Amid tight security, the California Republican State Convention got underway in Burlingame, California, headlined by the GOP’s leading candidate, Donald Trump. His lunchtime speech was delayed for nearly an hour because of protests that ensconced the area for blocks. Throughout the morning, protesters attempted to enter the Hyatt Regency through the side entrance, sending police in riot gear racing to cover the doors.

As his speech began, Trump commented “it felt like crossing the border.”

Trump used the speech to take potshots at his Democratic rivals, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. But he reserved most of his vitriol for Sen. Ted Cruz, who trails Trump in the GOP delegate battle. Saying Cruz had “no path to victory,” Trump implied the only way Cruz could win the Republican nomination was through the “backdoor,” alluding to bribed delegates. He also criticized Cruz for announcing Carly Fiorina as his Vice Presidential running mate this week before any nomination was secure.


Protests of Trump’s appearance began hours before his speech, as scores of people sat down, locked hands to #StopHate. Trump plans to build a wall between Mexico and the United States should he get elected, as well as deport millions of undocumented people.


The state GOP convention continues through the weekend with speeches from Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Sed. Ted Cruz of Texas. Both men need strong showings in the Golden State’s June primary to have any shot at thwarting a Trump coronation at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July. As of publishing, Trump’s delegate count is at 996. He needs 1,237 to clinch the nomination.