Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump did his homework.
In a phone interview with The Citizen Thursday, Trump pledged to bring jobs back to central New York and criticized Daikin Applied's decision to close its Auburn plant and move operations to Mexico.
Daikin McQuay was once one of Cayuga County's largest employers. More than 300 people worked at the facility before it shut down.
The final hourly workers left the company's Auburn facility in February.
"It's just disgraceful, frankly," Trump said. "What does that get us? It gets us nothing, so we're going to stop that. We're going to get it stopped and we're going to stop it strong."
How would Trump discourage companies like Daikin from sending jobs to Mexico or other countries? By taxing their products when they're shipped into the United States.
He contends such a tax is necessary because without it, "we're never going to be able to compete."
"It's very unfair," he added.
Trump spoke to The Citizen two days before his campaign rally in Syracuse. He will hold the event at the OnCenter, a convention center which hosted Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.
When told that Sanders drew about 5,000 people at his rally, Trump said he would have a larger crowd.
"We'll beat any rally," he said. "That, I'll tell you."
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Here is the full Q&A with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump:
The Citizen: With the proposal to build the wall and strengthen immigration policies, surely you know one of the big industries here is agriculture. How do you balance that? How do you make sure that upstate farmers can still do what they do, get the labor they need while strengthening immigration policies?
Donald Trump: We'll always make it so that farmers, because there are a number of areas that have this, we're going to always make it possible for them to get the people that they need and we're always going to make it possible and we'll make it legally possible. In other words, where people will be here legally. But there are certain areas where they need that and we'll always make it possible. The one thing we will do is help businesses, not hurt businesses. So important to me.
The Citizen: You have a big lead in the polls over your two opponents (in New York). What result do you think we'll see on Tuesday?
Trump: I'm seeing good numbers. I'm seeing the same numbers you are. We're seeing great numbers. It's nice when the people that know you best, which is New York — upstate and the Manhattan area and right now I'm on Long Island. Frankly, it's really nice when I see numbers like that because they're the people that know me the best. Now, I've won 22 states, but New York state is my home and the people that know me best. I want Tuesday to happen very quickly. Bring it on, right? I'm very honored by that actually.
The Citizen: With Paris and the Brussels attacks, it's really exposed vulnerabilities in Europe and certainly we could play a role helping them. As president, what role to do you see the United States playing in helping bolster Europe's security?
Trump: Well, we need to work together with Europe. But at the same time, we have to protect ourselves. We need to work together with many countries and that includes sharing information. This is a different kind of a situation than we've had in the past. Before we had uniforms and you'd look and that would be the enemy. Now, we don't know who it is. The only thing we can do is share information and coordination with other countries and other police forces, other militaries and we have to hit ISIS very, very hard. I was against the war in Iraq. I said it would destabilize the Middle East. But now that it's destabilized, we're going to have to hit ISIS very, very hard. It's out of control.
The Citizen: Going forward, looking at the delegate numbers, there's different ways you could approach the math. How do you get to that number or how do you win at the convention to get that nomination and go on to face the Democratic nominee in November?
Trump: I think we're going to get to the number. (Note: To secure the Republican nomination, Trump will need to win 1,237 delegates.) I'm the only one that's going to beat Hillary Clinton, believe me, and the one person she doesn't want to run against. But I think we're going to get to the number. We have tremendous states coming up where they know me well and where I'm doing very well. You see what's going on in Connecticut and Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It's been very nice to look at and to see. But I think we're going to get there and I think we may get there sooner than people think.
The Citizen: Senator Ted Cruz is your top competitor. He picked up some delegates at the Colorado convention. What do you make of this process and the tactics involved in getting some of these delegates?
Trump: First of all, I'm leading in delegates by a lot. By hundreds, I guess, 225 delegates. And I'm not very far from the finish line, frankly. (Trump has won 743 delegates. Cruz has 545.) I must tell you that in Colorado they changed the game after I joined. The politicians changed the game because I would've won Colorado and they went to just pick delegates ... Tomorrow, they're having big protests. It's tremendous animosity over what's been done because they're taking the vote away from the people. So, we're going to see what happens with that. We saw that happening and we really have been very vocal about it and a lot of people are very, very angry about it.
The Citizen: The New York state budget raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years. Stagnant wages are obviously a concern. How would the Trump administration address this issue?
Trump: I'm going to make sure that people are making much more money because we're going to bring so many jobs back that we're not going to have to be worrying about minimum wage so much. We're going to be bringing the jobs back where people can really make a good living, not just a minimum wage living. I'm going to be bringing so many jobs back into this state and I'm going to be focused very strongly on the state. It's a state I love. We're going to bring jobs back so that people can really get out there and make a tremendous living again. You look at wages, they effectively haven't gone up in close to 20 years. We're going to bring so much competition back and so many jobs back that people are going to make a far better living than anything you can even talk about with respect to minimum wage.