire — what a great place — and we won it big. I got, last night, one hour of sleep. But when you get victory, you don’t need a lot of sleep.”

Trump told the crowd he planned to keep that momentum going to win South Carolina on Feb. 20. He was leading in the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll with 36 percent of the Republican vote.

Greenville resident Tammy Chandler said she took her time making the decision to support Trump, studying the Republican candidate platforms.

“I’ve done my homework,” she said, showing off her freshly signed “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. “But everything so far I’ve heard that (Trump) has said, I agree with.”

Chandler, who said her now-85-year-old father fought in the Korean War, said taking care of those who served in the military was a top priority for her.

“I do believe him when he says he’s going to take care of veterans,” she said of Trump.

Trump touched on several of his main platform issues Wednesday, including his plans to build a wall on the southern border and to make Mexico pay for it.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently said in an interview that the country would not pay for Trump’s “stupid wall,” which Trump laughed off.

“We’ll make it 10 feet higher,” he said.

Trump was one of five Republican candidates who held campaign events across the Palmetto State on Wednesday. He will appear at a rally in Baton Rouge on Thursday.

Prior to the event, Trump was endorsed by Bill Stern, president and CEO of South Carolina-based commercial real estate development company Stern & Stern.

“Throughout American history, we’ve had great presidents who were lawyers, politicians and military leaders,” Stern said in a press release. “I believe the complex global challenges of our time call for a president with a background in business, a record of success in creating jobs and the strong leadership skills it will take to make America great again.”

Stern served on the finance committee for George W. Bush for President and was the state finance chair for the John McCain for President campaign.

Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, who endorsed Trump last month, introduced him to the crowd at the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena.

Reach Maya T. Prabhu at 843-509-8933.