After tearing into Cruz as the worst liar he has encountered and accusing him of trying to bribe delegates, Trump offered praise for his fallen rivals in the once 17-person GOP field.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whom Trump last month declared “is not doing a great job,” became a “great” governor. He dubbed Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) “a great guy” instead of “Little Marco.” And he called Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) – whose cellphone number he once gave out at a rally -- “a nice guy.”
“Once I defeat them, I like every one of them,” Trump said. “I don’t like Lyin’ Ted … but in about four or five weeks from now, I think he’s going to be one of my best friends.”
But Trump told the rally-goers to expect him to play golf instead of offering contrived platitudes for a well-fought campaign if he ends up losing.
“I’m not going to ever do that, folks,” he said. “It’s a phony business, this politics."
With an eye to the general election, Trump offered a harsher assessment of the Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, whom he called a communist.
He predicted record voter turnout in a general election matchup between himself and Clinton, which he described as a battle between “crooked Clinton and wonderful Donald.”
Trump chose a working-class rural community close to the border of Pennsylvania, which also will vote Tuesday, for his rally site.