Trump was taking questions from the crowd at a rally in Exeter, New Hampshire.
He joked with one woman who said she lived in southern California. “You live in southern California, what are you doing here? Are you a liberal Democrat, by any chance?” he asked playfully.
Trump was clearly in control and seemed to be enjoying himself at the podium when a woman yelled from the back of the hall that “Illegal immigrants are the backbone of our country.”
Trump asked her to repeat herself, and then he responded repeatedly, “I don’t think so, darling. Nah, I don’t think so. They’re not the backbone of our country.”
“You know what? I’ll tell you what,” Trump said. He made an apparent gesture to security to relax, saying, “That’s okay. No. We don’t need help with these folks.”
And then he lit into the woman, setting the record straight:
“Let me just tell you something. Let me just tell you something. You know what the backbone of our country? People that came here, and they came here legally, people that came to this country legally and they worked their ass off, and they’ve made the country great. That’s the backbone. That’s the backbone.”
Having summarily blasted the woman out of the hall, Trump calmly moved on.
“Okay. Another question?” as he pointed out another person in the crowd.