NEW YORK – Real estate mogul and White House hopeful Donald Trump, who has enraged Latinos and lost a string of business contracts for insulting Mexicans, will tour the Mexican border on Thursday.
“I am going to the BORDER tomorrow. Will be seeing some really brave people. Look forward to a big day!” he tweeted to his more than 3.3 million followers on Wednesday.
His campaign team said he would tour Laredo, a county town on the Texas-Mexico border, visit the border itself, address local law enforcement and deliver a press conference.
The insult-dishing former reality TV star, who has made a fortune in real estate, leads polls among Republican and Republican-leaning independents in his bid to become president.
He has hogged the headlines with a series of outlandish remarks and media stunts, lampooning his rivals, insulting career politicians and castigating undocumented immigrants.
On Tuesday, he called rival candidate Senator Lindsey Graham “a total lightweight” and in a stunning breach of etiquette, read out Graham’s cellphone number and urged people to call him.
On Saturday, he provoked a huge backlash among Republican faithful by trash-talking Vietnam war hero Senator John McCain, who was held prisoner five years and tortured after being shot down.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
He is a fervent critic of immigration and launched his campaign in New York in mid-June by calling Mexican immigrants a source of crime and rape in the United States.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he thundered in June when he threw his hat into the ring.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Mexico and Costa Rica, among others, dropped out of the Miss Universe pageant, which is owned by Trump, over his “racist” remarks. His remarks outraged Latin Americans and the Hispanic community in the United States.
Companies such as Macy’s, Univision and NBC cut ties with Trump, but the mogul has stuck to his guns, refusing to back down.
The latest opinion poll put him far into the lead in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, the favorite at 24 percent.
He outpaced his rivals Scott Walker (13 percent) and Jeb Bush (12 percent), according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The Post said most of the participants were interviewed before Trump laid into McCain, after which his popularity dropped significantly among those questioned.