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Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Prattles On During Chicago Luncheon

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 29, 2015 10:15PM

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Celebrity businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump has big ideas—for how to adorn the Riverfront with a 20-foot sign, how to run the U.S. government and how to fight crime on the streets of Chicago, among other things.

Trump, who recently announced a 2016 presidential campaign, shared some of those ideas at the City Club of Chicago Monday during a luncheon, speech and press conference with the Chicago Tribune's Editorial Board. According to reports, Trump used the speech as an opportunity to outline his intention to grow jobs in the United States and turn back the tide on universal healthcare and to defend his recent, offensive remarks on Mexican immigration, which sparked Univision to announce it was canceling its Miss U.SA. Pageant telecast.

Trump also told the Tribune's Editorial Board that the Chicago Police Department needs to get the city's "out of control" crime problem under control.

Specifically, they need to be less "afraid to be tough."

"I'm a big fan of the police, but I think the police now are afraid to act. They're afraid to be tough," he said. "You have some rough cops, but the cops aren't so rough today, to put it mildly, OK? And today the kids are shouting at the cops and calling them all sorts of names and laughing at them like it's a joke. Different world. Today if the cops ever did that they'd have 'em arrested and given the electric chair."

It seemed one of the only people Trump had kind remarks for was Illinois's disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who had a memorable run as a bumbling contestant on a season of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump's TV show, before being convicted of federal corruption charges and sentenced to more than a decade in prison.

"We found him to be very nice," Trump told the editorial board. "I think that's an awfully tough sentence that he got for what supposedly he did."

A few dozen protesters stood outside the City Club with American flags and signs urging Trump to "go home" and saying, "hate speech is not presidential," according to the Tribune.