Donald Trump discusses veterans' care and immigration policy during a speech on the battleship U.S.S. Iowa. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump appealed to veterans on Tuesday (September 15) by saying a Trump administration would let them go to private hospitals and see private doctors if the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to provide decent care. In a 14-minute speech that had been billed as a major national security address, the real estate mogul chose a stage with the decommissioned battleship U.S.S Iowa as a backdrop. But he made only glancing references to Iran and did not mention the Islamic State group once. Instead, he used the venue to drive his crusade against illegal immigration and appeal to veterans. "We're going to make our military so big and so strong, and so great... and it will be so powerful that I don't think we're ever going to have to use it. Nobody is going to mess with us. That I can tell you," he told a cheering crowd. "There's tremendous crime. There's tremendous drugs pouring across the border... tremendous, beyond. Going to Chicago, going to New York, going to L.A., going all over our country. So the drugs pour in, and the money pours out, not a good deal." The Republican frontrunner has been championing veterans on the campaign trail, even challenging CNN, the host of Wednesday's debate, to donate to veterans groups the network's profits from the steep increase in advertising rates charged during the program. Trump won the endorsement of the Veterans for a Strong America, a tax-exempt advocacy organization, which claims more than 500,000 members and that was the sponsor of Tuesday's event. "We're going to make our country so great. We are going to make it strong. We are going to make it powerful. We're going to rebuild the military, we're going to make it so strong. We are going to take care of our veterans," he said. Trump's speech comes one day before the second televised debate between Republican contenders for the November 2016 election.