UPDATED: 3:59 p.m. EDT — There was a heavy police presence both outside and inside Donald Trump's Anaheim, California, rally Wednesday afternoon. The beefed up security was likely a response to the prior night's clashes between protesters and local police in Albuquerque, which Trump promptly referenced after taking the stage.
"Inside [the Albuquerque arena] it was like a love fest, it was beautiful," he said. "And outside they showed us another thing, a lot of [Mexican] flags."
Soon after those comments, a protester inside the event was kicked out, prompting Trump to deliver a now-familiar refrain when his events are interrupted.
"Get him out of here! Don’t hurt him — I say that for the television cameras — but he’s a bad person,” Trump said before a brief pause. "Is there any place more fun to be than a Trump rally?"
If Donald Trump's rally Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim, California, is anything like the one from one night earlier, attendees and expected protesters alike would be advised to brace themselves. Fresh off a rally in New Mexico that resulted in some instances of violence, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Wednesday morning called those in Albuquerque who assembled in opposition "thugs" and "criminals."
Those words are not likely to sit well with people planning to protest at his rally in Anaheim. The candidate's divisive rhetoric when it comes to immigration may have resonated particularly with both the people of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Anaheim, where many people of Hispanic descent call home.
Trump is expected to speak beginning at 3 p.m. EDT. To watch a live stream of Wednesday's rally, click here or watch below.
While security at Tuesday's rally in Albuquerque was apparently overwhelmed by the protesters there, the Anaheim Police Department has decided on a more proactive approach for Wednesday's event, the Los Angeles Times reported. "We are prepared to take swift enforcement action," Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
Trump's rallies have a recent but detailed history of violence breaking out, many times leaving police and other security forces in precarious positions.
Trump's visit to the West Coast states is significant in two ways: Both New Mexico and California will be voting soon in presidential primaries, and both have a heavy Latino population. Nearly half of Albuquerque's residents identify as Hispanic, and more than half of Anaheim's citizens are Hispanic, according to the most recent data available.
Trump no longer has any competition for the Republican presidential nomination, as all of his now-former rival candidates have dropped out of the race, rendering the remainder of the primary season largely symbolic and inconsequential. However, both New Mexico and California have a history of their respective Latino citizens voting lopsidedly Democratic, which means Trump must still try to appeal to them for support in November's general election.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee is coming off another primary victory in Washington State Tuesday, with more than 69 percent of the Republican votes going to the real estate mogul. As a result, Trump was awarded 27 delegates, leaving him just 41 shy of the 1,237 needed to secure the party's nomination. The remaining primary contests include California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, all in June, with a total of 303 delegates up for grabs.