Support among Republicans for GOP front-runner Donald Trump continues to mount. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows the real estate mogul enjoying a 15-point lead over his nearest competitor,Ted Cruz , heading into the make-or-break primary in Indiana.
Trump also continues to rack up endorsements, though of late these have begun to follow a pattern. Last week he won the praise of Russian “President” Vladimir Putin, who liked what Trump had to say about mending fences in his speech on foreign policy.
Trump also received the nod from former heavyweight champeen “Iron” Mike Tyson, prompting the candidate to tell a crowd in Indiana:
When I get endorsed by the tough ones, I like it, because you know what? We need toughness now. We need toughness.
That well may be, but there is toughness and then there is … well — Tyson, whose past is not just checkered but black and blue. His penchant for violence is almost legendary. He was accused of domestic violence by his wife, Robin Givens (whom he is now married to for the third time). In the ring, he bit off a chunk of the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield and in 1992 was convicted of raping a beauty pageant contestant in his hotel room and spent the three years in prison.
It’s one thing to receive an endorsement from someone like Tyson. It’s another to defend it, as Trump did over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday,” even boasting about it.
The decision to embrace the endorsement has earned the scorn of Cruz’s “running mate,” Carly Fiorina, who said on Friday, “Sorry, I don’t consider a convicted rapist a tough guy.”
But Trump also has his defenders. Indiana GOP Rep. Bob Morris defended Trump on CNN, saying:
If Mr. Trump believes Mr. Tyson did his time and he’s a good person today we’ve got to recognize that. We need to stop beating up on people and look at the good qualities of people. [Emphasis added]
Interesting choice of words.