SYRACUSE — With protesters outside and some managing to work their way into the crowd at his rally Saturday, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump disputed the notion that he's divisive figure.
"I'm a unifier," Trump said. "We're going to get along great. We're going to have everybody in this country pulled together."
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump did his homework.
There were a few disruptions during Trump's speech at the Oncenter, but that didn't prevent him from delivering his "Make America Great Again" message.
He promised to bring jobs back to central New York and cited statistics showing Syracuse has lost 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2001.
Trump, who blamed the job losses on bad trade deals, used the figures to set up a swipe at one of his Republican primary opponents, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
"Kasich voted in favor of (North American Free Trade Agreement). He's a believer in NAFTA," he said. "NAFTA destroyed New York state, New England, so many different places."
While much of Trump's speech focused on the economy — he repeatedly railed against Carrier, which has a facility in the Syracuse area, for moving jobs from Indiana to Mexico — he touted his most-talked about proposal: A wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The wall, he said, would keep drugs and "illegal immigrants" from entering the U.S.
"We're going to build a tremendous border," he said. "We want people to come into our country. But they're going to go through a process."
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He added later in his address, "It's going to be a real wall. It's going to be an effective wall. All you have to do is ask Israel. Walls work."
Trump's visit to Syracuse came three days before New York's presidential primary. The Manhattan real estate mogul holds large leads in every poll ahead of Tuesday's vote.
For Republicans, there are 95 delegates up for grabs in New York. Most of the delegates will be awarded based on how the candidates perform in each of the state's 27 congressional districts. The remaining 14 delegates will be awarded to the statewide winner if the candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote.
Winning New York's 95 delegates would give Trump a big boost in his bid for the GOP nomination. He currently has 744 delegates. To win the nod, a candidate needs to secure at least 1,237 delegates.
Trump, acknowledging the importance of the state's primary to his presidential campaign, urged attendees to vote on Tuesday.
"You're going to remember this day," he said. "And you're going to remember, most importantly, Tuesday. You're going to say 'that was the single-greatest vote I've ever cast."
Prior to Trump's remarks, Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who ran for governor in 2010 and is one of Trump's top New York supporters, addressed the crowd.
Dadey noted that he was the first New York county GOP chair to endorse Trump for president.
"We need somebody who's going to bring jobs back to the United States," he said.