Under the Dome

NC legislators, MN congressman blast Trump on security issues

Hours before presidential candidate Donald Trump held a rally in Fayetteville, three elected officials who support Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in the Republican primary made the case that Trump would harm national security.

U.S. Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, N.C. Rep. Jason Saine of Lincolnton and N.C. Sen. Andrew Brock of Mocksville, all Republicans, held a news conference at the state Capitol to criticize Trump’s candidacy.

Rubio, Kline said, “will take care of our men and women in uniform and make sure their sacrifices are not in vain. I can’t say that about the other candidates.”

Kline added that he’s concerned by Trump’s recent comments, which included a proposal to kill family members of terrorists.

“He was going to give illegal orders to our military officers,” Kline said.

Another speaker, retired Maj. Gen. Hugh Overholt, didn’t mention Trump by name but said Americans should “beware of prophets who speak in glittering generalities – they will accomplish nothing.”

“Go with the person who has a proven track record,” Overholt said, referring to Rubio.

Saine said the presidential campaign is “not a game show,” and he worries about Trump’s lack of support for Israel.

“I’m sure that there are people in Israel who cannot believe that we have a front-runner that believes he shouldn’t even take a side in the Palestinian-Israeli ordeal,” Saine said. “That’s the wrong way to go.”

Rubio has been polling behind Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in North Carolina, and he hasn’t announced plans to campaign here, as Cruz and Trump have, before Tuesday’s primary. But the Rubio campaign did open a new office in Garner on Wednesday.

As the news conference wrapped up, a reporter asked Kline whether he’d support Trump if he wins the nomination. Kline said he’ll be voting for the GOP candidate in November, even if it’s “painful.”

Colin Campbell: 919-829-4698, @RaleighReporter

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer