Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has nothing but praise for the tea party.
“I am a Republican, but I believe strongly in the tea party — and I love the people of the tea party,” Trump told WPTV-News Channel 5 on Thursday during the Palm Beach County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. “I love many of the things they represent — and you know what? They love me.”
Hundreds of national and local GOP officials and supporters attended the dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The annual event comes as the Republican Party grapples with remaking itself and broadening its base after the drubbing it took in the 2012 presidential election.
And Trump had plenty of advice on how the GOP should move forward.
On immigration reform, for instance, Trump told WPTV-Channel 5: “Something has to happen, but the Republicans are going to have to be very careful. Look, we can’t give away our great country.”
Several plans for comprehensive immigration reform have been put forth in recent weeks, including one by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and another by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators, which also includes Rubio. The proposals have been attacked as de facto amnesty programs.