The real estate mogul’s event at an arena on the North Carolina state fairgrounds was also interrupted by protesters about 10 times, with Trump encouraging security to “get ‘em out” as he looked on scornfully but told the crowd -- estimated at more than 8,000 by local media -- that he was determined to be nice.
Trump arrived armed with fresh poll results showing him with at 36 percent in the latest national CNN/ORC survey, well ahead of his GOP rivals. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) was his closest competitor, drawing 16 percent.
Addressing the crowd during a rally that was streamed live over the Internet, Trump drew particular attention to the standing of Bush, the former Florida governor, now at 3 percent.
“Who’s 3?” Trump asked. “Bush. Bush is 3. Bye bye.”
Minutes later, he turned his attention to Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.
“Did you ever notice … she wakes up … she puts on her pantsuit, she walks in, does an event,” Trump said. “You don’t see her for four days, five days. You know why? She goes back home. She goes to sleep.”
Trump argued that his observation -- which is not supported by Clinton’s actual campaign schedule -- was among the reasons that she is “not what we need as a president.”
“We need tremendous energy,” he said, echoing an argument he has made against Bush. “We need tremendous smarts. We need somebody who’s going to get the job done. We have to get the job done.”
On a night when nearly half of the 50-minute event was devoted to audience questions, Trump talked up the value of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques and said in response to a questioner that he would take a very different approach to terrorism than President Obama.
“We are going to handle it so tough,” Trump said. “I would handle it so tough you would have no idea.”
He also talked up the 2nd Amendment, said that the attacks in Paris and shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., could have ended differently if the victims had been armed.
“If the people in Paris or the people in California, if you had a couple of folks in there with guns, and that knew how to use them, and they were in that room, you wouldn't have dead people, the dead people would be the other guys,” Trump said.
At another point, Trump suggested that the situation in California might have been prevented if a neighbor of the suspects had spoken up about odd behavior rather than remained silent for fear of being accused of racial profiling.
“We have become so politically correct that we don’t know what the hell we’re doing,” Trump said.
He also said authorities had failed to aggressively question the spouses of those involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.
“Those wives knew what their husbands were going to do,” Trump said.
His remarks were repeatedly interrupted by protesters, who were led out by security.
“Here’s another one,” Trump said. “Here’s another one. Get ‘em out. Get ‘em out. Get ‘em out, please. … Look at the cameras taking his picture. He’s happy.”