Melania Trump talks up 'tough' husband

  • 06/04/2016
Melania Trump (Reuters)
Melania Trump (Reuters)

Donald Trump's wife has made a rare appearance on the campaign trail, as the billionaire businessman works to bolster his bid to lock down the Republican nomination.

Melania Trump took the stage to speak at a rally in Milwaukee, in a week that commentators say has been Mr Trump's worst since the campaign began.

"I'm very proud of him. He is a hard worker, he's kind, he has a great heart, he's tough, he's smart, he's a great communicator, he's a great negotiator, he's telling the truth, he's a great leader, he's fair," she told the crowd.

"As you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back 10 times harder. No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal."

Following Ms Trump was Melissa Young, a former winner of one of the billionaire's beauty pageants, who said Mr Trump gave her "the best gift ever".

Mr Trump has also explained how he plans to pay for his proposed wall across the Mexican border.

Mr Trump is proposing blocking money transfers from illegal immigrants to Mexico until that country agrees to pay for the wall, an incendiary scheme that emerged as the Republican front-runner faces likely defeat in Wisconsin's presidential primary.

Mr Trump's campaign said in a memo that if elected to the White House in November, he would use a US anti-terrorism law to cut off remittances made by illegal immigrants, unless Mexico made a one-time payment of US$5 billion (NZ$7.3 billion) to US$10 billion for the wall.

The Mr Trump plan cited US$24 billion a year in remittances to Mexico from its citizens in the United States, most of whom it said were there illegally.

It proposed requiring Mexicans to prove they are in the United States legally before they can wire money outside the country.

"We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage," the memo read. "It is time we use it in order to 'Make America Great Again' [sic]."

Mr Trump released his plan on Tuesday morning as polls opened in Wisconsin, where US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas appears poised for victory and is presenting himself as a uniter for Republican voters, despite a Senate tenure marked by bitter feuds and uncompromising stances.

With Ohio Governor John Kasich running a distant third, Mr Cruz is trying to make the case he is the only Republican candidate who can beat Trump to become the party's nominee in the November 8 presidential election.

In the Democratic race, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a slender lead in opinion polls in Wisconsin over front-runner Hillary Clinton and is trying to add to his momentum after winning five of the last six contests. He still faces a tough task in defeating the favoured Ms Clinton for the nomination.

Reuters / Newshub.